Real Weather, Fictional Weather

A trivial example of the real world intruding into fiction: the weather outside my window tends to leak into whatever I’m writing. When characters in Winterbirth get soaked by torrential rain, there’s a chance they can blame real weather that was going on while I was thinking about the story (except the fighting in a rainstorm that takes place near the end of the book – that’s there mainly because Seven Samurai is one of my favourite films).

In Book Two, there’s a heavy snowfall that forms the backdrop to some large scale bloodshed. That snow comes from the one and only substantial fall we had in the long ago winter of 2005/06. It was just so cool and atmospheric, I thought I should write it into the story. (Much to my frustration, by the way, Edinburgh never gets much in the way of snow, despite its northerly latitudes. A little fell today, but it was more like pre-formed slush dribbling out of the sky than proper snow).

Some sea mist also gets a walk-on part in Bk 2, which it was never going to do until I woke up one day last year to discover that the world outside had disappeared overnight.

I mention all this because ever since Christmas there have been annoyingly high winds here (and elsewhere in the UK, especially today). It’s entertaining now and again, but quickly becomes aggravating when it’s every other day. If global warming means winters are now going to consist of one long, warm Force 8 gale, I’m not in favour. Anyway, sure enough, the treetops have started swaying in the Godless World. The flags of the assemblied armies are flapping in the wind, characters are shouting to make themselves heard above the gale. And horses are rolling helplessly across the landscape like so many clumps of four-legged tumbleweed. Okay, maybe not that last one …

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