By Michelle Lynn Senters-
Good morning, fellow writers!
What is your weather like today in your part of the world?
Chilly? Foggy? Rainy? Do you feel a warm, sea-salt breeze coming off the ocean?
In Colorado Springs, we are under a foot of snow with another storm on the way. It is the kind of snow that causes a deep hush across the city. Everyone is inside, saying warm and safe and cozy. It is the kind of snow that makes you crave soup and hot chocolate. Surely, our students will have a snow day tomorrow. (Fingers crossed.)
WEATHER is as important as PLACE when determining your SETTING of a story. The weather can drastically impact your character’s choices, mood, and physical well-being. It can place your character in peril (caught outside in the middle of a blizzard) or offer your character deep relaxation (warm, sunny day on the beach).
Consider how you might use a storm as a plot device, either literally or figuratively.
IMPENDING STORM (rising action)
Literal: The character might prepare for the storm or perhaps, they are caught by surprise.
Figurative: The character might feel impending doom, fear, or anticipation about something.
Literal: The character might be in physical danger.
Figurative: The character may feel emotional turmoil or may undergo an emotional change. .
CALM OR RAINBOW AFTER THE STORM (falling action, resolve)
Literal: The character is safe, at last, but may have experienced suffering or loss.
Figurative: The character feels emotionally stable after having changed. The beautiful weather after a storm may symbolize new growth and a happy ending.
Watch the following clip from The Lion King and identify the literal and figurative use of weather.
1. Consider the weather in your area now. Quickly write down the description. What does it look like? How does it makes you feel emotional and physically? What can you do in this weather? What can’t you do?
2. Choose a fiction character you already developed or you may create a new character. You may also choose a character from a favorite book. (NOTE: When you “borrow” a character from existing literature or film and write a story using that character, it is called “Fan Fiction”.)
3. Write a scene in which weather affects that character you chose. You can use weather to set the scene, advance the plot, or give the emotional “feel” of the story.
SHARE YOUR SCENE
Write your first name, age, and a story scene in the comment section below. Happy writing!
Michelle Lynn Senters is the Founder and Director of KIDS ARE WRITERS. She spends her days working as a Reading Interventionist and spends her evenings writing books for children and adults. You can learn more about Michelle HERE and at www.michellelynnsenters.com.