Thursday, February 1, 2018

Using Weather to Enhance a Story by Tara Randel



We’ve certainly had a cold winter this year. Snow in places where the wet stuff hasn’t touched the ground in years. Even here in central Florida, the temperature dipped into the twenties. Which was fun for about a day or two, then I started hoping it would warm up soon. (I live in Florida for a reason!) I saw beautiful pictures posted on Facebook of snow covered backyards, animals cavorting in the drifts, but also highway backups and accidents during a blizzard.


No  matter what part of the country you live in, I hope this winter has been awesome for you!

One of the fun parts about writing a book is setting the story at a particular time of year. I’ve set the books in The Business of Weddings series in different seasons, which adds to the overall dynamic of the story. Don’t you feel dread when a thunderstorm approaches and the hero and heroine are thrust into danger? Or the romance of getting stuck together in a cabin during a blizzard? How about a picture perfect spring day with flowers blooming and a gentle breeze blowing or an unexpected summer rain. The weather can almost become a character, which writers use to their advantage. 

Here’s an example in a scene from His One and Only Bride.

As Zoe parked, dark clouds were gathering over the water. Most of the beach goers had scrambled to their cars to head home. Still, the old electric sensation of excitement sizzled through Mitch’s veins.

“Are you sure about this?” Zoe bit her lower lip as she scanned the horizon.

“It’s time you and I had an adventure,” he said, opening the door before common sense stopped him. He wasn’t a guy to hold back just because a little rain might interfere with his mission. 

He fished the bottle and glasses from the backseat and held them up. “You and I are celebrating.”

“We are?” She laughed, her hair tousled by the wind as she exited the car.

“I’m alive. We’re together. That’s all I could ask for.” He rounded the vehicle and took her hand, leading her to the sand. “Lose the shoes and let’s have fun.”

Despite the heavy humidity and promise of a storm, his heart lightened at Zoe’s laugh. They might not be kids any longer, but they could still enjoy a special moment together.

The waves were choppy and white tipped, the scent of rain and sand tickling his senses. Stopping just before the surf, he opened the bottle, the cork zinging into the sky with abandon. Zoe held the glasses while he filled each one. Setting the bottle down, he held up his glass, the wind baring down on his upraised arm.

“This wasn’t exactly how I pictured this, but here’s to us. To finding each other again.”

They clinked glasses and drank. The surf eddied around their ankles. Zoe cried out and nearly lost her balance until Mitch steadied her. They stood close, gazes locked, the wind and threat of rain growing stronger around them. He moved in for a kiss, as electrifying as the static in the air. He missed this. Missed them.

Before he had a chance to deepen the kiss, a loud crack of thunder had Zoe jumping away. As if on cue, fat raindrops hurled down on them.

Mitch grabbed the bottle and they ran through the downpour, laughing the entire way. Once in the safely of the car, shivering and wet, Zoe reached in the backseat for a towel.

“You always carry towels with you?” How like her to be prepared for the worst while he ran straight into the storm.

“It’s Florida in the summertime. We’re bound to get caught in the rain one time or another.”

He flashed her a smile. “But it was fun.”

She picked up the wet weight of the skirt and let it fall. “If you call getting drenched fun.”

“C’mon. It was an adventure. Like we used to share.”

 

So tell me, what kind of weather appeals to you when you read a book? Do the seasons make a difference? Don’t have a preference as long as it’s an emotional story? I look forward to reading your comments! 

Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of fifteen novels. Family values, a bit of mystery and, of course, love and romance, are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Look for her Harlequin Heartwarming romance, HIS ONE AND ONLY BRIDE, available now.  Visit Tara at www.tararandel.com. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TaraRandelBooks. Sign up for Tara’s Newsletter and receive a link to download a free digital book.


13 comments:

  1. I loved the scene, and I love using weather as a character. It's part of the setting and one of the the funnest (is that a word?) parts of writing for me.

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    1. Thanks Liz. I love that as writers we are having fun!

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  2. It isn't a word yet, Liz. Still...I am having the *funnest* time in my current story incorporating a summer storm. And in my June release, the heroine takes a plunge into icy lake waters. I like how you used the thunderstorm to illustrate character, Tara!

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    1. Thank you! That added element can really change a scene..for the better!

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  3. I like reading about weather that is opposite of whatever time of year it is. And yes, seasons do make a difference in the overall feel. Spring, new beginning etc.

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    1. I like reading opposite seasons too. I have to admit, reading about cold weather is nice during the summertime. Thanks T.R.

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  4. Weather and setting are such a huge, important part of our stories. I don't like to be cold, so it is hard for me to write snow as I did in my October book for Western line. I kept feeling cold as I researched and wrote thunder snow.

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    1. I love this Roz. I can always feel the weather I'm writing about in a scene. It helps me layer the scene more.

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  5. I love that scene, and it perfectly illustrates how they're together and enjoying it even when things are far from perfect. I like reading about weather in a story as long as it's not too overdone (like those old books with five pages of rain and winds and gloom before anything happens). Weather connects me to the characters, makes it all more real. My father, a farmer and a volunteer storm chaser, was fascinated by weather so I come by it honestly.

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    1. I agree, to much description always takes me out of the scene, but add just enough and it catches my interest! Thanks, Beth.

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  6. Very engaging scene. Such a good reminder to use weather as an emotional element--and as part of an adventure. Thanks.

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  7. Great scene, Tara! I don't like to be cold, so the hot and steamy days of summer are my preference. My July release has a scene where my hero rescues the heroine's daughter during a snowstorm. I'd much rather write it than experience it myself. :)

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