09 April 2012

H is for Hurricane (A-Z Challenge)

H is for Hurricane

There’s more than enough real-life drama caused by hurricanes, but it is a believable fiction scenario too.  You may want to bump this up a little higher than your standard Category 3, but anywhere that you throw in a few deaths you’ll be able to sell this.  One of the bonuses of using a ‘real life’ disaster is the endless science and experiences that you have access to.

Scenario:  Low-grade hurricanes should be more character-driven.  But you could have all kinds of fun with a super-hurricane, or even multiple hurricanes.  Flying debris, hailstones the size of your head, localized flooding – the possibilities are endless.

Characters: Families and lovers – fighting your way home in the hurricane for the ones you love is a guaranteed winner.  You could also include some scientists or even storm chasers (clueless characters in the form of scientists? Win!) for variety – but I wouldn’t recommend focusing solely on these guys – apart from the kookiness factor, you’ll have a tough time making them loveable.

Location:  It has to be somewhere susceptible to hurricanes, otherwise you’ll need a lot of science and convincing.  Small town, big city are two good choices.

Series or stand-alone:  Hurricanes are hit-and-run – there’s very little longevity here – so unless you’ve got something really unique, this is going to be a stand-alone.

On My Wishlist

Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson

Published: 11 July 2000 by Vintage

Pages: 336 (paperback)

September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged in a monster hurricane that completely destroyed the town and killed over six thousand people in what remains the greatest natural disaster in American history--and Isaac Cline found himself the victim of a devestating personal tragedy.

Using Cline's own telegrams, letters, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the science of hurricanes, Erik Larson builds a chronicle of one man's heroic struggle and fatal miscalculation in the face of a storm of unimaginable magnitude.

Roar of the Heavens by Stefan Bechtel

Published: 1 June 2006 by Citadel Press

Pages: 308 (hardcover)

Before there was Katrina, there was Hurricane Camille, a 1969 torrent that caused billions of dollars in damage and cost 256 human lives. Called the most intense storm in American history, this Category 5 storm packed such a wallop that meteorologists reckoned that such a hurricane would likely occur only once in a thousand years. Roar of the Heavensre-creates Camille hour-by-hour, reconstructing the human drama of an all-too-perfect storm.

1 comment:

  1. I live in Louisiana, so I am well-versed in this scenario. I live in the northern part of the state, so we get the evacuees AND the storm. When I was going to college, I spent a good deal of time volunteering at the shelter on campus. I saw the effect that evacuation would have on families, and I would write it from a child's perspective if I ever wrote hurricane fiction. They process things so strangely!

    As for the storms, they are usually less intense when they hit my area, but we've had some bad ones. I can't remember if it was Hurricane Ivan or Gustav a few years ago, but we had 70-100mph winds. It was a mess!



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