Friday, April 21, 2017

An Epic List of Weather Descriptions, Part 2


Behind every cloud is another cloud. - Judy Garland




Pick your emotional forecast and layer it in your manuscript with descriptions of the weather. Hi, I'm back with the second part of an epic list of weather descriptions. Refer to Part One, for descriptions of Rain & Storms, Wind, Lightning, Floods and Overcast skies. Here, I've included descriptions of Fog & Mist, Snow & Ice, Heat & Humidity, and Pleasant weather. I hope you find it helpful in weaving those finer details.



Fog & Mist:
Soupy
Hazy
Veil
Smog
Gray
Moist
Thick
Obscure
Gloomy
Milky
Pale
Phantom
Chalky
Murky
Shroud
Cloaked
Ashen
Drab
Dense
Mucky
Muddy
Dismal
Abysmal
Blurred
Nebulous
Somber
Dewy
Enveloped
Socked in
Obscure
Sullen
Filmy
Vaporous
Phantasmagoric
Ghostly

Snow & Ice:
Bleak
Frosty
Sludgy
Wintry
Artic
Freeze
Subzero
Glacial
Iceberg
Bitter
Powder
Flurry
Crystal
Flake
Blizzard
Drift
Chill
Slush
Blanket
Brisk
Crisp
Biting
Nippy
Shiver
Frigid
Frozen
Snow capped
Silver
Ivory
Pearl

Heat:
Arid
Parched
Thermal
Flash Point
Torrid
Swelter
Suffocating
Boil
Fire
Pyre
Crematory
Burst
Dog days
Heatwave
Sizzler
Broiler
Firestorm
Inferno
Hell
Hot as Haiti, Hell
Equator
Smolder
Solar
Electric
Feverish
Sahara
Sandblasted
Torch
Dehydrated
Salt licked
Raging
Roasting
Blistering
Scalding
Baked
Scorched
Molten
Searing
Stifling
Piping
Blazing

Humidity:
Heavy air
Moist
Sweat
Sticky
Muggy
Tropical
Geyser
Steam bath
Steamy
Marshy
Sauna
Soaked
Soggy
Dank

Pleasant Weather:
Sunshine
Light clouds
Blue Skies
Temperate
Sunny
Mild
Genial
Summery
Pleasant
Sparkle
Warm
Fair
Fresh
Cotton (clouds)
Wispy (clouds)
Fluffy (clouds)
Flecking the sky
Peaceful
Timid
Wistful
Bright
Shining
Calm
Blissful
Effervescent
Gentle
Breezy
Mellow
Tepid
Moderate
Fine
Clear
Light
Luminous
Beaming
Cheery
Carefree
Radiant
Lulling
Soothing
Still
Pacified
Quiet
Tranquil

Do you ever juxtapose your character's emotions with the weather or is the weather a reflection of your character's emotions? Let me know how you use weather in your stories.

♥ Shadow

Friday, April 14, 2017

An Epic List of Weather Descriptions, Part 1


Remember to get the weather in your book - weather is very important. - Ernest Hemingway


As promised, here is a list of weather descriptions. However, when I got started, I couldn't stop. So, I decided to break it up into two parts. Part one includes descriptions of Rain & Storms, Wind, Lightning, Floods and Overcast skies. Part two includes Fog & Mist, Snow & Ice, Heat & Humidity, and Pleasant weather.



Rain & Storm:
Drizzle
Stream
Patter
Spatter
Sheet of rain
Splash
Torrential
Downpour
Drench
Gushing
Soak
Spurt
Pitter-patter
Pelt
Spritz
Raining cats and dogs
Stream
Pour
Drip
Torrents
Raining buckets
Sprinkle
Shower
Thunderhead

Lightning:
Flash
Bolt
Strike
Thunderbolt
Firebolt
Arc
Ball of fire
Electric
St. Elmo’s fire

Wind:
Draft
Stream
Jet stream
Inflow
Crosscurrent
Gale
Gust
Blast
Blow
Gale
Waft
Breeze
Chinook
Bone-chilling
Raw
Biting
Nippy
Easterly
Westerly
Trade wind
Doldrums
Roaring
Tempest
Violent
Squall
Wind shear
Whirlwind
Bluster
Turbulent
Windswept
Wail
Howl
Scream
Whisper
Blustery
Cyclone

