“First” Weather Event

This is a good activity whether you are writing about yourself or about your character.

Working from your memory can often become fodder for a greater story, or a chapter in a novel. It’s been written that we should write what we know, so what better place to begin than from things we experienced?

Your task is to make a list of “firsts” in terms of weather. For example, the first snowfall, first tornado warning, first flood. Do you see any themes running through them all? Think about your feelings as you were in the midst of each. Think about your reactions, whether they be fear, joy, or even the no-reaction.

Which makes the best story? Choose that one and write.

Remember that it can be memoir or fiction.

Reread looking for emotional reactions and details.

Have fun with this one.

The Temperature is Rising

We look forward to summer. Warm weather inspires us to go outdoors. Because of this, it’s a time of picnics, hikes, vacations and family gatherings.

Until it gets too hot. When the heat combines with humidity, it can become unbearable, especially for those who lack air conditioning. This causes lack of sleep and discomfort due to dehydration.

Misery leads to flares of anger, frustration and irritation. When combined with crowds, people can lash out at others. Fights occur. People get hurt. A feeling of hopelessness can trigger poor behavior.

Your task is to write a story in which things go horribly wrong because of hot weather. Work from your experience or do research into statistics on violence in extreme heat.

Remember to include details, especially those concerning feelings. Without understanding how an individual is feeling, how that affects thinking, your story will lack substance.

Have fun with this one.

 

 

Seasonal Effects

Close your eyes and picture a typical spring day where you live. What is the weather like? How do you feel? What things do you see, feel, touch? What foods do you typically eat? Where do you go only in the spring?

Write this down.

Move on to summer. What things do you only do in the summer? Record how you feel, think, what you see, taste, touch.

Do the same for autumn and winter.

Looking over your list, do you see a pattern?

Your task is to create a comparable list for your character. It makes no difference the genre of your writing. What matters is that your listings be accurate for the place and time of your work.

Once the list is complete, choose the season you feel most comfortable writing about. Place your character in the story with at least one other person. Turn on the action. Make sure to include those details that impact your character the most.

When you are finished, reread looking for sensory details. Make sure that you did not list them, but rather revealed them slowly, one at a time.

Have fun with this one.

The Impact of Weather

I am lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area where the weather is mild. We think it’s cold if it gets down into the 50s and hot in the 80s. It doesn’t snow here, but occasionally we get sleet or hail. Then we stared, gaped jawed, in amazement.

We don’t have tornadoes or hurricanes either. We can get torrential rain that lasts for a few days and the fog comes in over the Golden Gate Bridge, cooling our nights.

However, people here do stupid stuff when weather impacts driving safety. They’ll drive at 70 mph even though rain splashing off the roadway restricts visibility or when the fog is low to the ground, making it impossible to see more than a few feet in front of the car.

They’ll go out in the morning without first checking the weather, so might be caught unaware by cool temps and rain.

It’s not unusual to see vacationers, who thinking SF in the summer will be warm, scrambling to buy sweatshirts and jackets.

Imagine if your character went out in a rainstorm or was foolish enough to walk the beach as a hurricane approached. What might this reveal about your character?

Would the reader consider her foolish or brave?

What if she failed to bring her pets inside when a massive snow storm was approaching? Again, what does that reveal about her and her feelings for animals?

Your task is to create the bio for your character. First of all, taking into consideration where the story takes place, what weather events are likely to occur there. Make a list.

Next to teach item record how your character could react. Don’t just think of logical outcomes, but the illogical as well. Remember that doing stupid things often makes for a more interesting story line!

After you’ve created your list, choose the one event that you feel most comfortable writing. Include sensory perceptions and reactions. Don’t leave out important details that describe not only the weather, but how your character behaves.

Have fun with this one.