1. k.little90
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    k.little90 New Member

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    Such A Thing As Too Much Rain?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by k.little90, Apr 17, 2012.

    Yeah, yeah... I know I can google it...

    In the story I'm currently working on now, I want to have my MC's village/country be ravaged by hunger. Originally, I was going to have a drought destroy all the crops, but I've decided that's too cliche. A hail storm might do the trick, but that's been used almost as much as the drought scenario.

    What if I have it rain too much, drowning all the crops? Is that possible? The nice thing about this option is that I can also give their livestock hoof rot (thrush), making their food predicament that much worse.

    Does anyone else have any bright ideas?

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  2. k.little90
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    k.little90 New Member

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    Sigh... I should have put this in the "Plot Development" forum. Sorry, guys! :redface:
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    It sounds like you have a story that is looking for a place. But keep in mind that there is a lot more at stake in your choice of locale than just the weather...the level of industrialization, general wealth/poverty and even culture and customs will all play a part in determining how your characters will deal with the disaster (as well as the credibility of such a disaster occurring in the first place).

    As for droughts being cliche, I assure you they aren't for the people who suffer loss because of them.

    Good luck.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Supporter Reviewer Contributor

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    Floods can wash away crops and homes, so it's definitely a possibility.
     
  5. k.little90
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    k.little90 New Member

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    Thanks for commenting!

    Part of the plot of my story is that things get so bad that the villages/towns -particularly "Westbell," which is where most of my story takes place -turn to their monarchs for help. I want Westbell to be above poverty, but not exactly wealthy; perhaps the word "comfortable" would describe it well. The town will get a steady supply of merchants/travelers, which will help bring them up above poverty level. Because they aren't used to going without necessities, the drought/flood/whatever will be that much more devestating. There will be a smattering of crop fields on the outskirts of the town, but most of their livelyhood/food will come from the trade industry. Because of this, whatever I decide to have happen needs to effect (affect?.. Bah, always confuse the two) the whole country, not just Westbell.

    Westbell is located near the coast, so an outrageous amount of rain could be a plausable disaster.

    In short,I know how my characters are going to react to whatever befalls them; I just need to decide what the most believable thing to befall them should be.

    That's a very good point. I am still worried about a drought being too cliche to the reader, though.:confused:
     
  6. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    Too much rain at the wrong time can certainly ruin crops - as can frost, and even too much sun, followed by rain, followed by sun, followed by frost... ok that sounds mental, but that is actually what has happened in the UK this year! We had a crazy mild January, then winter in February, then a March that was more like May or June, then back to hailstones and snow in April... now rain... farmers are ringing their hands wondering what the hell??

    In short, any major disruption to the regular pattern of the seasons is going to adversely affect crops, because farmers plan and plant crops to suit the cycle of the agricultural year. If the conditions differ greatly from what they are expecting, whole crops can ripen too early or not at all.
     
  7. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Member

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    Depends on your setting. I remember a few images from when I was a child. One of them was being carried on the shoulders of a firemen with water at his chest. The original town no longer exists. The only thing left of it was a few foundations and a couple walls. It happens more often then people think. The mud and debris flood waters carry can scrape the ground clean. River with mountains downstream would be one situation a major flood could occur. You also have crops that will die if they have too much water, so you have a full range of flood disaster to draw on.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Tsunami, earthquake, dam collapse, mudslides, brush fires, insect invasion, a toxic blight. These can all wipe out crops, or make them unusable, and result in famine.
     
  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Awaiting a good story in the local pub... Contributor

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    Well, the Irish Potato Famine started because of a fungus that made its way to Ireland around 1845 and began killing all of the potato crops.

    So, fungus that kills off the crops, dooming the people to starvation?
     
  10. thecoopertempleclause
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    thecoopertempleclause New Member

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    Chemical spill, swarm of locusts, soil poisoning, volcano eruption, gang of bandits.
     
  11. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Awaiting a good story in the local pub... Contributor

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    Or invading army that swoops in and confiscates most of the food and livestock for themselves. The government is economically broken to begin with, and in addition to having to fight off this army, they cannot spare any time on the local peasants?

    Or maybe, in addition to the fungus killing the crops, the government taxes the peasants so they just can't get enough money to buy more crops when the present ones start dying?
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I was thinking more of ergot, a fungal blight that can infect rye. Those who eat the rye get gangrene in the extremities, and can also suffer dementia.
     
  13. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Awaiting a good story in the local pub... Contributor

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    I didn't know that! The only fungal blight that killed crops that I heard about was the one that caused the Irish Potato Famine.

    Yes, that would be another good canidate.
     
  14. psychotick
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    Hi,

    Too much rain can be as bad as too little, but you might have to do some research on the crops people grow. Some crops can survive having their feet wet for weeks at a time eg rice, others like olives and grapes would be much more sensitive. And don't forget that if you have heavy persistant rain, enough to kill the crops, it'll probably come with other issues. Think swollen rivers taking out bridges, mud slides covering roads so people can't get their food too and from market, and of course the washing away of the valuable topsoil which probably won't be a problem until the next season.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Is this critical enough to your book to be worth reading a book for more detailed ideas? If so, the book _The Resilient Gardener_ has a lot of discussion of how to plan one's garden to ensure that no single disaster will leave one hungry, and as a result it discusses a lot of ways that a single disaster _can_ leave one hungry - including some historical information. It might be worth reading. (You wouldn't have to read the whole thing; there's a lot about nutrition and dietary issues that you could ignore entirely.)

    One thing to keep in mind is that it's rare for a non-modern society to be totally dependent on just one crop, so that they can be seriously harmed by just one disaster. The Irish potato famine (which I regard as a relatively modern event) resulted from a specific set of odd circumtances, and to be entirely convincing, you might need to come up with a set of circumstances to explain your fictional society's dependence on a single crop.
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Another possibility - ash and toxic chemicals from a volcanic eruption in the region.
     

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