Tag Archives: snow

Weather Outside is Frightful….Use That!

Caught in the StormI 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.

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Posted by on December 5, 2022 in Character Studies, Writing


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Reset Sunday – Spend Some Time with Mother Nature

Spring is coming…well to most of the country, we have snow here in the Pacific Northwest… and once Spring does arrive I intend to get outside a bit and enjoy the environment. Getting outside is one of the best things you can do for the writer in you. We live solitary lives, mostly cramped up inside our writing spaces, pen or keyboard at one hand and a bottle of vitamin D in the other. For those of you who don’t understand the vitamin D reference, our bodies need this and usually get it from being out in the sun. (For those of you who don’t understand the sun reference…well…you have larger issues and we will talk about that later.) Anyway, because of the way we have to live our lives it makes it that much more important to get outside.

Let me say that if there were a Master’s Degree in talking one’s self out of going anywhere, I would have three. I often make a list of things I need to get done and then quickly, and quite absently, mark off anything that has to do with stepping out the front door. I admit it…I am headed to hermit-ville, in the worse way, most weeks. I love to write and it is where I am most comfortable. I am a “people” person and have been quite social most of my life, but as I get older I find that the people I want to spend time with most are the ones in my stories. This is good and bad all at the same time.

While staying in and working might make me a more persistent writer I am ignoring the very thing that makes any writer a really good one…life. The basic themes in any good story can be found in nature herself. Getting out and listening to the ocean or the wind refreshes our minds and makes us rethink the themes of our stories. It reminds us that, without the wind, the rain, a few thunderstorms and perhaps even some snow, our stories are stale and non-environmental if you will. We need nature to remind us to breathe. We also need to get outside so that we can be reminded that there is more to life than a keyboard and that trees are not just something on the internet. We also need to remember that, as writers, the one thing we need in order to ensure that our readers can relate to our stories is a sense that what we write is the product of experience of some kind. If all you ever experience is the four walls of your writing space your readers will pick up on that because they won’t be able to hear the wind in the background of your story…and every story needs a little wind to make it sail.


© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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