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  • Julie Boglisch

Weather in Stories

We've all dealt with weather during your life, from bleak snow storms to hollowing thunder storms. They are a part of our daily lives and something we sometimes don't even think about. After all, we're all so used to it, we just kind of acknowledge it and shrug it off. Even to the point where the conversation starter 'nice weather we're having' is redundant and overdone.


So, why isn't it utilized more in writing?


It's an interesting question to ask. We've all dealt with our fair share of storms, but most stories might comment on a gentle rainfall during a sad/tragic scene or a beautiful sunrise to symbolize hope. However, what about those autumn days that are brisk and cold?


Contemporary literature uses it a lot and romances love to play with this concept so... why is it barely referenced in other works?


I'm talking Fantasy and Science Fiction. These two often have concepts that allow the author to do whatever they want. So... why not play around with weather? More often then not, when I'm reading a work, the characters often are just journeying, dealing with dangers of the world or other situations, but there is never reference to whether it's a brisk morning, a snowy evening or a windswept afternoon.


I love the idea of involving weather in my stories when applicable. A powerful thunderstorm is utilized at the beginning of Elifer to give it a sense of tension and movement. Plus, it's something the characters have to deal with. Different people react to different weather. Personally, I absolutely adore when it is raining, but many people hate the rain.


Weather gives you a chance to not only affect a scene, but flesh out the characters. Take a usually dour character that you would think would love the rain, and have him curse it out, or a happy-go lucky character who prefers a snow storm even though she tends to wear skirts.


Another example is how different parts of the world see weather differently. New England is known for its autumns and snow storms; Florida, its hurricanes; California, its earthquakes. It doesn't have to be life-threatening, but simple things can have a big impact.


For instance, in California, someone whose never lived their might panic when there's a 2.9 while those who live there just shrug it off and keep walking. After all, it's normal for them.


So, don't be afraid to include your 'normal' and delve into what it would mean for your stories and characters. It doesn't have to be you against the environment. It sometimes is simply good to supplement the story and scenes.


This is major in Fantasy and Sci-fi which often under-utilizes these things when explaining their worlds. I mean, how many times have we seen people go to alien planets where the weather was perfectly clear and beautiful... and never referenced?


It's something to think about and, to be honest, I look forward to utilizing it more myself. After all, like I said, we're so used to it, we don't even think of the fact that including it might actually give the story more oomph. So, next time you are writing a scene, think about whether the weather might affect it or give it more depth. If so? Add it.


Anyway, let me know what you think on this. Take care and see you next week!

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