Day 164 – Writing the weather, show don’t tell

Day 164 of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words for Days 163 and 164: 1,100

Writing about the weather as characters experience it is enjoyable. One aspect that I enjoy is coming up with creative descriptive terms. I’m currently writing a scene that is taking place during a winter storm. Since I live in Vermont and have lived in New England my entire life, I know quite a bit about the subject. I appreciate the beauty of a winter storm, but I also respect its power and my small, humble place in it. Writing this comes naturally to me.

Another aspect of writing the weather that I find enjoyable is the challenge to not sound like a meteorologist while using descriptive terms. This doesn’t come so naturally, but it is tons of fun. For example, I might wish to describe how the character is hiking through “heavy snow falling at a rate of two inches per hour” and battling “cold winds with a wind chill of ten below zero.” Hello, Al Roker. Sure, this is informative, but it isn’t descriptive. This is what I wrote instead, attempting to be more descriptive and less like Al:

The snow was falling fast, raining down in blankets of tiny crystals. Skylar’s feet and hands were almost completely numb despite wiggling her fingers and toes to keep the blood moving. She blinked to free the crystals of ice forming on her eyelashes, a frozen mixture of snow and tears.


The snow was piling up on their shoulders and in the creases of their jackets. Their hats were completely covered in white. Mike’s eyes squinted against the stinging cold flakes, his lips pressed together in a crooked line. Each step was a tremendous effort, slow and heavy against the wind.

These passages probably need more work, but they were fun to write.