Weather Thesaurus Entry: Vortex

Cathedral Rock Vortex, Sedona
WEATHER and Phenomenon are important elements in any setting, providing sensory texture and contributing to the mood the writer wishes to create in a scene. With a deft touch, weather can enhance the character's emotional response to a specific location, it can add conflict, and it can also (lightly) foreshadow coming events.

However, caution must accompany this entry: the weather should not be used as a window into a character's soul. The weather can add invisible pressure for the character, it can layer the SCENE with symbolism, it can carefully hint at the internal landscape, but it must never OVERTLY TELL emotion. Such a heavy-handed approach results in weather cliches and melodrama (a storm raging above a bloody battle, a broken-hearted girl crying in the rain).

SENSORY DESCRIPTORS:

Sight:

Vortex energy is an unseen force but can be accompanied by wind in high, open locations. Debris (dust, dirt, etc) may stir up the air and anchored grass or weeds at the site may quiver by the force of moving air.

Smell: N/A

Taste: N/A

Touch:  

Most people describe a feeling of spinning both around them and inside them when standing in a vortex. Hair may lift on the arms and back of the neck, dizziness is common and some experience a sense of vibration or euphoria paired with a heightened awareness. If the location is at a high altitude such as Sedona's Vortex at Cathedral Rock, then winds buffet exposed skin and tug at clothing and hair.

Sound:

Natural, location-specific noise may appear amplified within a vortex location, sounding clearer and sharper. The sound of rushing wind can have a hollow and haunting quality to it.

EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS:

Mood:

The presence of a vortex within the setting can allude to the supernatural and the impossible. Characters may be open to experiencing something that is both complex and unknown or they may be closed to it, swarming with negativity and fear. Either way, tension is created through anticipation or foreboding. The reader too can benefit, for most have some knowledge of vortices as being unusual centers for energy, and this will increase the expectation that something out of the ordinary is about to happen.

Symbolism:

Intuition, Mother Nature; Mystery; a Higher power; Magic; Mysticism; Spiritual Connection; the unknown

Possible Cliches:

Vortices as portals to either Hell or an alternative universe; vortices & magic/spells/etc

OTHER: 

Vortices are found all over the world where concentration points of earth energy has electric, magnetic or electromagnetic qualities. Two of the most notable locations are the Great Pyramids in Egypt and Stonehenge in England. It is said that a Vortex power center increases the body's vibration, amplifying a person's own positive or negative energy (whichever is prevalent). People come to these places for spiritual clarity and healing or personal and spiritual growth. Visiting these sites almost always leaves a person with a sense of wonder and renewed energy.

Juniper trees are especially sensitive to Vortex energy. When in the proximity of this energy force, an axial twist appears in the branches. The severity of spiraling indicates the strength of vortex sites.

Some Vortex energy centers have been known to distort the appearance of distances between objects, bend light and create unusual effects on film.

Don't be afraid to use the weather to add contrast. Unusual pairings, especially when drawing attention to the Character's emotions, is a powerful trigger for tension. Consider how the bleak mood of a character is even more noticeable as morning sunlight dances across the crystals of fresh snow on the walk to work. Or how the feeling of betrayal is so much more poignant on a hot summer day. Likewise, success or joy can be hampered by a cutting wind or drizzling sleet, foreshadowing conflict to come.

22 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

that would be so cool to experience one! Great job. Thanks!

Becca Puglisi said...

What an awesome choice, Ange. I'd never heard of a vortex before. So interesting!

Karen Lange said...

This is interesting. Appreciate the info and food for thought. Need to give my WIP some more thought along these lines.

Love the new look! :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

We have a vortex area nearby and they have a tourist attraction there called the House of Mystery. It's SO COOL! :-)

Traci Kenworth said...

I need this for an upcoming book.
Thanks!!

Southpaw said...

I love this one!

Angela Ackerman said...

Woot, glad you guys like this one. I love strange and unusual phenomenon. :)

Angela

Matthew MacNish said...

Did your post column get wider?

Marcia said...

Nice new look! Thanks for these. :)

Kristen said...

I think I read something about one of these in AZ recently.
Really cool.

Mary Witzl said...

What's the plural of 'vortex'? 'Vortices?'

Love, love, love that 'Finding Nemo' photo!

Carrie Butler said...

Whoa! That's so cool, Angela! Thanks for sharing. :)

Mirka Breen said...

Reminds me of Sid Fleischman’s point to ‘give a weather report.’ You fleshed it out!
Good post. Thank you.

Shilpa said...

Very useful. Thanks!

Martha Ramirez said...

Ooh la la u guys changed thye look again. I think I like this one the best!

Lisa Gail Green said...

What a cool one! I'm curious about these vortices. Good inspiration.

Angela Ackerman said...

Hi Mary! I thought I had it right as the plural for vortex being vortexes so I had a look. Merriam Webster states it's both Vortices and Vortexes. But, because Vortices came first I'm guessing it's the most common form, so I changed it. :)

Thanks again everyone for the comments! I'm glad to hear a few of you can use this info in your current manuscripts!

promotional gifts said...

Your blog is very interesting with wonderful photograph. I really impress to watch and read, also plan to visit that place once in life. I sure to share my tour experience in my personal blog.

Catherine Johnson said...

Love the tree picture after a vortex. You wouldn't want to be climbing it at the time ay?

Leslie Rose said...

Now I want to go stand in a vortex. I have always blamed bad golf shots on the illusive vortex.

Leslie Rose said...

BTW Angela, have you heard of the LOTR concert that is touring? They show the movie on a giganto screen and a live orchestra plays the score. Not sure where it is touring to, but I see from your blog info that you are a LOTR fan.

Anonymous said...

Well, I must be honest, I loathe pseudoscience, but as part of a fantasy setting or just something that happens in a character's head it would be interesting.

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