Here Comes the Story of the Hurricane…

Hi!  J here.  I know, it’s been a week already and you are sick of hurricane stories.  I can’t help it!  I’m Saturday’s Scribe.  I haven’t had a chance to weigh in yet.  So stick with me a minute. 

I love adventure stories which comes as no surprise since that what I write.  I like all kinds of adventures: those that come with a romance (time travels – what bigger adventure could there be?) and those that don’t (thrillers and who-done-it types).  And like many people, I love disaster stories.  Movies of global disaster like Deep Impact, Armageddon, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow.  Or movies of smaller disasters like The Poseidon Adventure, Twister, Dante’s Peak, Volcano.   And books like Jess Anderson’s Nightkeepers series, the Left Behind series (well, the first 8 at least…) by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, The Stand by Steven King. I love them all!

In fact, my earliest stories, created to amuse myself on the mile walk home from Illing Junior High School, centered around disasters.  What would I do if a freak blizzard left me stranded all alone for weeks at the local strip mall?  How would I survive?  Who should I miraculously rescue to keep me company?  Might there be kissing?  Hey – I was 13…

It’s not much of a leap from those imaginings to The Cordovan Vault where a pair of 14-year-olds find their world flipped on its end and have to scramble to survive.  Look for The Peacock Tale: Book 2 in the Livingston-Wexford Adventures on October 18th. 

As storms go, hurricane Irene was a bust for me (our power didn’t even blink and the wind was no stronger than anything we see in a normal storm) but it got me thinking about personal disasters like that of Hurricane Carter.  Click here to hear Bob Dylan’s great song about it and if you haven’t seen it, Denzel Washington starred in a wonderful movie about that travesty. 

But whether fictional or based on true events, the personal disaster is at the core of many stories, across many genres, including my own.  Hopefully I’ve managed to develop a more sophisticated tale than I dreamed up when I was in 9th grade, but at its heart, my tale is a disaster story. 

Today’s Secret: next time you are stumped about where your story should go, consider writing in a disaster.  What could/would/should happen if that freak blizzard strikes, or if an innocent man minding his own business is mistaken for a criminal.

Today’s Question: what’s your favorite disaster movie?  I like the personal disaster Steath, starring my fav Josh Lucas. 

Isn't he dreamy?


17 thoughts on “Here Comes the Story of the Hurricane…”

  1. I love Josh Lucas–definitely dreamy.

    My favorite disaster movie had to be Twister. I loved the sense of adventure mixed with the emotional journey of Helen Hunt’s character and her stormy relationship with Bill Paxton’s character. Great mix of action, special effects, humor, and romance. Add the neurotic, sex therapist girlfriend, and how could it go wrong?

    I love using the elements in my stories to create mood, tension and action. If it were sunny all the time, life–and stories–would be boring. It’s one of the reasons I love dystopian novels. It’s facinating to think about all the ways humanity can be challenged, whether it is a natural or man-made disaster. I have a dystopian trilogy planned for next year. I think it will be the most fun I’ve had writing since I’ll get to think up all the ways man and mother nature will have changed the landscape of our world over the next thirty or so years. Scary to think of the possibilities, but I like to think that even then, there will be something hopeful to write about.

  2. I loved Twister. But the storm from the Wizard of Oz is my favorite. Storms are always good in romance novels. It’s a wonderful way to keep the hero and heroine locked together.

  3. I am not a big fan of disaster movies. Which is weird because I love disaster books. Stephen King’s The Stand (I own both versions) and the TV version were awesome. More recent, World War Z by Max Brooks (son of Mel Brooks!), about the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. It scared the bejeebers out of me. I still have zombie nightmares from that book. The movie version is currently filiming – though the buzz over story changes hasn’t been favorable.

    Soft Acpocalypse (Will McIntosh) – about the slow decline of civilization as the world’s energy runs out was even more terriyfing because it was so plausible. Shudder.

    1. I know I love those kinds of movies. There was one a few years ago with Clive Owen where people couldn’t have kids any longer…let me google the name…Children of Men (I just love IMDB don’t you?). So many of my friends have had trouble getting pregnant – we all waited to get married when we were in our 30’s, then waited to have kids when we were financially stable. I can think of 4 close friends (myself included) who had to go the IVF route.

      1. That movie freaked me out too – just enough realism to be plausible is way more scary than fantastic scenarios like zombies (but I do love them zombies). The movie strayed from the ending of the book by P.D. James. The book also had other scary practices (like drowing the elderly!) that the movie skipped. The library has a copy if you ever want to read the book.

    1. I liked Twister, but I think I would have liked it more with a different leading man. Bill Paxton just doesn’t do it for me, I guess. But I loved the story. And really, I’m not one to talk about watching movies on TV. There was a time in my life when I watched Beastmaster and Red Sonja back to back. More than once. I shall now go hang my head in shame…

  4. Being the romantic that I am, I have to say Titanic. I loved he way they panned in on the old sunken ship and as the camera progresses along it transforms into the new. Loved the period clothing, both the aristocrats and the poor. I wonder what I would have done in that situation as I probably would have been mixed in with the poor. Amazing movie.

    1. I do the same thing! What would I do in that situation – how would the story be different if I lived it, or wrote it. I have a whole story in my head about what happens after Rhett’s “Frankly my dear…” line in Gone with the Wind. None of the later GWTW stories have gotten it right for me. And I’m telling you, Jack would have managed to get his skinny butt on the durned door if i had been Rose!

  5. Twister was good and I loved the romance in it. But the one that scared me was Perfect Storm. I almost drowned as a teen and water terrifies me. But how could I not watch when Clooney and Walberg were in the middle of it?

    Nice post.

    1. Oh man, THE PERFECT STORM left me distraught. Almost can’t bear watching movies with tragic endings that I know really happened. It goes against my happily ever after and leaves me with a loss of hope. But I don’t stay down. I continue to look for a new hope. The meaning to it all or even just a tiny golden nugget that says something good came from it.
      Nicholas Sparks is always good for one of these. 🙂 😦 🙂

      Now, as for writing the storms in my stories, love them. It makes the story real. And if I can offer that distraught, lack of hope feeling, and then deliver the happily ever after in the end, I consider that a success. 🙂

    2. I loved The Perfect Storm right up until that last minute! I was looking for a miracle and really, really wanted one. I love the water, but dude that wave was a monster! Scared the poo out of me for sure! 🙂 Just like The Poseidon Adventure, both versions. Don’t think that story slips my mind when I’m on a cruise ship!

  6. My favorite disaster novels include: A Perfect Storm: by Sebastian Junger even better than the movie with or without Clooney and yes it had a tragic ending but if you read the book you understand why Junger calls it fiction and then you know why it ends tragically; Blindness by Jose Saramago; The Road by Cormac McCarthy; The Children of Men by PD James; The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Then there is a 12 and up genre series that I also love: The Kindling (The FIre-Us Trilogy) by Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher about post-apocalyptic world where seven children have survived among the ruins of a world wiped out by a deadly plague.Favorite disaster movies: Soylent Green; The Birds-yes the 60s Hitchcock thriller is one I’d consider calling a disaster; Independence Day; A Perfect Storm-still good in my opinion as a movie; The Stand; 28 Weeks Later; I Am Legend; The Road-I love this movie with its mixed bag of disaster and success.

    1. WOW – there are a whole bunch in there that I haven’t seen/read! I’ll have to check them out. The Birds is a goodie, isn’t it? Imagine what Hitchcock would be able to do with today’s technology.

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