In temperate climates, spring weather means one certain thing — anything can happen at anytime. If I don’t want it to happen, it will. This unpredictability provides fertile ground (yes, it’s a joke) for spring weather as writing inspiration.
One of my favorite descriptions for a character appears in the short story “Naboth’s Vineyard” by Melville Davisson Post.
Describing a young woman “.. with an April nature of storm and sun.”
The young woman confesses to murdering her employer because he sent away her fiancee.
I can create a character with that kind of extreme temperament. When he’s happy, it’s as if the sky is pure blue, filled with larks singing arias. When he’s sad, he feels like there’s a steady, unrelenting downpour in his soul.
A character with a hair-trigger temper is like a sudden spring storm. I once described a character with a temper like a tornado. “You never know where it will land and how much damage it will do.”
The weather makes a wonderful setting for heightening tension between characters. Two characters who don’t get along find themselves stranded in a rural area due to flash flooding or a tornado. They have to work together to survive. Depending on how I want to resolve the story, the weather can get worse and worse as the characters’ dislike for each other grows into hatred. Or the weather can improve as the characters figure out how to help each other.
If I want my story to have a happy ending, it’s hard to beat setting the conclusion on a brilliantly clear spring morning or a quiet, cool spring evening.
The changeable weather is a perfect way to create believable plots twists. A gang of crooks pulls off a daring robbery. As they make their getaway, a storm ruins their escape route. What do they do?
The amateur sleuth figures out who the killer is when they are alone in a remote location. The killer realizes the sleuth is onto her. She tries to kill the sleuth, but he takes off. A storm or flash flood complicates the sleuth’s escape and the killer’s pursuit. What do they do?
What is spring weather like where you live? How would you use spring weather as writing inspiration?