Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Breaking all the Writing Rules

Tip of the Day: if you live on the East Coast, hopefully you survived The Big Storm and aren't without power for too long. But on the bright side, maybe you'll get to practice your penmanship when working on your writing.

Everywhere I look today seems to bring more pictures of Hurricane Sandy and the devastation the storm left. These are the days I'm glad I don't live near the coast, but I do hope everyone else is doing alright. Hopefully you were a good Girl Scout or Boy Scout and stocked up on your supplies, so you can stand to be without power (that is if you are even reading this, since chances are if you are without power--you'd have a hard time actually reading blogs :))

Every time a big weather emergency hits, I can't help but think of weather in books and in everyday life.

From: http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/
Weather seems to be a great conversation starter. It's such a cliche to start off a story with "it was a dark and stormy night," but at the same time many of our everyday conversations start out with talking about the weather (Or is that just a Midwest thing? Maybe some of you East Coasters have something far more interesting to talk about...) Whether it's just a regional thing or not, I think talking about the weather is a go-to when you don't really have anything else to say. When all else fails, people talk about the weather because it's something that everyone can relate to.

So even though it's cliche (as with many thing in storytelling--opening with a dream sequence anyone?), it can still be useful:

* If you want to show two characters having an awkward moment...excellent time to have a conversation about the weather.
* If you want to show two characters that don't have a lot in common...why not talk about the weather!
* If you want  to show family members interacting over mundane activities...the weather is a great topic.

So basically, even if it's cliche or overdone, any topic can be discussed if it's effective. Reminding us yet again there really are no rules in novel writing!

Thank goodness, because I'm not really in a rule-following mood lately :)

--Emily, Miss Querylicious


DeenaML said...

Rochestarians talk about the weather ALL THE TIME, lol! Me included! Good tips for dialog!

Emily Marshall said...

So guess it isn't just regional! Good to know. Hope you survived the storm Deena! Didn't know if you got any bad winds or rain up where you are.