It’s Sunday and it’s raining. That may not seem that odd to most of the country, but I live in Los Angeles, the land of perpetual sunshine. But when it rains…man it pours. Right now my backyard looks like a small lake, which always happens in heavy rains.
It got me to thinking about weather and place in my writing. Weather is one of those things that I usually use for effect. For instance in my upcoming book Air Attack, the second Elementals book, weather plays a major role because Griffin is an air Elemental, and his foe the air Demonos counterpart therefore it makes sense that air would be used as a weapon. Think tornados, hurricanes, thunder, lightning, oh my!
But what about when weather is not a plot point? When it is just a simple fact of the day just like any other thing? It’s easy to forget about what is going on around your character’s environment (especially in first drafts) but it’s an integral part of what helps the story along. Weather can help sticky plot points as well, if used properly. Using the weather can strengthen a sense of place and give a story some three dimensional realness if it is lacking that element. Something as simple as “the wind cut through my parka the instant I walked outside, reminding me I’d forgotten to tuck a scarf into the neckline.” That tells the reader so much in such a little space. It’s a necessary tool and one that is easy to overlook.
For the record, big fat raindrops are pummeling my house, creating the effect of someone drumming on the roof. I think I’ll start a fire.