There are many components of description in the writer’s arsenal, and arguably, WEATHER is one of the most powerful. Weather is something that each one of us is attuned to. It dictates our actions on a daily basis. Cold temperatures, warm temperatures, rain, sleet, snow–all affect our mood and how we view the day ahead. Weather can instantly change our outlook, fill us with dread, or hope, or even cause internal reflection.
Because of our strong associations to natural phenomena, skilled writers are able to draw on & manipulate reader emotion by using weather in their writing. Not only is it a powerful element to shape Setting, used correctly it can create mood, produce conflict and focus the reader’s attention squarely where you want it to be. Weather & earthly Phenomena can work for or against your characters, providing insight into their internal landscape through contrast or symmetry, foreshadow external events or become a formidable obstacle to their goals.
Because of its powerful affinity for symbolism, weather does require caution when used in writing. It is possible to get caught up in the symmetry and pair a heartbroken lover’s tears with a rain-streaked window. A violent thunderstorm looks down on a heroic battlefield scene. The sun bursts out of cloud cover just as a great internal realization clarifies itself. Overused ideas can tint your writing with cliches or paint your words purple, so a light touch is needed when working weather.
We hope the entries in this collection will help to open up ideas on how to add layering to your worlds and think about how different types of weather might enhance your storyline, evoke emotion and create tension! Don’t be afraid of contrasts & unusual pairings, either–often the unexpected is what captivates a reader’s attention.
All entries can be found HERE.
Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling.