As spring jumps into summer in the Northern Hemisphere, I’ve been thinking a lot about the weather. Where does the weather fit in our stories? How can we make it more interesting, not just a box we tick off our list of Everything That Goes Into a Scene?
One way is to use the weather to make a twist in the story. A bright and sunny kitchen makes most people think happy thoughts. But what if there is a bowl of fruit moldering on the table?
What do the words “It was a dark and stormy night” conjure in your mind? For most people, something scary or threatening. But what if it’s just an excuse for a fire and hot cocoa and cuddling on the couch? A storm that knocks out the electricity is a trope in many a horror or suspense tale. But in my childhood, it meant a campout with flashlights and finger food and fun in the living room.
You don’t want the weather to be another caricature in your story. You do want it to add emotion to your setting.
Remember, emotion – particularly curiosity – keeps readers reading!