Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Revvin' season

It's been a very warm week. May brings the opening of public waterslides in local parks (oh my!), occasional thunderstorms, and... naturally, tons of motorcycles. Lately, I've seen so many people cruising on their Harleys, rolling into the university, zooming through downtown. Seems as though everyone's kept their bike tucked away till now. Definitely a shift from the snowy, icy months.

Which reminds me: I think people's relationships to weather are fascinating. In fiction, weather often functions as an aspect of setting. It can be major or incredibly minor; sometimes, it's even absent or invisible. But when properly utilized, weather goes a long way in grounding a story and persuading you of where you are and when you are. Every place has its climate.* Which isn't to say that weather is everything -- "too much" weather can clog a story and annoy your reader -- but it can be useful to consider what your story's weather is like.

Some questions for you or your characters: do you carry an umbrella with you at all times? Do you own an ice scraper? Do you know what an earthquake feels like? Have you been near a tornado? Do you, too, own a motorcycle or moped?

Have you read any writing where the use of weather was remarkable? Please share with us!


P.S. 20 days till the 1/2 K Prize deadline!

* Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know that the "extreme southern" part of Indiana is subtropical! I'm not sure if Bloomington qualifies, but it's at least near-subtropical.

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