Monday, November 10, 2008
Let It Snow
It's going to happen soon enough, so you may as well be ready for it when it arrives. Dare I say that naughty, four letter word? SNOW@!#
My area of the Midwest was hammered with that pesky stuff last year, as evidenced by the photo to the left. Instead of looking on it as something evil, which is easy to do since it gets in the way when you want to drive or walk, think of it as an opportunity for better writing. Use snow in your manuscript.
When you do this, don't dwell on the obvious. Instead of describing snow as pretty, white, or cold, use it as a vehicle to move your plot forward.
Common Occurrence: During the winter my newspaper often gets buried in the snow and I discover it later when shoveling the stoop.
Opportunity: What if an important article about a rapist or mass killer were in the paper, but a victim wasn’t alerted because she didn’t uncover her paper from the snow in time?
Common Occurrence: Snow covers car windows, fogs up glasses, and makes it hard to see.
Opportunity: Your character is involved in a vehicle accident due to poor visibility. Take it a step further. The ambulance can't get there because of a traffic buildup. The hero performs CPR on an accident victim.
True example: One winter I slipped in the snow and banged my head on the sidewalk. For a moment I felt disoriented, but then was able to get up and walk away.
Opportunity: What if your character slipped, was knocked unconscious and suffered amnesia?
True example: Snowstorms often delay my mail.
Opportunity: What if your character is waiting for an important letter, but it slips from the mail carrier’s hands in the wind and gets buried in the snow a few doors down?
You get the picture. Sure, snow is pretty, but it’s also a useful vehicle. See how many ways you can make snow do things for you.
Morgan is also at www.morganmandel.com