1. Heather Munn
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    Heather Munn Member

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    Weather in your story

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Heather Munn, Feb 4, 2011.

    Out of curiosity...

    How do you all do weather in your stories? Do you mention very often whether it's rainy or sunny out there? How do you decide what the weather's like each day? Does weather play a role in your plot?

    Feeling inspired by the blizzard we just got here in Illinois...
     
  2. Cornys
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    Cornys Member

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    lol actually, I look up the date and place on an alminac so that the story is historically acurate :D I think the weather is a very important part of the setting as well.
     
  3. Lostro
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    Lostro Member

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    I usually mention weather when it evokes a certain mood for the scene or reflects, reinforces, or even contrasts with a character's mood. Adverse weather can also play as an oppositional force or external conflict especially during travel sequences or something like that.
     
  4. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Only in one story of mine have weather actually mattered. After a two year draught in a desert world, all the stored water is poisened. I tell you, my characters were praying for dark clouds.

    However, generally in my stories, I only mention it if it matters in the scene. But I also use weather to make things a bit more realistic. For instance, I live in a place with a lot of rain in the fall. If I wrote a story that took place there in fall, and it went weeks and weeks without rain even being mentioned, people would react.
     
  5. Cornys
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    Cornys Member

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    I would also note that the weather should not directly be mentioned like "it was a cloudy day", but more of, "The sun was submerged below a thick greyness which stained the landscape in the same grey tint."

    Something like that. When ever the setting is described I make certain that the weather in known at one point or another.
     
  6. Jaybrownuk
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    Jaybrownuk Member

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    I tend to only mention if it is helpful for setting the scene or if it's raining heavily or snowing. I never tell the reader it's just a clear/overcast day I don't really see the point.
     
  7. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Although I usually describe it in the same way as you, I also really like to do it in dialog, or on the characters. Characters having to squint because of the sun, having to dress up or down because of the temperature or coming in dripping wet are some of the ways I show the weather.
     
  8. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    Since I'm writing a historical novel, I tend to be accurate to the actual weather on certain days. In real life the weather influenced the life of the people, so I do the same for my characters.

    But other than that I make mention of whether it was sunny, snowy, or rainy when it is convenient to plot or mood.
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I cheated and set most of mine on an Island that is mostly temperate, the only time weather is remarkable is when things are going wrong and it starts getting colder.
     
  10. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^ It gives a good mood. A very nice technique I think.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if it's germane to the plot, or the character, i'd include it... if not, i wouldn't...
     
  12. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Weather is important at times, but climate is even more important as a part of the setting. And to define the climate you need a sparkle of weather every now and then.
     
  13. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have on occasion used weather to emphasise a mood... in one story, the main character was picked up in a limousine by his mysterious benefactor. It was dark and the rain was pouring down. When he exited the limousine, the main character decided to throw away an object which would have affected his entire life, and the rain washed over it, as if washing away all the consequences.

    In another story I used a sunny, clear sky to emphasise a sense of openness and opportunity.
     
  14. Heather Munn
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    Heather Munn Member

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    These are very interesting. Seems like everyone has their own take on it.

    I like mentioning weather; sometimes it's for the mood and sometimes it affects the characters' lives and sometimes it's just briefly mentioned just to make the setting a little richer. But I kind of almost do it instinctively, and I started wondering how I decided what weather it was going to be on any given day, and I finally realized that a lot of the time I'm actually using the weather outside on the day I write the scene. (If it's the same season of course.)

    I've been rewriting my Chapter 1 and since I was snowed in Wednesday/Thursday and was already describing a super-cold winter in the chapter, it inspired me to add a blizzard which fit in kind of neatly with the plot.
     
  15. Ellipse
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    ^ I agree with this. :)

    Adding to this, if the weather is sunny and pleasant there will be less reason to notice it. however, if your characters are in a place like Siberia or Antartica where the weather is less than pleasant, it will be noticable in many ways. People will be wearing heavy, bulky clothing. It will be cold. The wind will be blowing. And possibly snow. Characters won't have an easy time moving through difficult weather.
     
  16. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think i do the same thing. I use weather to reinforce a certain feeling or sometimes to contradict a feeling they have, like my MCs are feeling like **** yet sun is shining, birds are singing and everything has a springlike feeling outside. even that can add to the sadness or whatever feeling they might have, i think it makes it more real. But i dont describe the weather in every scene.
     
  17. Heather Munn
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    Heather Munn Member

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    Yes, I like the idea that the weather can contrast the character's mood as well as reinforce it, because that's like real life. If the weather always matched the character's mood, you'd suspect something weird was going on and maybe this is actually fantasy...

    It's also fun sometimes to describe the weather according to the character's mood: the exact same rain could be described as gentle & watering the thirsty ground, or as a constant, grey, depressing rainfall--it's a matter of how the character is inclined to perceive it just then.
     
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  18. lost123
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    lost123 Senior Member

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    Most of the time weather make the story real.
     
  19. Heather Munn
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    Heather Munn Member

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    I agree. When there is no weather at all in a story (or the same if there's not description of setting or place) it feels unreal to me, like it's happening in front of a blue-screen.
     
  20. lost123
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    lost123 Senior Member

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    When you read a story you don't focus on the weather.However, if a story didn't cover the weather , it would be noticeable . And it would be less desirable to read from the reader.:D For example, I assume you read harry potter, the weather was really great factor in making the series successful.
     
  21. Flows
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    Flows New Member

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    Not adding weather details occasionally is like forgetting to accent a painting with intended colors. Just leaves it more bland without it. I like to give short details but not drag it out unnecessarily.

    __________________
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  22. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    Weather is just a part of the setting and the environment. If it's needed to help readers visualize the scene, or if it is a hindrance to the characters in some way, then I'll put a little in. So if it's a windy day and it's interfering with a character's ability to shoot a bow accurately, I'll mention it. If the day is cold and a character is miserable and doesn't have a thick enough coat on, I'll mention it.

    If the weather in the area tends to be, say, foggy in the morning and sunny in the afternoon, I'll mention that and then tell the reader if a day is unusual in some way, such as if there's a drizzle or if the fog is even thicker than normal.
     
  23. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think to understand the importance of weather and climate, it helps living in a climate that is kind of extreme to the cultural norm your living in, or moving from one climate to another. Living in a climate and at odds with some norm or assumtion society makes helps you realize how much climate effects every thing in life and really need to be considered.

    Me I'm live at the polar circle. Even for most Swedes it really far north. Just a small detail as that we basically got half a year of darkness and half af year of light redefines a sorts of cultural assumptions. The dark of night? Nope. Don't exist. So nothing lurking in the darkness because the darkness just isn't there. Vampires? Well they would sparkle 24/7 if they didn't burst in to flames like proper vampires.

    I think every one here got something about how the climate they live in is a bit apart from the norm, and could tell stories of how it effects their life. Or the way they dress, or how houses are built.
     
  24. Terri
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    Terri Senior Member

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    If it's essential to the story & creates some good conflict, then yes I add it in. Use action to portray it rather than state it, though. No one enjoys a long winded paragraph about the setting of the scene & what the weather was like that day.
     

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