Before I get into today’s challenge post, I want to mention that I’m having a lot of problems with my WordPress for iOS app. Has anyone else had issues? It’s connected to my site (self-hosted) and it allows me to create posts and it’ll save to the server, but it won’t allow me to publish. Sometimes, it won’t allow me to add Media (either to upload to my Media Library or to pull in an image from the Media Library). Sometimes, it won’t allow me to add tags. Sometimes, it won’t allow me to add a Category. Sometimes, it will allow me to publish, but then not allow. It’s all random. I’ve tried force-quitting the app. I’ve tried rebooting my device. I’ve tried removing my site from the app and re-linking it. I’ve tried uninstalling and reinstalling the app. Nothing fixes the issues. I’ve been doing the bulk of my posts from either my phone or my iPad as I haven’t been sitting at my desk much, so this issue has been a problem.

All of that said, this is why my challenge posts look to have stopped. I’ve been writing them, but they haven’t published due to app issues. Very frustrating. I’m going to try to get on a computer later this afternoon or evening to force these posts to publish, but it may not happen until tomorrow. Trying to log onto the main WordPress interface from my phone or iPad is just not ideal at all.

Ok… so, we’ve got Day 13 of the challenge, and today’s challenge is to talk about the weather!

I’ll wait for a moment while the laughter dies down.

Because this challenge is so ambiguous, I could choose to talk about the current weather here in Colorado… or, I could talk about how weather relates to writing.

I’m going to do the latter, because talking about the weather is pretty boring (it’s cold LOL).

So, how does weather—or talking about the weather—work in terms of our manuscripts? Weather can play a huge role in a story, or it can hold no significance. It’s all about how it works with your story. If you’re writing something that needs to be hyper-realistic, you may want to incorporate aspects of the weather, especially if your story takes place outdoors. If you’re writing something that pertains to only the indoors, or the weather really doesn’t play a role, there’s no need for it.

Or is there?

When we talk about world-building, the weather always has to play a role. If we’re writing sci-fi and we’re on a different planet, for instance, weather really does make sense to discuss, to give your readers a kind of anchor to understand how that planet works. Same thing with high fantasy where we’re making up worlds. Is it a desert planet? Is it a lush green fantasy world? The weather plays a huge role in setting the scene for these kinds of worlds.

But what about urban fantasy or contemporary romance? Or other genres?

Well, the answer is mixed. If your characters are outside doing something—traveling, having a picnic, walking down the street, etc.—the weather can play a huge role. If your characters aren’t outside, the weather may still play a role. It may explain why your characters are indoors. It may help to provide a reason for a character’s particular mood.

So, how do you talk about the weather without it seeming robotic or basic?

Unless it plays a huge role in the scene, story line, or plot line, you may want to downplay the weather. Don’t spend multiple sentences or paragraphs discussing and describing the weather. Brief descriptions or even off-handed comments through dialog can display the weather easily. If the weather does play a role in the scene/story/plot, then spend some time on description—but don’t info dump it! The key to successfully discussing the weather, and presenting the specific weather information to your readers, is to do so in a more holistic manner. Don’t just randomly spend a paragraph or two dumping the info to the reader. Make it natural… bring forth the information in a natural way. If it’s raining and it’s important, don’t just start a paragraph discussing the rain, and how it’s accompanied by bright flashes of lightning and loud rolls of thunder. Bring in the information in a way that makes sense. Have a customer discuss the weather with another person. Have the rumble of thunder interrupt someone’s sentence or thoughts. Have the bright flash of lightning blind someone as they’re doing something. This makes the information flow more naturally than just dumping the info in a large paragraph or block of paragraphs.

So, those are my thoughts on the weather in my writing. Tomorrow, we will talk about Notebooks, and hooboy do I have a lot to discuss there!