This morning we set out to participate in a fundraising walk for Cystic Fibrosis. As a group of about 75 adults and kids milled around before the shotgun start, the sky darkened and the wind picked up.
A quarter mile into the walk, thunder rumbled and lightning streaked across the sky. We returned to the park shelter just as the rain began.
Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a park shelter during a hail storm, but I can tell you it is way over stimulating. Rain drops pounded on the roof, the wind howled at about 35 miles per hour and nickel sized hail pelted trees, cars and the tin walls. Trapped inside the confines of the shelter, all 75 people waited out the storm by shouting to each other.
It was utter chaos.
Like some books I’ve read.
The characters shout over each other to be heard. Plot lines howl, side by side, competing with each other. And on top of it all, we are pelted with thinly disguised “messages”.
I just finished such a book. Ironically, I started it on the way to the CF walk and finished it on the return trip home. It was loud, obnoxious and chaotic. I can honestly say I was glad when it was over.
Much like the storm.
Usually I love a good thunderstorm and find them soothing. The pattering of rain and the rumble of thunder calm me. In fact, before kids, DH and I used to pop in a thunderstorm CD before bed every night and crank it up. Sleep was never so magical.
Some authors are masterful at weaving together complicated plots and introducing seemingly unrelated characters. They are natural story tellers. Their writing crescendos as a storm peaks and tapers off to leave the reader satisfied and oddly comforted.
Lesson learned. Pay attention to the overall rythm of our writing. A thunderstorm is soothing. A hailstorm is anything but.
What books have you read that fall in the thunderstorm category? Which ones mimic the chaos of a hail storm? Which type of story do you prefer?