Oooh, It’s Cold; No, it’s a Hurricane; No, it’s hail; Nope, it’s a Warm Sunny Day

Weather can indeed play an integral role in a plot. In fact, I just had a short story published in an anthology called Snowbound Hearts. My story is called Sophie’s Snow Day and the tag line is A snowstorm can be a life changing event. Just ask Sophie. In this story, a snow storm really did change someone’s life.

I have a friend writing a novel right now where a hurricane is an essential part of her story and I gave her a quip to use in it. “He came over to batten down and got bedded down.” I said it to her in an email and she asked if she could use it in the story and of course, I obliged.

A warm, sunny day plays a really important part in one of my novels that will probably never see the light of day. It’s a pretty good story after the first chapter but I have fiddled and fiddled with that beginning for years and can’t get it like I want it. So, you’ll just have to trust me on my statement that the warm day plays a role early in the book and things that happened on that sunny day arise yet again in the end of the story.

I like to use weather almost like another character. Streaming rain, hailstones, mud, rainbows and wind can all help build the immediacy of the scene and I believe it helps to bring the reader deeper into the action. What do you think? Do you like to read about the weather in the stories you read or does it not matter?

About Author

The author of these blog posts is a lawyer by day and fiction writer by night.
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23 Responses to Oooh, It’s Cold; No, it’s a Hurricane; No, it’s hail; Nope, it’s a Warm Sunny Day

  1. Lindsay says:

    I’ve never really thought about the weather in a story. Sure I have sunny days or I might use something like a ‘dark cloud settled over her’ to help impart a mood but as an actual character or have a story focused around weather I’m not sure.
    That doesn’t mean the sometime in the future I won’t, I just haven’t yet.
    As far as reading how weather can be used in a story I guess I never really thought about it.

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  2. danicaavet says:

    I continually have to think about the weather because it does matter to the story, especially when it comes to clothing. And when I write about stories that take place down here, I want to be accurate about the heat and humidity. I wouldn’t say it’s essential, but it’s something I have to take into consideration when building a scene.

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  3. Asd long as it isn’t “a dark and stormy night,”Jillian! I enjoy ANY part of ANY story that is well written The weather can definately play a part of a story’s mood or plot, and as Danica said, make the clothing descriptions make any sense.Any too-detailed description or redundant descriptions of weather, clothing, etc., however, is a real snooze!

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    • I agree Tonette- a dark and stormy night always reminds me of Snoopy from Charlie Brown- that was how his novel opened. LOL! I agree about redundant descriptions. I usually err on the side of “less is more” I’m very Hemingway in my writing in that regard. Spare and lean is my motto!

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  4. I love Hemingway…not for his content but just to ‘hear his voice’…it’s is like listening to someone with a strange and exotic accent…I find it addictive!
    As for “It was a dark and stormy night”, y ou might want to see the origin:
    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/it-was-a-dark-and-stormy-night.html

    They actually have a “Dark and Stormy Night” contest every year for the worst book openings…something I could probably win without much effort!!!

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  5. Lavada Dee says:

    As so many times happens, I never gave weather a conscious thought until now. If it fits or adds an element to the story I put it in. However after reading your post I realized that I had weather pretty predominately in the book coming out Valentines Day. ummm now thinking about other stories maybe I do have a lot of weather in them.

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  6. Thanks fro the vote of confidence,Jillian; if I try to write ‘romance’I probably would take that prize.People try to win on purpose, as they do the Hemingway competition.They are really fun to read.
    I wish I could find a competition I saw some years back that had “Why did the chicken cross the road?” in the style of different writers and famous people.It was terribly funny.I’ll post it if I find it.

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  7. jeff7salter says:

    Weather features prominently in my recently-completed 7th novel ms. I lay foundation for it, of course, but during the climactic scenes (approx. final third of the book) it’s a terrible driving thunderstorm with thunder and lightning. The hero ‘times’ the lightning flashes and building-rattling thunder … and uses them to help him gain advantage over the villain.

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  8. Micki Gibson says:

    Heat and humidity play a small role in one chapter, but I haven’t given weather a starring role….yet! But considering the drama I faced with my hair in junior high as a result of that heat and humidity, I think I’m going to make my weather more of a leading character in my next YA.

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  9. Laurie Ryan says:

    I’m a bit of a weather junkie. Yes, that means we have one of those Lacrosse weather stations sitting on our kitchen counter. ๐Ÿ™‚ Neither wind, nor rain, nor dark of night will keep us from know what our weather is doing. ๐Ÿ™‚ So…I like to use weather in my stories. In fact, it’s part of my plotting. I make sure the seasons make sense and are an integral part of the story. It’s also something I recognize in stories I read. Just finished Snowbound Hearts, by the way. I posted a quickie review up on Goodreads. It was a quick, diversionary read and I enjoyed the stories a lot. Yours was VERY inventive. You had me guessing for a bit and I LOVED it when I figured it out. Well done!

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    • I love that you do that, Laurie. To me, the seasons are important, too. AND I have noticed in your stories that you make good use of weather. Thanks for reading about Sophie. I was a little chagrined when one reviewer gave away the twist. I’m glad I kept you guessing. It was my goal!! LOL! Thanks for the compliments. They mean a lot!!

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