Weather/Earthly Phenomena Thesaurus Entry: Falling Star



SENSORY DESCRIPTORS:

Sight: A streak of light falling (shooting) across the clear night sky. The appearance of many falling stars at once is called a meteor shower. In this case, stars can shoot all different directions. They may fall simultaneously, one after the other, or with periods of time in between. 

Smell: n/a

Taste: n/a

Touch: n/a

Sound: Night sounds. Insects chirping and buzzing, wind in the trees, human sounds (doors opening, music playing, car engines), hushed voices and whispers, muffled footsteps, your own heartbeat. Also, see the setting entry Woods at Night.

EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS:

Mood: Falling stars happen so quickly; to catch sight of one makes the viewer feel blessed or lucky to have witnessed it. A falling star will inevitably lighten the viewer's mood and can potentially turn the mind to bigger ideas and wonderings: the universe, life on other planets, the existence of God, etc.

Symbolism: good luck, change, a fulfilled wish, hope

Possible Cliches: a long-desired wish coming true after witnessing a falling star; someone witnessing a falling star at the precise time they most desperately needed one

OTHER: Falling stars aren't stars at all, but are actually meteors. When they enter Earth's atmosphere, they begin to burn, producing the light that we see as they travel across the sky. Scientists claim that on a given night, numerous falling stars occur each hour. Meteor showers can last for hours or days, and often reoccur at the same time each year.

Don't be afraid to use weather and earthly phenomena 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. 

16 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

Lately, I"ve been addicted to sensory details. For some reason, stories with great details like that suck me in. Your blog posts have the same effect!

Thanks for all your hard work!

Traci Kenworth said...

Falling stars can be so magical.
From wishes to just pure
excitement at seeing one, so many
things can be done about them.
Ooh, this is just the sensory
detail I need for the story I'm
about to start today. Thanks!!

Gail Shepherd said...

This reminds me of being in the Bahamas years ago; the sky was so clear we'd see half a dozen shooting stars every night. And it *did* make us feel lucky. And any description of the night sky does add that sense of cosmic wonder, musings on our place in the universe. I admit, I'm partial to that.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I would NEVER have thought of falling stars as weather. You guys are so dang clever! And great post. :-)

Mirka Breen said...

Nice post. Sending link to DS, the weather-fan, right after I catch a falling star and put it in my pocket…

Kristen said...

I've been taking notes (the actual, written down on paper kind) on a lot of these weather posts. It really helps me with the details.
Thanks!

Mary Witzl said...

I saw a shooting star one night when I was out with my husband, swimming in the sea. In retrospect it was very dangerous: the sea was full of jellyfish. But we'll never forget that experience of seeing a star shoot clear across the sky -- and we're so glad we didn't get stung.

Carrie Butler said...

You guys are always coming up with something new. I love it! :)

erica and christy said...

Love these posts! You always have something new for me to consider!
christy

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

There's definitely something about seeing a falling star ... or comet ... or meteor ... that instills a feeling of awe in the observer, so including any of these events in our writing should have the added bonus of evoking those feelings and memories in the reader.

Heather said...

Hmmm... falling stars. Now there's something I haven't thought of working in to my novels. And it would fit perfectly with one. Thanks!

Lenny Lee* said...

hi miss becca! wow cool picture! mostly for me seeing a shooting star is like a wow moment. i could see how it could be that in a story. i love you guys weather posts.
...hugs from lenny

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I haven't seen a shooting star in a long time. I think I'll have to add one to my wip. What a cool post. :D

Lisa Gail Green said...

Awww, I forgot about falling stars! How cool. Very inspiring.

Julie Musil said...

I love this! I actually have a falling star in one of my books. Awesome description.

Angela Ackerman said...

Great job on this one. It doesn't happen often, so when you do see it, you feel very privileged. :)

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