Friday, January 28, 2011

Weather or Not

I've been doing this challenge called Photo A Day. As it implies you take a photo of something every day. I've only missed Jan 1 so far. In looking back over my photos, I see that a number of them involve weather. From ice crystals on the grass, to a frozen pond the ducks were carefully treading, to early cherry blossoms.

It got me to wondering about how often I mention weather in my writing. I don't think enough, to be honest. I have talked of rain on occasion and of blinding snow because it was a plot point. But rarely do I consider the weather my characters are enduring while they go about their business.

And, I'm not sure I, personally, really consider the weather all that much unless it conflicts with what I want to do on that particular day. At the moment, the fog is lifting and there is a promise of sunshine and record high temps for this day in January. Nice. On the news, they are talking of the horrible floods in Australia and yet another snowstorm on the east coast of the states. Even seeing those pictures, it's hard to actually comprehend what the people there are enduring.

Recently, we experienced torrential rainfall and flooding in the area. Not where I am, thank goodness, but in areas around me. I went up to Snoqualmie Falls and took some pictures. The falls were running fast and furious, yet even the picture fails to show the power and danger of all of that water. I mean, I personally saw it and felt it and heard it, but how to convey that in a photo or in words. There was so much mist coming off the falls that the people viewing were actually dripping, just as if they had stepped out of the shower. And that was just the mist.

I recently watched a video about Frazil Ice. I would love to use that in a book somewhere, but it would be a little difficult to "show it" in words. It's like a huge slushie moving like a slow lava flow, only it's icy and cold and changes course on a whim. It looks like snow, but it isn't. Sorta hard to explain unless you see it. And I can't use the word "slushie" either because I write medieval fantasy and they have no idea what a "slushie" is.

How about you? How often do you include weather in your writing? Is it only when it's necessary for a plot point? Only when it is something catastrophic? Or do you causally mention it on a regular basis?


  1. I do use the weather but often in pedestrian ways. Though in my current work there is a lot of rain in one segment and sand storms in the second one. Now I'm heading into winds that spread a blight. Weather sort of fit the plot in this story. At times it almost becomes a character.

  2. That's what I find - I neglect to mention it unless there is a specific reason for it. To set the season for the story, as well.

  3. Lovely photos. I take pictures of clouds and animals and most anything in nature.

    In one of my novels I have rain because it fits the mood of the story. You know, that dark and stormy night. :) One of my wip has a hurricane, again it adds to the plot. Mostly I describe the wind and trees and birds or other animals that maybe distract the characters.