Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In the Mood

Besides being one of my favorite Glen Miller pieces, getting In the Mood is also part of why I pick certain books over others. I like descriptions. I like leisurely introductions. A steady diet of blood and mayhem on page one, paragraph one, line one, gets tiresome and makes me long for a gentler, more easy-going opening.

Let's talk about the weather. Most experts will advise writers to eschew descriptions of the weather in the opening segment of their novels. It was a dark and stormy nightitis, I guess you'd call this tendency. However, if you're writing a gothic romance, weather is a character. Also, if you're writing about San Francisco, and ignore the fog, you're not writing about San Francisco. Maybe it's all about pacing. I dunno.

I like weather. It's capricious. A good writer can do a lot with the weather. Guess I'm just getting tired of the sound-bite approach to everything. Shortened attention spans require shortened introductions. The next step will be shortened middles and truncated endings. I can almost visualize the approved model of the novel of the 21st century as a Tweet.

Give me weather descriptions. Give me a leisurely introduction, when I'm in the mood for one. Take the time to build that fictional world. All good things take time.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that weather can be a character in some novels. I think I did a post once with weather openings, all very effective.