Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 29 - 1460 Words and Thoughts about Weather

There's a good post about how weather can be used in fiction over at Mystery Writing Is Murder.

And I have to say that weather is a great form of both setting and prop. It's active, almost like a character itself. And as I mentioned about making a rewrite pass through the manuscript for various characters, you can also make separate passes for weather.

I don't use weather as much as I would like. Maybe it's the script writer in me. You shy away from putting weather in a script, because weather is expensive to shoot - so you leave that to the director. And because weather is expensive, you'll also notice that nearly everything you see on TV or movies is weather-neutral. When there is weather, it's important to the story.

But with a book, you have an unlimited art direction budget. You can have crashing tidal waves and tornadoes and lightning and mudslides! You can go all Roland Emmerich if you want. (Which you probably shouldn't. Have you seen The Day After Tomorrow? Or 2012?)

Food is something you can also write into the story to enrich the situation in a later draft. Food is great "business" -- something for the characters to DO while the scene is going on. Today, I did some work on a scene where I changed my mind about a snack. Turned it into something more elaborate and involved.

(It was my cat's fault. She asked me for sardines, which I didn't have, and then I realized that Karla's cat, Orson, would be deserving of some sardines at just that moment in the story. He's put up with a lot. And then George started making puppy sounds, because he hasn't had any fish in months and he quite likes fish....)

Running Total: 29447 Words.

29447 / 70000 words. 42% done!

In Today's Pages: Several different meals, involving sardines, pancakes and brownies (but not all in the same meal).

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