It was a Dark and Stormy Night

written by Ken Preston | Creativity, Editing

November 27, 2023

Never start your novel with the weather.
Readers aren’t reading your novel for a weather report. They want to get straight into the action.
I am sure there are some very successful novelists who can start their novels effectively with the weather. But off the top of my head I can only think of one: George Orwell.
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
See what Orwell did there? He used the bland opening about the weather to lull us into a false sense of normality, before yanking the rug out from under us with that second half of the sentence about the clocks striking thirteen.
So, unless you are George Orwell, never start your novel with the weather.
It was a dark and stormy night…

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