Prompts

How to write fiction based on fact. Prompt #41

Part Two of how to write fiction based on fact.  Part One is Prompt #40.

Alla Crone-Hayden began one of her first historical novels with this opening line:

 On the cold Sunday of January 9, 1905, the pallid sun hung over the rooftops of St. Petersburg trying to burn its way through a thin layer of clouds.

 The weather matches the mood of character, of story.  Perhaps draws you in.  Maybe you want to know more   .  .  .  does the sun succeed in burning through?

 Second sentence:

 By two o’clock in the afternoon the dull light had done little to warm the thousands of people milling in the streets.

The second sentence answers the unasked question about the sun. Notice the word choices:  cold, pallid sun, thin, dull light . . . words match the mood or tone of the day/event.

Alla used weather to match the narrator’s mood. The weather matches the tone of the story. It’s probably not going to be a pretty story. It’s probably going to be gritty.

Writing Prompt:  Take a pivotal event from your life and write it as fiction.  Suggestions:

Use weather to mirror your narrator’s emotions.

Add any details you want. . . whether they really happened or not. Remember, you are writing fiction based on a true event.

Here are some lines you can start with:

In the early morning light, while still calm and quiet. . .

The sun played peek-a-boo . . .

Just as day was fading into night . . .

I could feel the storm gathering . . .

The sky opened and rain bellowed down . . .

Sunset, that quiet time of day, good for reflection . . .

Mid-afternoon, hot sun beating down . . .

Mint julep time, or as Granny/Grandpa used to say . . .

You get the idea. . . use weather or time of day to match the mood of your story.

For brilliant fiction based on fact, check out Alla Crone, author of Captive of Silence, Winds Over Manchuria, and more.

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