So, yeah, I use weather and climate to propel a story. I think it can be an effective tool in your storyteller’s belt.
Just be careful not to overdo it. For instance, I love Dean Koontz (shameless fangirl here). Those early books of his were important to my teen brain development. So when someone recommended a Koontz book — the Jane Hawke series — a few years ago, I devoured it and all its sequels, and then eagerly recommended the whole thing to my critique partner. Well, she read the first one, and when I asked what she thought, she gave me a look and said, “He does love his long weather descriptions, doesn’t he?”
Honestly, I hadn’t even noticed on first read, but when I looked back, holy crud, almost every chapter begins with some gloomy mood-music description of the weather. I guess it sets the tone or something, but it almost never has anything to do with the story itself. I can see how she thought it overwhelmed the story instead of deepening it.
And that, perhaps, is when weather becomes tedious: yes, use it to layer in plot or character points; no, don’t overdo it when it is just a ruffle tacked on to the story.
p.s. — I would still rec the Jane Hawke books. They’re super fun. Just skim the weather bits if they bug you.
so funny what we do and don't notice as readersReplyDelete