Weather in Writing

Today I'm going to talk about the weather. Not whether. Weather. And not the fact that the sky looks like it can't decide if it wants to rain or not over here either.

One of the things that the writer can do to make their worlds more realistic is pay attention to what the weather is like. I'm not saying describe the clouds in very specific detail and point out the one that's shaped like a bunny and the one that reminds your character of alphabet soup. (I don't know where that comparison came from either.) But in the real world, it's certainly not sunny all the time. Unless the MC lives in the desert.

Weather fits right in with the setting. Take, for example, Forks, Washington. Yes that's a real town. Who knew? (Please don't hurt me.) Forks apparently is the rainiest city in the U.S. That fit right in with Twilight since vampires can't be seen in sunlight. Forks was the perfect setting for them and yet there were still a few days of sunlight in the story. Another example is Michigan. In the summer it's hot -- unless it was this year which was just insane -- in the winter it's cold, and in the autumn and spring it's in between with lots of rain.

Integrate this into the story. Choose a season and a setting for the story and stick with it. If you're like me and have trouble remembering what season, month, year, and day of the week it is in a story, try to keep track. Keep a spreadsheet if you have to. If your story is set in Phoenix in the summer, don't forget that it's going to be unmentionably hot there and it should affect your characters accordingly. If it's set in Maine in the winter, there's going to be a lot of snow.

In addition to the normal, seasonable weather, don't forget other things like fog, rain, hail, etc. If your characters are in school, give them a snow day or fog delay once in awhile. We usually have a few a year. Fog delays usually happen in spring and fall, as the nights start to get colder. It's going to be more common in places with a lot of water. Maybe throw in a thunderstorm once in awhile.

Our weather isn't boring and predictable, so don't make you characters weather like that.

Comments

Emilia said…
And then there's the dramatic thunder/rainstorm that always occurs right around the climax.

... Uh. Actually, I might be guilty of writing that one. :)

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