Rain, Rain, Go Away….
Somewhere, my mom read that rain in a book is important. And myself, being a writer, is thinking, “Seriously? I can stick rain any old place and who cares.” Now, I almost want to, but that isn’t the point.
The point is that for the writer to actually think about what the weather is like outside, it has to be important. And this is true. Rain we often associate with sadness, which makes it very strange that I like rainy days because, when at home, I feel like I’m wrapped in a nice warm blanket. Oftentimes, when I write in rain, that is because the scene is meant to be sad.
On another hand, it might not just be that I want the scene to be sad. In Hope, I needed a snow storm to keep the aliens from checking on one of the characters to confirm he was dead. (Aliens were from a hot planet, and a snowstorm in November would be a perfect plan.) It served a purpose, but that purpose wasn’t sadness, it was to advance the plot.
But normally, us writers don’t give a second thought to the weather because in real life, we don’t give it.
Except in Shad. I’m thinking in Shad he made quite a few comments about the weather the first time he went onto the planet. That makese sense though. He’s hardly been on a decent planet in his whole life. So, when thinking about the weather, if you do, remember to put yourself in your character’s shoes too.
Here’s another thought about putting weather into your stories. Let’s say I was to write about a culture that typically has 0ºF days. The character shouldn’t mention anything about a typical sunny 0º day because it’s normal. If, say, I had a heat wave however, I could mention the characters is sweating on her morning run when it was 10ºF outside that day. (Yes, the difference between 0ºF and 10ºF is noticeable. By that time, 15ºF is hot.) I must remember that one.
Last thought. Why is it that rain is sad and depressing and snow is beautiful and romantic?