1. Sean2112bd

    Sean2112bd New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2

    I starting a story with weather bad?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sean2112bd, Feb 20, 2011.

    Is starting a story with weather bad? Is it because it's been done so many times that it's become taboo?
     
  2. Elgaisma

    Elgaisma Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,334
    Likes Received:
    96
    Depends why you are using it ? If weather frames the events in your book and provides a back drop to your story then it can be very powerful. If its just a cheap atmospheric trick not - it can be useful in determining time of year and then its OK

    At least thta is my view.
     
  3. Manav

    Manav New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Imphal, India
    Nothing wrong in starting out with bad (or good) weather. Just make sure you don't use cliched phrases to describe it. Also, as Elglaisma said, you should have a reason for using the weather, creating the mood, setting etc.
     
  4. Eunoia

    Eunoia Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4,392
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    England
    As long as it's engaging then why not?
    Just don't start it with something like 'It was a cold and stormy night' or some other cliche. :p
     
  5. Chris16

    Chris16 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    At least in what I read on here, weather-openings always sound like the writer trying to show off their prose. It's boring.
     
  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    11,813
    Likes Received:
    8,465
    I think that weather can be good if it has more of a function than, "This is boring; let's add some wind." I'm re-reading the children's book _A Wrinkle In Time_, and a storm is used to drive the main character out of her attic, to get several characters into the kitchen to talk, to get a strange character into the house because she wants shelter from the storm, and so on. There, I think that the weather works.
     
  7. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,481
    Likes Received:
    3,150
    Location:
    Northeast England
    Opening with a description of weather can be very cliche. But it does depend on how you use it. Mary Shelly started Frankenstein as a short story which was pretty much chapter 5 of the book. The first line was: 'It was a dismal night in November when I beheld the result of my labors' or something to that effect. This line has been cheapened by things like the Hammer films; and it's pretty much a staple of the Gothic.

    Overall I wouldn't advise opening with a description of weather, but if you want to then go with it. Just be careful.
     
  8. Mallory

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Chris is right.

    If you're doing it to set tone but you can use a direct, engaging voice, go for it.

    If you're filling it with a ridiculous amount of similies and long-winded purple prose phrases, NO. Don't do it. Don't.
     
  9. guamyankee

    guamyankee New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    474
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    The opening sentence of your work is the same as when someone meets you for the first time. They get a first impression. You'd be better off not using weather, but instead, coming up with something original, something that's going to hook the reader. Think of the first sentence as a microcosm of the rest of your work, and make it damned good.
     
  10. tiggertaebo

    tiggertaebo Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Cumbria UK
    While I'd agree with most of the sentiments above in that cliched use of the weather as an opening is to be avoided I think it can still have some merit if used with caution. If the weather is pertinent to the situation or mood of the characters or sets a tone then it can be useful. Plus various weather conditions are something more or less any reader can relate to. You have to ask yourself what the weather brings to the scene.

    My rule of thumb would be to write the scene two ways - first with the weather condition you thought of and then with the opposite, if it works out more or less the same then opening with it probably isn't a good idea.
     
  11. Show

    Show Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,493
    Likes Received:
    31
    I agree. It sets the scene. Just say it in a way that doesn't come off as cliche.
     

Share This Page