Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow


FIRST A FREEBIE ANNOUNCEMENT - Click this Amazon link from 12/31/13 through 1/3/14, for a freebie copy of my romantic suspense mystery, Killer Career, for downloading to kindle/pc/e-reader 
http://www.amazon.com/Killer-Career-ebook/dp/B002PDOPPG

AND NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED POST - 
This is a repeat of my original post here on November 10, 2008, but in my part of the country, it still applies. Maybe in yours as well.

It happens often enough, but I still can't get used to it. I'm never ready when it comes. Dare I say that naughty, four letter word?

SNOW@!# - Yikes, I've said it.

My area of the Midwest gets hammered with that pesky stuff quite often, 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 my way when I want to drive or walk, I'm trying to think of it as an opportunity for better writing. Snow can be useful, that is, if it's included in a manuscript.

When doing this, it's best not to dwell on the obvious. Almost anyone can describe snow as pretty, white, or cold. The trick is to use snow as a vehicle of moving the plot forward.

Here are some examples:

Common Occurrence: During the winter my newspaper often gets buried in the snow and doesn't get discovered until later when the stoop is shoveled.

Opportunity: What if an important article about a rapist or mass killer were in the paper, but a victim wasn’t alerted because snow covered the paper?

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, or maybe a person stuck in the snow tries to walk and suffers from hypothermia and/or frostbite.

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? Maybe the letter was an apology or love letter and turns up years later, after the people involved had moved on with their lives? Maybe even married someone else?

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. Can you mention some?


Experience the diversity & versatility of Morgan Mandel. For romantic comedy: Her Handyman & Girl of My DreamsThriller: Forever Young: Blessing or CurseShort Stories Sequel: the Blessing or Curse CollectionRomantic suspense: Killer Career. Mystery: Two WrongsTwitter:@MorganMandel Websites: Morgan Mandel.Com Chick Lit Faves 

12 comments :

  1. Okay ... what if it snowed and I had had enough, so I booked a trip to Miami ... on the plane I found myself sitting next a big producer who ended up optioning my book for an obscene amount of money and I was able to by a condo in Boca and spend the rest of the winter there?

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  2. What a "cool" way to show that ordinary, even mundane, events can be looked at from another perspective that provides great fodder for feeding our writer's imagination.

    Excellent post, Morgan.

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  3. Christopher, I like your fantasy. LOL

    Enjoyed this post, Morgan, it is just as good the second time around.

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  4. very interesting post! indeed i liked it!

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  5. I like your post and thanks for sharing it.

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  6. What may be the topic, but it requires to be interesting and helpful in anyway to the readers. You have made the same here in this good post and i really loved the move.

    Thanks :)

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  7. It can be used as a driving force to keep characters apart or away from something as well.

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  8. Good point, tracikenworth!

    And, on a side note, I fear this post has brought on a bunch of snow in this area!

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  9. Do love the "what if" scenarios. That's why we're writers, isn't it? We see potentials while others see liabilities.

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  10. Yes, the what ifs are a blessing, and at times a curse!

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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