Introducing...The Weather Thesaurus!

There are many components of description in the writer's arsenal, and arguably, WEATHER is one of the most powerful. Weather is something that each one of us is attuned to. It dictates our actions on a daily basis. Cold temperatures, warm temperatures, rain, sleet, snow--all affect our mood and how we view the day ahead.  Weather can instantly change our outlook, fill us with dread, or hope, or even cause internal reflection.

Because of our strong associations to natural phenomena, skilled writers are able to draw on & manipulate reader emotion by using weather in their writing. Not only is it a powerful element to shape Setting, used correctly it can create mood, produce conflict and focus the reader's attention squarely where you want it to be. Weather & earthly Phenomena can work for or against your characters, providing insight into their internal landscape through contrast or symmetry, foreshadow external events or become a formidable obstacle to their goals.

Because of its powerful affinity for symbolism, weather does require caution when used in writing. It is possible to get caught up in the symmetry and pair a heartbroken lover's tears with a rain-streaked window. A violent thunderstorm looks down on a heroic battlefield scene. The sun bursts out of cloud cover just as a great internal realization clarifies itself. Overused ideas can tint your writing with cliches or paint your words purple, so a light touch is needed when working weather.

We hope the entries in this collection will help to open up ideas on how to add layering to your worlds and think about how different types of weather might enhance your storyline, evoke emotion and create tension! Don't be afraid of contrasts & unusual pairings, either--often the unexpected is what captivates a reader's attention.

All entries can be found in the sidebar under 'Weather Thesaurus'.

29 comments:

Stu said...

I am so excited about your forthcoming thesaurus!

In my novel, Body of Water, the hero's moods can alter the weather so I'm very much looking forward to some additional thought-starters to keep me going.

Thanks gang :)

Traci Kenworth said...

Ooooh, exciting!! Weather can alter the mood/add conflict to our writing. There are so many different nuances of it. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!! I'm sure it'll help add a depth to my work much needed.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Oh, wow! I love this idea. I can't wait to see all the suggestions. :D

Laura Pauling said...

Can't wait!

Laura Marcella said...

This'll be an awesome series of posts! I'm looking forward to it. :)

C.R. Evers said...

Awesome! I'm sure this will be just as fabulous as your others.

Shari said...

Excellent ideas!

Rachna Chhabria said...

I am looking forward to the Weather Thesaurus entries. I would love to incorporate these ideas in my next book. Thanks, Angela. Waiting for the next few posts.

Becca Puglisi said...

We're soooo stoked about this thesaurus. Living in different regions, there are weather patterns that we don't get to see first-hand, so I'm excited to have a resource that makes all kinds of weather accessible.

Liana Brooks said...

I'm editing and honestly don't know how I'd find the vocabulary I need without your thesauri. The emotion thesaurus is bookmarked on all the computers I use.

Thank you so much!

Emily the amateur said...

Great idea! Love it. One more suggestion (as if you aren't busy enough :P), could you add a sound thesaurus? I'm dealing with medical drama, and there's only so many times you can use the words "bark" or "hack" to refer to Anna's cough. Thanks so much! T

Andrea Mack said...

Yay! Great idea. I'll look forward to your posts.

erica and christy said...

Love this idea! Can't wait to check it out! christy

Karen Lange said...

Sounds good! :)

Becca Puglisi said...

Emily, a sound thesaurus is on our list of possibilities for future thesauri :).

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Angela & Becca -

I'm looking forward to the new entries! This is one of my go-to places when I'm stuck for description. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Iris Zevlac said...

Yay! This is so exciting! I love using weather when I'm writing, but I'm afraid I tend to use the cliche's. I'm very happy that you guys are doing this! Thanks!

Cally Jackson said...

Great idea! Looking forward to seeing the entries. Did you know Rachel Morgan Writes is doing a smell thesaurus? You might like to link up with her. :-)

Lisa Gail Green said...

Awesome idea! I loved something Rachel Vail said at SCBWI last year - that how your character interprets the weather/surroundings says a lot about them. She used her book for an example. In GORGEOUS the MC starts out being disgusted by the perfection of her neighborhood and the sunny skies.

Matthew MacNish said...

I like to use weather to contrast themes and symbolism. Like a fresh snowfall on a frustrating day. Of course that can become just as cliche as anything if overdone or used to often.

Love the new feature!

kathrynjankowski said...

Looking forward to it!

Marcia said...

Cool idea, guys! I'm glad to see that you pointed out the light touch necessary with weather right away. When used well, weather does add a special something to fiction. I'm sure you and Becca will provide tons of idea starters. :)

Sherry said...

Weather is a great way to add mood and atmosphere to any novel. I just did a post on this topic myself. Fantastic idea. :-)

Anonymous said...

You guys are officially straight-up literary geniuses.

alexia said...

I am very affected by weather and write about it a lot. Great post!

Solvang Sherrie said...

What a great idea! I love your emotion thesaurus.

Becca Puglisi said...

Angela is out of town in Arizona, sidestepping cacti and tumbleweeds, which is why you haven't seen her around or heard her squeeeeing at the top of her lungs about the weather thesaurus. But she's squeeeeeing in spirit, I know it.

Diane said...

Thanks for the tip
Never thought about that.

Angela Ackerman said...

I'm happy this one seems to be something you all will be able to use and incorporate into your writing. Many people are afraid to use weather because it's got a bad wrap, but by not doing so we really miss out on an opportunity to layer the setting. A light tough can really add a lot to the scene.

Angela

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