Archive for category Writing

Does your lightning dance?

tree and storm 2, courtesy George HoldenVisual prompts often provide specific details when it comes to writing rich description. In the midst of reading a novel, you might have noticed each author has their own method at creating atmosphere. Some resonate with readers, others don’t. I think that’s one of the reasons a particular author becomes a favorite with one reader while others look elsewhere. A while back I struggled with how lightning was seen through a character’s eyes – which sent me searching for pictures – and I thought I’d share:

lightning, courtesy Petr Kratochvil
lightning strike, courtesy Mark Coldren

tree and storm, courtesy George Hodan
Alas, the passage I was writing eventually hit the cutting room floor but I kept the images because they’ve already sparked additional ideas. Some readers don’t care for background details but for me, they are what intensifies the experience for both the characters in the story and the folks who read about them. While plot and character development remain integral to a good story, so does the framing in which is exists.

Geography makes a difference. A lightning strike in Louisiana is a different event than one in the middle of the Mohave desert. Sure, we know lightning forks and spikes in jagged spears but in the summer heat, it also dances and shimmers.

Conveying a scene incorporates so much more than just action. The setting and atmosphere can enrich the stage to such an extent that they create an emotional energy all their own. Not unlike the electrical charge in the air that presages a storm.

What does lightning do where you live?

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