Wednesday, July 21, 2010

There is an interesting post over on Barbara Scott's blog this morning, 'The Roving Editor' entitled 'Every Character Needs Motivation'.

My reply to her is as follows.

I've been at a place in 'Before the Scarlet Dawn' where a blizzard hammers River Run. I drew upon my own experience from last February when those two storms barreled down on the east coast, but I had to get into an 18th century mindset. Can you imaging living through a blizzard in 1778? We think we have it so hard.

I remember laying in bed the night of the second storm listening to it roar outside my window. The wind was constant, shoving and pushing against the walls of the house. This storm was unlike any blizzard I experienced. It seemed to have a life of its own...a monster possessed with rage coming down on us with such force that it was frightening.

So in the novel, I guess I can say the weather becomes a character in the story.

What if we included in our proposals storms and animals in our list of characters? That might be pretty interesting to do, and give our agents and editors a deeper view into the story. We endeavor to 'flesh out' our characters. Wouldn't that be a way of 'fleshing out the story'?

Have you any animals or significant weather in your writing, and how do you bring them into the story as 'characters'?


Diana said...

I like the idea of including these elements in the proposal as characters.
Here's something you can maybe use.
My grand father told us how they used to wake up in the morning after a snow storm and shake the snow off their blankets. The wind had managed to blow the snow in through the cracks between the boards of the house.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

Interesting. My mother often tells stories of living in a cold-water flat with only a coal stove for heat. Your post made me look at that story with new eyes.


Susan :)

Rachel said...

I love using the weather as a character in fiction. In my current WIP, the heroine is afraid of thunderstorms. So what am I going to do at a crucial point for her? Whip up a huge Louisiana summer thunderstorm that makes all the others she's been through look like rain showers!

I'd love to write something historical that centers around a hurricane. I've lived through several, though being as far inland as I am they're not too bad by the time they get to me. But it can still be pretty scary.

J. M. Hochstetler said...

Hey, Rita, I used that portrait of a British officer as a stand-in for Jonathan Carleton in my book trailer for Wind of the Spirit! He looks a bit pouty for my character, but I couldn't find anything else that even came close. lol!

Jan Cline said...

Hadn't thought about animals. I have some great stories of our farm dog that would work! No storms yet, but fires, yes.