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?
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