Monday, February 25, 2008

Fire & Ice

We’re kicking off a new rotation called “Fire & Ice,” focusing on topics relating to hot and cold. It’ll be fun to see what we all come up with!

We’re opening with Books, and the obvious connection in my mind is the fact that I intentionally set How to Hook a Hottie in the ice and snowstorms of Spokane, Washington in January to offset the fact that Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress took place during a southern California Indian summer month.

So what steps did I take to assure the different seasonal feels?

Weather: Whereas I did not mention weather in Prom Dress (assume warm and sunny unless otherwise noted), I made a point of using snow, rain, sleet to Hottie to enhance scene mood.

Body language: I did a lot of group huddles for warmth in Hottie, where as in Prom Dress, the kids tended to sit or stand in normal body ranges.

Clothing: the teens in Prom Dress pretty much dressed like the ones I see at my local California high schools: shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops, sneakers. For Hottie, I exchanged numerous e-mails with a 17 year-old girl in a cold climate about winter fashion: coats, scarves, boots until I felt I could get it right.

Dialogue: Although I could have mentioned the heat in PROM DRESS, I believe I assumed it was a given between characters. But the storms were a source of conversation and concern in HOTTIE. I also used puffed of condensed air for important lines.

Driving: I frequently discussed road conditions and upcoming storms in Hottie, whereas in the southern California, all I talked about was traffic!

So...that about does it. I’d love to hear any fire and ice weather-related tips you’ve used in your writing or seen in books you’ve read.


Tina Ferraro
How to Hook a Hottie - Spring 2008 Children’s Book Sense Pick
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009


TJ Brown said...

Using season is a great way to help anchor a scene. It can add a lot to the mood of the story and even be involved in the plot.

stephhale said...

That's hot, Tina.(get it, fire & ice, hot, hahahaha) And I love that first picture. I used weather a little more in Twisted Sisters. It is almost impossible not to incorporate it since our weather has been so crazy the last few years!

Anonymous said...

Setting the season is really important in the picture book I'm working on. After your blog, I think I'll be more aware of the seasons in the books I'm reading.


Unknown said...

Hey Tina,

First of all, I loved Prom Dress! Okay, for the novel I'm editing now (and getting ready to send out), Fountain of Many Wishes, the setting is here in Houston, where it gets VERY hot...especially in the spring and summer. One of the wishes my character's friends make is that it April...and I'm not talking about the one inch snow we get during the once-in-a-blue-moon times it does snow here. It snows like it does up, say Chicago.

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks, TJ, Steph & Janie.

And Rae, so glad you loved PROM DRESS! And yeah, the weather sounds like a major factor there in Houston, whether it's what's expected or a freak storm. :) Best of luck with your submission!

Me said...

[Hi Rae!!!]

Yes, I definitely noticed the climate change between PROM DRESS and HOTTIE. It was very well done. I did wonder, just out of curiosity, why you chose to set HOTTIE in Washington state. Hmmm?

OH. MY. GODS. takes place on a Greek isle in the Mediterranean, so the weather is mild (very SoCal-ish, but without the traffic).

TinaFerraro said...

TLC, great question! :)

I have family in the Spokane area, and we've visited a few times in the past 10 years, so when I mentally traveling for a new (yet familiar enough) location, eastern Washington came to mind.

Ditto for THE ABC's of KISSING BOYS, which is set in Duluth, Minnesota.

And my newest book takes place in upstate New York, where my husband grew up, so again, I've spent enough time there to get the lay of the land.