Flood:
Flow
Surge
Course
Flush
Flash
Gush
Overrun
Spill
Roll
Swell

Overcast:
Darken
Gray
Overshadow
Dim
Eclipse
Somber
Gloomy
Obscure
Blackening sky
Extinguishing the light
Shade
Shrouded
Murky
Dusky
Cloaked
Leaden sky
Lackluster
Bleak
Dull
Dead
Drab
Wan
Inky
Sullen
Grim
Rayless
Shady

Shadowy

To be continued....

Do you have other lists that you like using? What other weather descriptions would you add?

♥ Shadow

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Symbolic Language of Weather




“When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.”
― Alice Hoffman, Here on Earth



I love symbology and use it where ever possible. The atmospheric world of Gothic fiction is rife with secret symbolic language, and the weather is one of those ingredients that could be added to the mix.

How many times have we seen it rain during a funeral in the movies? Rain has long been equated to tears and sorrow, so it is used as an emotional trigger. Weather is all about the emotions.

Weather descriptions can have an internal or an external effect. Meaning, they could be used to affect your characters' emotions and actions or used to describe your characters' emotional state. Another use is to foreshadow a situation. A sudden change in the weather might signify that something bad is about to happen. The fog rolling in might mean there is a secret to be revealed.

I also like to juxtapose weather with the actions of a scene. For example, having something tragic befall my character while it is sunny and bright. This is jarring because it is unexpected. Creating an emotional response in your reader is what most storytelling is about.




Here, I've listed some emotional and symbolic associations to weather conditions.

Rain - Renewal, Rebirth, Cleansing, Sorrow, Tears
Storms –  Anger, Turmoil, Struggle
Flood – Uncontrollable, overwhelmed, in over your head, the release of pent-up energy,  as in a broken dam.
Lightning – sudden revelation, transformation
Overcast – depression, confusion, pent up emotion
Light Clouds – peace, serenity
Fog – Confusion, uncertainty, mystery, secrets
Mist – Confusion, uncertainty
Snow – purity, isolation, untapped potential, clean slate, neglect
Ice – stuck, at risk
Heat –  danger, passion
Humidity – anxiety, repression
Sunshine – fortunate and grateful, tranquility, peace
Wind - change, restless, strength
Extreme Weather -
     Tornado - destructive, out of control
     Hurricane – obsessive emotions
     Tsunami -  overwhelmed

Do you use weather symbolically in your writing? Are there any other weather conditions you'd add to this list?

♥ Shadow.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Night Writer - Rebecca Rivard


I want to introduce you to USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Rivard. I invited her to join me today to share her deliciously dark romance novels and impart some of her writerly wisdom.


USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Rivard read way too many romances as a teenager, little realizing she was actually preparing for a career. She now spends her days with dark shifters, sexy fae and alpha vampires—which has to be the best job ever.

SEDUCING THE SUN FAE (#1, the Fada Shapeshifters series) was a 2016 EPIC Awards Finalist for Best Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, and her novella ENSNARED: A VAMPIRE BLOOD COURTESANS ROMANCE was a Night Owl Reviews Top Pick (5 stars).

Her latest release is STEALING ULA (#0.5, the Fada Shapeshifters series).

The Dark Side of Romance

First, I want to thank Shadow for having me on her blog today. She’s awesome, and I’m honored she invited me.

I have books in two series, both of which are romance on the dark side. I have my own Fada Shapeshifters series which features dark shifters and beautiful but dangerous fae, and I also have a novella Ensnared: A Vampire Blood Courtesans Romance, that part of Michelle Fox’s bestselling Vampire Blood Courtesans series.

Shifters with a touch of darkness…

For the Fada Shapeshifters series, I actually didn’t set out to write dark books, and yet the books have Goth elements—particularly, the dark, complicated hero. In my world, shapeshifters are called fada, and they’re a mix of fae, animal and human genes. They were born in Dionysus’s bacchanalia—wild, orgiastic rites that have become so dark that some clans have banned them.

