This month, being April and you know what they say about April showers, the topic for the Blog Hop is: Have you noticed how weather is used in writing? How have you used weather in your writing? Drama? Mood? Revelation?
If you think about it, weather, both good and bad influences everything from the moment the sun peeks in your window in the morning until you take your pooch for a walk under a starlit sky. Rainy weather can set it’s own mood, either brooding or making you feel cozy curled up with a book inside. What about a romantic couple on the beach in the setting sun? Or dancing in the rain? How does the setting sun of a perfect summer day color that picture and how different in the rain.
I remember an episode on NCIS when Gibbs’ mentor and friend is shot and killed outside Gibbs’ house on a dark rainy night. There seemed to be a special poignance to Mike Franks having sacrificed his life laying face up in the wet street with rain on his face. And just think of all the romances that have been written around the trope of the hero and heroine becoming stranded together by a major snow storm.
Gloomy weather certainly adds mood to a mystery or even more to a horror story. Moonlight can add romance to any situation, but that same moonlight can heighten the ambiance of a vampire story. The events of 9/11 would have been horrific no matter what the weather, but somehow, the stark contrast of that brilliant blue sky backlighting the atrocity of commercial airliners flying deliberately into the twin towers made the made it seem worse. Consider the different feeling you get, first watching a weather forecaster telling you about the ravages of a hurricane from his broadcast station with the weather map at his back and then they cut to the reporter wearing a rain-soaked slicker, standing at a 60 degree angle against the buffeting gale, his or her hair blowing in their face while they struggle to be heard over the roar of waves or wind and rain. Weather sets a tone no matter if you are watching television, a movie, or reading a book.
In the first book in my series, the defining moment of the story is set against the backdrop of a hurricane. My heroine goes into labor and a huge hundred year old tree is uprooted making it impossible for rescue vehicles to get to her home and the hero is forced to face his worst fears and deliver her baby without even being able to contact help by phone. The sound of wind slapping the side of the house, phone lines down, power out all add to the ambiance and urgency of that scene.
In the book I’m currently working on, on page one, my heroine is exploring the ruins on a long abandoned island off the coast of Maine on a beautiful sunny day. Flowers line the long abandoned fieldstone foundations, the water in the harbor is a startling blue and a light breeze plays with her hair and tugs at her clothing. Then she falls into that old cellar hole, hits her head and loses consciousness. When she wakes, it’s dark and cold and there’s a roof over her head. She has no idea where she is when the hero lets her out of his locked basement clutching a cudgel in one hand. The contrast makes her confusion even more complete, and the cold and dark adds an extra layer of menace to the scene that sunlight could not have imparted even when staring down an obviously angry man with a big stick.
I think, in all writing, weather can be another character, along with setting. It can add lightness or romance, or brooding or menace. It can add urgency or calm and can change or color just about any scene, even indoor ones. Stand your heroine at a window looking out: first on a moonlit garden, then rain slashing against the window, or jagged streaks of lightening lighting up the dark sky, maybe the sun is setting, its glory reflected in some body of water or fat snowflakes falling in utter silence covering everything she can see. Same woman, same window, but how different each scene is, and how differently it might affect what she is feeling and thinking.
I'm sure there are books and stories out there that never mention the weather, except perhaps when one of the characters is complaining about it, but I think including the weather adds immeasurably to the scene, the feeling, and the action.
Since this is a Blog Hop - why not hop on over and see how other authors use weather in their writing.
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Helena Fairfax http://helenafairfax.com/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Dr. Bob Rich bobrich18.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/oh-the-weather/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Kay Sisk http://kaysisk.blogspot.com
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com