Thursday, April 26, 2007

So What's With the Weather, Anyway??

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."
~John Ruskin

Congratulations to Rachelle, the winner of an $5 Amazon gift certificate in yesterday's Writers' Wednesday drawing! Rachelle, email me at with the email address you want me to send the G.C. to. And thanks for posting!


We up here in the Northeast USA, after the storms and flooding of 10 days ago, have finally welcomed spring. With temps in the 70s and 80s, and flowers blooming, it got me thinking...

Does weather make a difference in your writing?

No, not the weather outside (though I'm sure that has an effect as well). I mean the weather in your stories.

Do you consciously think about the season in which you'll set your story? Location, of course, can be related to climate, and that will make some difference: a tale in Jamaica has overtones and possibilities that one in the heart of Alaska does not.

But what about seasons? Do you deliberately make a choice about when your story will occur? I've noticed that I tend to set my novels in late spring, which usually means the weather is nice and not much of a factor. But at a recent writers' workshop, I did a brainstorming activity that ended up with my hypothetical H/H falling for each other in the dead of winter. In Montana. Whoa.

Think about your favorite stories, ones you've either read or written. Did weather play any kind of role? Should it? Or is it one of those secondary factors that might/might not make much of a difference?

I'm just curious...


Marianne Arkins said...

I use holiday's a lot... so that does determine the weather. I have Christmas in one (Playing House), and Memorial Day in my current WIP. Honestly, though, I don't think much about the weather unless it directly impacts the action (they're caught in a snowstorm or whatever)...

Food for thought.

Diane Craver said...

Weather does play a factor when I start a new book. In NO GREATER LOSS I wanted it to start in November and have the weather suddenly turn colder. I knew I wanted Jennifer to feel an urgency to get an improved heating system in her farmhouse. She'd need to hire a contractor so she wouldn't freeze in the winter.

In A FIERY SECRET I started it in October because a Halloween party was important to the story line.

bunnygirl said...

Weather hasn't been a big factor in the novels I've written that take place in our time because it's largely irrelevant to how we live our air-conditioned, supermarket lives.

But my series set in a post-peak oil future required some thinking about time of year because weather matters so much more in that world. When you've got no air conditioning, no central heat, no guarantee of fresh water, and the availble food depends on the growing season, you can't help but factor the seasons into the plot.