Seducing the Sun Fae (#1, Fada Shapeshifters) begins as a fada alpha is observing a sun fae queen from a stream. He finds her incredibly sexy, but she’s been stealing energy from his clan—and he intends to stop her, whatever it takes. In the very first scene, he’s debating whether to kill her or not. He decides to kidnap her instead—and the plot is launched.

And in Claiming Valeria (#2, Fada Shapeshifters), Valeria is kidnapped by Petros, a rogue Greek fada who still follows the old ways, including the banned bacchanalia...

Here’s an excerpt:

The path led to a clearing at the center of the island presided over by a tall, slim oak. Petros tapped on the trunk as he spoke some words in ancient Greek, and a magical doorway opened, which by some three-dimensional sleight-of-hand expanded until its width was greater than the actual tree trunk. Stairs led into the shadowy depths below.


Valeria’s spine iced. She knew, with a deep, inner certainty, that dark souls waited at the bottom of those stairs. Her knees locked and she forgot all about waiting for a chance to escape. She just wanted to stay above ground. ~Claiming Valeria, ©2015 Rebecca Rivard


Learn more: http://rebeccarivard.com/shapeshifters/

Then there are the fae in my Fada Shapeshifter series. I have three main types: sun fae, ice fae and night fae. The night fae are the darkest, and I absolutely picture them as Goth. They are tall and black-haired with chalk-white skin—and mesmerizingly beautiful (as all fae are). They’re night walkers, the vampires of the fae world who feed on dark energy—fear, anger, jealousy…

Dark, Sexy Vampires…

Which leads me to vampires… I’ve been fascinated by night walkers since I first read Bram Stoker’s Dracula as a sixteen-year-old, followed quickly by Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire.

I had so much fun writing the dark French vampire Remy in my book Ensnared: A Vampire Blood Courtesans Romance. In the Blood Courtesans world, the vampires are out—and they’re rich and powerful. They hire blood courtesans to provide them with the two things they want most—sex and blood.

Remy is a dark, sexy vampire who is used to getting whatever he wants—and he wants a struggling young artist named Star. He engineers things so that Star has no choice but to be his blood courtesan. But his old, cold heart is about to be cracked open by love.




Here’s where Star first sees Remy. She’s sitting on her stoop one early morning, when:

Suddenly the robin went silent as if it had been choked in mid-note. The squirrel froze and then whisked itself into the tree branches.

Every hair on my body stood straight up.

I looked around. There. A dark swirl at the end of the block…and then a man emerged from the shadows like a grim, powerful magician.

My breath hitched. The man was gorgeous: broad shoulders, black hair that curled over his collar and a face too beautiful to be real. He and his sleek charcoal suit stood out in my working-class neighborhood like a Ferrari in a sea of Fords.

Wariness skittered up my spine. He was too out of place. Rich, gorgeous men didn’t walk down our street. Ever.

And they didn’t stare as if they knew me…or wanted to.


~Ensnared: A Vampire Blood Courtesans Romance, ©2016 Rebecca Rivard and Michelle Fox

Learn more: http://rebeccarivard.com/vampires/


The appeal of the dark side…

So why do my books have a touch of darkness? Blackness, evil, warring desires, dangerous secrets—all create conflict. They suck you into the story by raising the stakes for all the characters.

My favorite Gothic element would have to be the bad-boy Byronic hero—the beautiful, wounded man hiding a dark Gift or a secret wound. The heroes of Claiming Valeria and Tempting the Dryad especially fit that template.

I’ve read everything Edgar Allan Poe ever wrote—two or three times. I also fell in love with Charles Baudelaire’s poetry, especially Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil). And I have a dog-eared copy of The Annotated Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (introduction and notes by Leonard Wolf).

The fair lady/dark lady theme is also fascinating. I like to mix it up and have elements of both types in the same woman, as I did with the sun fae queen Cleia in Seducing the Sun Fae. She’s both a seductress and a healer; the ruler of all the sun fae and yet a woman who craves a bit of domination in the bedroom.

