March 04, 2014

Writing About: A Hurricane

I recently shared my personal story with hurricanes. If you missed it you can check it out here: Hurricane, No Crimes.

Now I want to share 11 tips to help you write about a hurricane. There are three phases you should tackle:

1.    Before the hurricane hits:

·        Talk about the hurricane. What category is it? What’s the hurricanes name? (This is always fun because you can give a hurricane the name of someone you despise or someone you respect. Now before you ask, Hurricane Sabrina is NOT named after anyone!) Where is the hurricane headed? What states/countries are its targets?

·         Do your characters take precautionary measures? Do they board up their windows? Do they make a trip to their nearest grocery to buy supplies, such as batteries, bottled water, and nonperishable foods?

·         Describe the weather as the hurricane approaches. You can give detail to the swirling mass of dark clouds overhead, the wind as it picks up speed, the bad storms on the outer bands of the hurricane that cause tornadoes, and the rain falling in horizontal sheets.

2.    During the hurricane:

·         Show your readers what the conditions outside are like: debris (stop signs, roof shingles, tree branches, trashcans, just about anything outside) blowing in the wind, ditches filling with water, roads drowning, and ever front doors that aren’t secured strongly flying open.

·         Let the lights flicker. Then let all the power go out with the blow of a transformer or a falling power line.

·         Reveal destruction to the house. This can be anything from a window shattering to a screen door being ripped off its hinges.

·         What do your characters do to keep occupied and safe? Do they play board games by the light of a battery-operated lantern, read by a flashlight, pace from corner to corner, or play charades in candlelight? Do they have to hide in a closet or bathroom for protection?

This picture was inspired by a scene in Hurricane Crimes . . . cards and jelly beans. :)

3.    After the hurricane passes:

·         Describe the aftermath of the storm, which can be extensive. What do they see in the light of day? What does the house look like?

·         Do they have to wait for someone to rescue them from floodwater? What happens after they are saved? Where do they go?

·         What do your characters do to cleanup?

·         Finally, during the days that follow, how do they get food and stay sane until power is restored?

Since today is the day before Hurricane Crimes is released world-wide, here is a shameless plug: Get your copy of Hurricane Crimes now on Amazon! 

QUESTION: If you could name a hurricane, what name would you use?


  1. One more day until release!
    Those are all things to consider. I've been through several hurricanes and nothing makes you feel so unprepared as the first one.

    1. Yes, one more day! :D

      You can think you're prepared before one hits, but once your in the middle of it you realize how much more you should have prepared.

  2. I'd hate to have to deal with a hurricane - thankfully, I've never had to, here in England. I'd like one to be called 'Fanny' after me, though!

    1. A hurricane hasn't hit Florida for several years so I'm very thankful about that. Tropical Storm Fanny has a nice ring to it. ;)