The Weather Abides
I was working on my next Kin Wars Saga novel and got to thinking: we use the weather to set the mood, sure, but why? Everybody knows that if you have a funeral it’s supposed to rain, and a happy ending is a bright sunny day. Depressive days are flat, dull, grey and cold, while snowy days are typically for celebrating holidays.
Is this a learned writing technique or do we instinctively do it?
Much of the time when I write, the seasons dictate what the scene is going to be. I never realized that I do this until I’m rereading it later. I always think “Dang, I always have mountains of snow when it’s a happy holidays.” I know others like to have warm spring days with idyllic scents and sun kissing the skin, but my favorite scenes with setting and nature is snow.
Yes, I think I would do well living in a forest atop a mountain covered in snow. As long as I had hot water, internet, and a driveway in case of emergencies I’d probably be a happy camper.
Some of my characters are the same way, while others aren’t. I try not to shoehorn in my temperature and weather preferences, but it’s just so hard. I don’t understand how people can live in the dry, scorching hell called the desert. I can see the beach, since it has the ocean breeze (and constant threat of tsunami, and earthquakes if you’re on the West Coast…), and I can even understand prairies (blizzards! 16′ high snow banks!). The desert? More precisely, Phoenix? No way.
I can’t set a story in the city of Phoenix because my thinly-veiled disgust of Junior Hell would probably turn the reader off. I know my limits.
What about you?