There was a desert wind blowing that night

Weather can really set the mood for your story and it can even pose the central conflict for your characters. In Touching the Void, the cold extremes of the Himalayas present a fight for survival for the climbers. It’s man against nature. In the film Do The Right Thing, the stifling heat of the New York summer creates a pressure cooker of racial tension. The director, Spike Lee, returns to the theme of heat and social tension in Summer of Sam, about a New York neighbourhood, in a heatwave, with a serial killer on the loose and the birth of punk stretching racial and social tolerance to its limits. In A Streetcar Named Desire, the play by Tennessee Williams, the heat is sultry and represents sexual tension. In contrast, horror likes nothing than a bit of fog or a thunder storm to isolate the characters and make things difficult for them.

Your writing prompt: Write a scene where the weather plays a central role in how the characters feel and act. A hot summer night – is it a city about to boil over? What does the heat make people do – make love, go skinny dipping, murder? A blizzard cuts off your characters – they can’t see, what have they lost and how do they get to safety?

do the right thing


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