Lindsey R. Loucks

Author of Romance and Other Scary Things

Setting the Mood With Weather

The weather in Kansas can change dramatically in ten minutes. I timed it once. My moods reflect the weather, which means I have bipolar disorder. Not really, I’m just making a point.

I was thinking about the weather in my current work in progress the other day. The story takes place in Kansas. It’s spring time (almost in real life too. Yay!), which means the weather is even stranger than normal. Since I’m the author, aka Mother Nature, I can call up a hurricane to blow through Krapper, Kansas if I wanted to. But a hurricane doesn’t fit the story. And no, a tornado doesn’t either. My characters already have too much to worry about. But weather can really add to the mood of the story. During a particular dramatic moment, it’s pouring rain, flashes of lightning are parting the sky, and thunder is shaking the ground. To switch it up a bit, I have another panicked moment later in the story where the sun is too bright, the air is too still, and my main character sees death surrounding her.

Weather sets a certain mood. If you’re going for intensity and creepy, rain could work in the scene. If you want contrast, scary events on a perfect day could work too. Look out the window of your imagination and see what it’s doing outside.

So what’s your weather like, real or imagined?

3 Comments

  1. I do associate the weather with a specific scene if I want it to have a major impact, or disorient the MC (like I did not long ago) or give reassurance. I wish I had the same power on real weather. If I had my way it will always be spring where I live.

  2. Love how you used weather Lindsey. Too many times you see funerals depicted with pouring rain, which symbolizes death and sorrow, but is overused. I like your opening scene with such a pretty day and the contrasting sorrow, then horror with who shows up in the graveyard 🙂

    I like to use weather too. It can provide an extra layer of conflict that the characters need to overcome, like the storm on the island in A Ranger’s Tale. In book #3 (yeah, looking ahead too far), the plot unfolds with a hurricane, leading to some unexpected discoveries 🙂

  3. Never thought about this one, though I use weather quite a lot.
    In my YA WIP, the action takes place in a jungle – in the rainy season – so I have rain, storms, bush-fire and strong sun and unbearable humidity all at once. It’s useful when you want to make things dramatic or scary. It also influences the mood of my characters.
    I also use it in contrast at some point: the character is miserable and can’t stand the shining sun – he wonders how it can still be up there as if nothing happened.

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