Sunday, October 14, 2012

Changing Seasons

by Donna K. Weaver

Sundance
I love this time of year. It's probably a leftover from when I was a kid. My birthday's in September (and, of course, that's when school started--and I liked school), then there's Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November, and Christmas in December. What's not to love about the fall?

View from my old office.
Of course, it's the season that takes us into winter, with its colder weather, shorter days, and threats of seasonal depression. I don't suffer from that personally, but I know some people who do. For them, heading into winter brings a lot of fear.

How do your characters react to the weather? What happened in their growing up years that thrills or terrifies them? Does the sharp sound of thunder remind them of running to the hidey hole for safety. Do huge drops of rain accompanied by heavy winds take them back to a time when they lived through a hurricane? Or does a soft summer rain bring out the child in them and make them want to go outside and sing and dance and get soaking wet?

While we're never supposed to start a book with the weather, in some stories, it can almost be another character. How is a tense showdown in your tale influenced by the high pressure of a coming storm? Scenes like that make me think of the poor guy with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, each whispering things in his ears.

What techniques do you like to use in your writing to show how weather impacts your characters. How do you utilize this handy tool?

13 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

Weather can sure play a factor and add to the trials or many other things, although sometimes it should be less known too I suppose.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't use weather often, although if a thunderstorm occurred on a space ship, that would be cause for alarm!

Si said...

I just wrote a short poem about this time of year a few days ago and that explains it all, if you wish to look at it you can at http://scribblesofnothing.blogspot.co.uk/

P.S hope you are well soon.

Simon

Libby said...

My current novel is set in fall, but in the blazing heat of an extended summer (happens in VA frequently). Next one is in winter. Oppressing weather in two ways.

Tara Tyler said...

i need to have my characters react more to the weather! a great plot enhancer rather than clear sunny skies all the time! thanks!

J. A. Bennett said...

Weather is essential to setting. It defiantly creates a mood not many other things can!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

It depends on if the scenes take place outside. My last WIP took place during the winter, and only a few scenes were outside. Naturally I made the most of the cold weather when I could. My current WIP takes place in the fall, and weather plays a bigger role. It's almost like another character. But there's so much you can do when the story takes place at that time of year. :D

Heidi L. Murphy said...

You lot with the colors and lovely nip in the air are so freaking lucky! For us it's merely a slight cessation in the triple digits. Meaning I went all night at the stake BBQ and youth dance afterwards in short sleeves and never gave my sweat shirt a single thought...sigh. Oh for that sharp little breeze which used to herald new crayons and John McCarthy's playdough cadavers and the sweet smell of new books.

Heidi L. Murphy said...

I use weather in my books. Why not throw something else into the problem mix?

Nancy Thompson said...

In my novel, I used San Francisco's fog, which is the normal weather there, as a symbol of evil for the antagonists. It's always present when they are.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm sensitive to the seasons when writing and weather can be used for atmosphere as well as be made into a character when heavily used.

Jeremy Bates said...

I use it as an obstacle and to create either fear or hesitation. It also sets a mood for the reader.

Emily R. King said...

I think weather is fun to mark time with. Showing the seasons helps to show the progression of a story.