March 11, 2009
Like Winnie the Pooh, I woke up this morning with a little bit of fluff for brain. I looked outside. It was still dark, still raining, and the clouds had descended from the sky like a great host of formless spirits. Foggy. Fog everywhere. Fog like pea soup. Fog like, well, like the fog in Charles Dickens's Bleak House. If you don't have a copy of that book, search one out and read at least the beginning--I will forgive you if you don't read the entire book--but do look at how Dickens uses the weather to set the tone and mood of a setting. I can't help feeling that he had a great deal of fun writing about the fog, fun, perhaps, giving fog a piece of his mind, venting about the soot and smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, muddiest of mud, ill-tempers, and the fog everywhere. If you simply cannot find your copy, look for wonderful descriptions of weather in other books.
The first chapter of my Secrets of Greymoor http://www.amazon.com uses weather to set the mood and the inner landscape of the characters. First there is the threat of snow, or as Hattie's wonderful tutor, Mr. Horace Bottle says, ". . .clouds do nothing but drag their bellies over us like fat, squashing gods." Then it begins to snow, "Cold white flakes were flying against the windowpane and sticking." By the end of the chapter, ". . .the snow is falling thick and fast. . ."
Today write a paragraph of description of the weather that suits whatever mood you are in, or the mood of one of your characters that describes how you/he/she are feeling inside. Use at least three of your senses--the more senses the better--and not just sight!