My books draw on a variety of mythology around the world—the rites of Dionysus, Celtic mythology, sun goddesses (did you know there’s a Japanese sun goddess known as Amaterasu?), as well as elements of Wicca. But mostly, I make it up as I go along—and I make sure to keep a detailed series bible so I don’t forget some aspect as the world grows more intricate.

For the Blood Courtesans books, the authors borrowed some of the standard vampire mythology, and some we made up. For instance:

- The vampires drink wine, but they don't eat.

- Drinking some of the vamp's blood creates a blood bond that the vampire can then use to link telepathically or to control a human.

-Some vampires, especially the older ones, can take sunlight and they have reflections.

- Sex improves the taste of their “food.” Hence, the desire for a blood courtesan…

- The vampires are super-fast and can leap out of tall buildings without hurting themselves. Supervamp!

- They can't be killed even by a bullet to a heart, although it slows them down. But ripping off a vampire’s head kills them for good.

So What’s a Series Bible?

One of the smartest things any author can do is keep a series bible, especially if you’re writing in a fantasy/paranormal world. My bible lists the Fada and Fae by type (water fada, earth fada, sun fae, ice fae, etc.), and also what’s unique about each race. I then list each character under the appropriate type, including a description, any photos and the character’s Gift. If the character is a shifter, I list what animal(s) he or she changes into to.

I also keep simple maps and descriptions of each clan’s territory.

If you’re writing a series and you haven’t started a series bible yet, do it—today. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Hugs, and enjoy the read!
~Rebecca

Thank you so much for sharing, Rebecca! 

Where to find her:

Website: http://www.rebeccarivard.com/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/8hWFH
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaRivardRomance
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13746124.Rebecca_Rivard
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebecca.rivard/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@rivardromance
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rebecca-rivard

Definitely follow, like, and subscribe! And be sure to check out her books. You won't regret it!


☙ Shadow ❧

Monday, April 3, 2017

Setting the Gothic Mood: Weather


"It was a dark and stormy night" - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford


There's a reason the phrase, it was a dark and stormy night, is synonymous with dark tales. The mystery and foreboding are aided by a description of the weather. That mixed with the darkness and you get the feeling something eerie is about to happen.

Let's talk about the weather. It's spring and it's raining a lot where I live. So this month, I thought I'd explore the use of weather when setting a Gothic mood.



The Gothic genre is extremely atmospheric and weather almost takes a life of its own in these stories. It can convey what the characters are feeling, it can be used to sway the plot and it can also prepare the reader for what's around the bend. This is true of all genres, but I find it vital for Gothic tales.

When it comes to your characters and the weather, it can affect them and their mood, as part of the setting. But you can also use weather to describe your characters' internal landscape. Weather is all about the emotions, which I discuss further in another post about the symbolic language of weather.

Weather can be used to isolate the characters, which is an important aspect of this genre. It can direct your plot, as your characters become snowed in, a deluge washes away the only bridge or lightning strikes a transformer effectively cutting off the phone lines. I'd say, your plot just took a turn.

You can also use the weather as a way to foreshadow events in your story, as well as set up an emotional moment or turning point, like the calm before the storm or using severe or unexpected changes in the weather.

Here is a list of some weather conditions to consider for your Gothic and Dark stories.
  • Rain
  • Storms
  • Lightning
  • Fog
  • Mist
  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Extreme heat – as in a desert
  • Humidity - southern or tropical.
  • Extreme weather – hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis


I recommend reading or re-reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Bronte uses weather brilliantly in that novel, and in all of the ways I've described above. While reading it take note of the weather and what it is really describing.

Now, I've used a lot of cliques in this post to help make my point. They are all scenarios and descriptions we've seen and can quickly pick out from previous works. The world of weather is much richer than this, so play around with descriptions and add in your own voice.

Want to learn more about writing the weather?  Try this post by Novel Writing Help. I'll also be creating lists of weather descriptions this month, so keep an eye out.

How have you been using the weather in your stories? Do you have any other examples of where the weather was key to the tale?

♥ Shadow.

Reading Recommendation: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.