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Posts tagged ‘weather’

Weather as a character in “Breaking Clean”

Weather may seem mundane, but crafted with finesse, weather becomes an antagonistic force and a “character” to be reckoned with in the memoir, Breaking Clean by Judy Blunt.

Blunt wrote about living in a remote area of Montana and of being separated from her true self. Vivid sensory descriptions and scenes of weather illustrate the natural elements that contributed to Blunt’s isolation and search for her identity.

Blunt and her family lived at the mercy of blowing snow, frigid temperatures, and driving rain that turned roads into impassable muddy troughs. Her description of constant wind is eerie and violent:

“It whipped down out of Canada in gusts and gales unhampered by mountains or trees. Wind blew for days on end, a relentless pushing at your back, a constant moan we listened around and shouted over without really hearing.” Read more

What place does weather have in your writing?

You’ve probably heard this piece of advice from writer Elmore Leonard: Don’t start your novel by describing the weather. In his 10 rules of writing, Leonard advised against writing about the weather if it’s only used to create atmosphere and not a charac­ter’s reaction to the weather.

While this may be true, weather has a place in literature.

Weather can amplify the emotion of a scene. What if it was a grey, drizzly day when your character realized she would never be a mother? Maybe the raindrops trickling down her window were a metaphor for tears and despair.

Or maybe your character realized his marriage was over the same day an ice storm in his town sent cars crashing and people slipping on black ice.

Consider your own writing and see how you could use the weather to deepen a scene or heighten tension.