Love Me Some Thunderstorms

Fellow Smart Woman Kathleen tweeted this morning that the stormy/rainy weather is good writing weather for her.

It just makes me want to sleep.

Come to think of it, though, most things make me want to sleep. I’ve been an insomniac since I was fifteen, and I think it’s finally catching up with me. πŸ™‚

Actually, weather like this does provide a good background for writing. In the current scene in my second Tuesday Night Margarita Club book, Therese and Keegan are having dinner at a lakeside restaurant and it’s pouring rain. No need to think too hard for visuals, scents, sounds, etc., today.

Weather done right can add so much to the story experience. You don’t want to get beaten over the head with it, but it can become practically a character. There was a show on years ago called Stingray, about a mysterious guy who travels around helping people who are in trouble. The only payment he requires is help for someone else if he ever asks for it.Β  It was a cool show with a cool car and a gorgeous guy — Nick Mancuso. Even if the premise hadn’t intrigued me (and offered so many variations for where Ray would be/what he would be doing each week), I’d’ve been there anyway just for him. I love me some handsome Italian guys, too.

Anyway, there was one episode that involved two elderly sisters, one of whom was a much-admired mystery author. It had kind of a film-noir feel to it, with a great cast of characters, and it rained. Endlessly. It would have been a totally different story if the sun had shined or it had been snow instead of rain. In fact, though that show aired only from 1985 to ’87, when it rains, I think about that episode. It had that big an impact.

Too often writers overlook weather in their books, but when they do it and do it right, even a cold rainy day can be like sunshine after a storm.

8 thoughts on “Love Me Some Thunderstorms

  1. That is so true, Marilyn. Weather has so much influence on us. For me rain is an energizer. So is that first blast of warmth in spring or cool temperature in fall. I love the idea of adding that sort of depth to a manuscript in the form of weather and how characters react to it. How it sets the scene. I aspire to that!

    • It can really add to a story, can’t it? I remember the sultry heat in Sandra Brown’s SLOW HEAT IN HEAVEN and the way she made the reader FEEL as if she were sweltering there in Louisiana. Tess Gerritsen did it with the cold in ICE COLD. Robert Jordan uses weather very efffectively in his Wheel of Time series, when his world goes through odd weather patterns for months at a time.

      In the movie, The Hunt for Red October, the first scene with Sean Connery, the dialogue is very sparse, but the weather is so gray and harsh and cold that you shiver in your seat watching it.

      I love getting grounded in a book or movie like that.

    • Okay, Jackie, so we just need to figure out how to get your your sunny days and Kathleen her rainy ones, so we can keep you both turning out books!

    • When Brandon was a kid, every time we went through one of those wet spells, one of us would say, “It’s not gonna stop raining,” and the other one would say, “Until we drown.” πŸ™‚

      At least we’ve gotten quite a bit the last few days here on the hill, and the forecast calls for more today. Fingers crossed.

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