Monday, November 27, 2006

Speaking of the Weather...

At the end of this week, it will be December. And in Alabama, that means we could have sunny days with temps in the 80s or brittle gray days with a wind chill of 12 -- sometimes both within the same week!

Weather has always fascinated me: I'm the one who has to go outside, with eyes peeled skyward, when our area is under a tornado warning. The Weather Channel is my favorite television station. I even watched a pro football game tonight just because it was played in a snow shower.

I've written about a river flood that strands a hero and heroine, a tornado that forces a heroine to face her fears, a blizzard that isolates a heroine in her home, and a child who disobeys her parents to save someone during a hurricane. I was cautioned by those with more experience to avoid using weather as a plot device; that it was the mark of an amateur. I tried to clean up my weather act, but it just seemed false. Don't get me wrong -- I didn't zap a villain with a lightning bolt or whip up a storm half a continent away just because I needed to delay a heroine's flight home. But come on! Life isn't all 72 degrees with a gentle breeze out of the southwest.

How do you incorporate weather into your stories without it becoming a coincidental or convenient plot device?

3 comments:

Carla Swafford said...

Personally I love the kiss in the rain scene. Never used it in a book. YET! I see it in the soap operas, but I don't remember reading a scene like that. Hmmm. That's a good idea. Thanks for the idea.

Oddly, I don't believe I've had characters do more than mention blooming flowers or snow on the ground. At the most, that my vampires need to avoid sunshine. LOL!

Something to think about. Good blog, JoAnn.

JoAnn said...

Thanks, Carla. I like kisses in percipitation too, but I prefer a drizzle or mist. :-) Only because I saw a soap opera years ago that nearly ruined the image for me. The hero and heroine are standing on a doorstep, and at the sound of thunder, they both look up. I don't know what the stage crew was doing with the rain machine or whatever, but all of a sudden, water came pouring down on her. It looked like the poor girl was standing under a waterfall. It was hilarious! She couldn't even breathe -- and not because she was overcome with passion. The hero wouldn't go near her. I think he was laughing too.

Maybe the stage crew didn't like the actress! :-)

Deborah Matthews said...

Hmmm. I don't think I've ever used weather as a plot device, though I have seen it in books--the h/h gets trapped together by a snowstorm.

I have used it to generate an atmosphere. I specifically set my current WIP in Yorkshire so they could have snow for Christmas and do things that dictate cold weather, like skating and a sleigh ride.

Good topic, JoAnn