Foggy Nights & Oversized Spoons
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We've been having some pretty foggy nights here in North Texas lately. Looking out the window and seeing thick fog overtake the darkness has created an excellent writing atmosphere, at least for horror. I'm not sure if it would work the same way with other genres, but it makes me wonder what types of weather inspire different genres.
Because no one out there knows (based on my 2 seconds of Googling), I decided to come up with a handy reference guide of weather appropriate for a few genres, and I've even included story ideas examples:
- Romance: In the scorching desert, love sizzles more than bacon on a skillet—until the sand starts whispering sweet nothings.
- Mystery/Thriller: In the glaring noon sun, even your shadow can't be trusted—it might just drag you into another dimension.
- Fantasy: Where it rains emeralds, dragons go jewelry shopping—but beware of the cursed gems and the ancient secrets they hold.
- Science Fiction: As snow covers the Earth, the robots realize their only food source is each other.
- Historical Fiction: In a blizzard, medieval villagers invent the snowball fight—it's all fun and games until the snowballs start throwing themselves.
- Comedy: A hurricane's a great time to fly kites, as long as you don't get yours caught in one of the laughing clouds.
- Horror: (Aside from foggy nights) On a sunny summer day, vampires start a sunscreen business—the secret ingredient? It's always screaming.
- Adventure/Action: Thunder on a clear day is just nature's way of adding a soundtrack to heroics—or maybe it's that ghostly pirate ship shooting cannonballs.
- Drama: The autumn leaves should fall, but the trees have decided they aren't done with us yet.
- Western: In a tornado, a cowboy finds his hat two towns over—or so he thinks until he realizes every resident repeats the same few lines like characters stuck in a glitchy old west video game.
- Literary Fiction: During a serene rainfall, a writer finds inspiration in a café, only to realize every patron is narrating their life in third-person, unaware they're characters in a story where the final chapter is their own grisly demise.
Totally related, I've been writing a lot of descriptions of objects for a fiction project (not a novel). It reminded me of how a simple description can go horribly wrong, like on Amazon. Take this for example:
I ordered a three-pack "wooden cooking spoon" set a few years back for a couple of dollars. When it arrived, the spoons were two feet (0.6 meters) in length. The description and reality didn't match at all. I remember going back to double-check the description, and there was nothing to indicate that the spoons would be so massive.
Now, when I write descriptions of things in fiction (which is every single day now), I'm doing a careful balancing act between so little that the reader could go off the rails and so much that the reader will get bored. Like any of the skills in writing, it takes a lot of practice and constant refining. I'm getting quite a bit of practice now with a new short-form fiction project I'm working on, and it's also helping me with the revisions I'm doing with the novel.
- Lots of novel revisions, new newsletters, and a new short-form fiction project.
- Upcoming Into Horror History: A '90s cult classic that redefined childhood nightmares.