|Weather: whatever is happening outside.|
This is stating the obvious, everyone knows this, which is the reason it is so effective in stories. It is a storytelling device, often used in movies. I’m sure you can think of film scenes where the weather was used effectively to show danger or despair, triumph or joy.
It works because weather involves the reader’s memory and imagination, and helps to show rather than tell a situation. Weather adds drama by involving the reader’s familiarity with the weather so that he or she can connect it to the situation without a lot of telling. A bright bolt of lightning warns readers of incipient trouble. They know what a prediction of tornado or hurricane means to the characters. A snowstorm can indicate dangerous travel and the possibility of being stranded. An extended drought means the possibility of firestorms, too much rain, or melting snow, means the chance of floods; and if the weather is too perfect? Surely something bad is coming soon.
Because weather can also affect our mood, when days of dark gloomy overcast skies pass, it can bring on a character’s sadness or depression. A heatwave means characters might be irritable, and a drought indicates worry. It is amazing the number of ways weather can evolve a story.
I have used the weather with purpose in writing, and then not. In one of my stories, Home Word ~ Aginfeld, I deprived the characters of weather, put them on an inhospitable planet undergoing bioformation, the inhabitants living in closed habitats. After a thousand years, the inhabitants are afraid of anything outside the habitat, enough to even close off all views of outside. How strange would that be?
Visit the blogs listed below and read other author's opinions on weather in writing
Dr. Bob Rich