I don’t know about you but here in the Pacific Northwest the weather has gotten positively scary. We got down to 23 degrees this morning! Now I know for some of you I sound like a wuss but that is darn cold here and I am staying in the house. As I sat writing this morning however I realized something else about the cold weather…it made great fodder for a short story!
This is the time of the year when the weather will chase a lot of us indoors and that’s okay as long as you don’t waste the time. The colder weather is a great time to be a captive audience to your craft…heck…what else are you gonna do? I decided this morning that I was going to insert the cold outside into my writing. I realized that tend to write about weather I know…weather I am comfortable with. Looking outside this morning I realized that the cold weather adds an element to my stories that they have never had before…the element of OMG its cold.
Using the weather allowed me to totally change up my story. There are a lot of things that happen in the colder weather that wouldn’t in the summer weather. The cold makes it harder for my detective to solve his/her case, it makes it tougher for my killer to bury the body and it challenges that serial killer who has to go out into the cold to look for victims. And what if my main character, good or bad, has never had to deal with the cold at all? Now there is a monkey wrench worth exploring.
My point is the colder weather is full of ideas and challenges for your characters. Many writers don’t really think about environment or weather or if they do it is a secondary consideration. What if you made it a first consideration? Take your main character and drop him in the snow or the wind or the ice. How much fun could you have with that???
© The Writer’s Advice, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.