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Monday, January 26, 2015

Writing About: A Snowball Fight


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In my novella, 30 Seconds, I wrote a fun snowball scene that lets my characters unwind from the scary, intense moments they experienced before then. I wholeheartedly believe in taking a step back from the action to let your readers and characters breathe, and if your story is set in winter, a snowball fight could be just the thing.

Here are 5 things to consider if you ever write a snowball fight:

1.    Opponents

Who is playing in this snowball fight? Are there just two people battling against each other, or is a family divided?

2.    Snow

Describe the ground as your characters run from each other and their boots sink into a foot or so of soft snow. Also describe the making of the snowballs, the freezing of unprotected fingers, and the creation a snowball piles.

Image from Pixabay

3.    Hits and Misses

Let your readers know about all the hits and misses; when your hero/heroine gets smacked in the side of the head, the hard and cold impact, and the explosion of snow. Or he/she can see their snowball hit their opponent and cheer in victory. Also tell your readers about the misses. Your hero/heroine could be throwing snowballs one right after the other but not making any contact.

4.    What else do they do?

A snowball fight isn’t just about throwing balls of snow. Let your readers in on your hero/heroine’s thoughts to share his/her strategy. Does he/she hide behind something? Run? Or make a stand with an armful of snowballs?

5.    Who wins?

How do your characters decide who wins? Does someone forfeit with his/her hands in the air? In 30 Seconds, my character’s snowball fight ends with a kiss, so maybe they are both winners. ;)



QUESTION: Have you ever been in a snowball fight? Tell me about it!


70 comments:

  1. I've been in snowball fights but never wrote about one. And the best way to end them - kiss and make out! (Or is that supposed to be make up?)

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    1. If the guy wins the snowball fight I think it would be a kiss and make up. ;)

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  2. I was just thinking as I shoveled this morning how much I missed snowball fights since my kids are grown up.

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    1. You should call them all back for a grownup battle. :)

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  3. I've been in snowball fights before, but, like Alex, I've never written about one. I'm having a jolly good laugh imagining my characters having a snowball fight, though, so maybe I should consider it. :)

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    1. Snowball fights are so much fun to write about! And it gives characters a nice break, if your story has a lot of action/suspense.

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  4. I had a snowball fight in my fourth book. I'm not very good at them though. I always end up cowering and covered in snow.

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    1. I've never been in a real snowball fight, but I think I'd have fun attacking people. ;)

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  5. There's a snowball fight in a book I plan on writing (at some point...). I've always kind of thought that a couple having a snowball fight was adorable, so I had to sneak it in somewhere. :)

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    1. A couple having a snowball fight is adorable. I wasn't planning in writing one into 30 Seconds until my heroine insisted.

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  6. haha ending with a kiss is a fine end for me. I've had plenty indeed as a kid.

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  7. I had a snowball fight in Germany last month with my wife and it was AWESOME and memorable :)

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    1. That's great! A snowball fight in Germany sounds epic. :)

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  8. Very helpful post - thanks Chrys! I witnessed a massive snowball fight on a travel assignment last year and you've given me insight into how I can best capture that event.

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    1. Awesome! I wish I had seen that snowball fight. :)

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  9. I have never been in snowball fights, would love to be in one :)

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  10. I haven't written about a snowball fight but LOVED writing about snow for Polar Night. I don't know why but snow and winter seem to inspire me more than the other seasons. It's been so long since I was in an actual snowball fight I can hardly remember it.
    Good luck with your sale!

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    1. Snow and winter inspires scenes for me too. Thanks, Julie! :)

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  11. Oh boy. I just had a vision of Cera in a snowball fight. Though she'd be more likely to throw ice-balls. And then she'd cackle as she melted her opponents ammunition before it hit her. Okay, maybe I wouldn't want to be in a snowball fight against her.

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    1. That would be hilarious! But I wouldn't want to be against her. I;d be on her team. ;)

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  12. My reply seemed to have been eaten... I have never tried to write about snowball fights, but have been in plenty! They usually end when you go inside where there is an absolute prohibition of snowballs. Thinking about snowball fights, I realize this will be the first year in decades that I won't be engaged in such a fight and that is sad. I also wondered how a Floridian knows about snowball fights!

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    1. I know about snowball fights from movies and books. ;)

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    2. You need to experience one first hand.... If we ever get snow in Savannah, I'll challenge you.

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    3. I'd love to experience one first hand. You're on! ;)

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  13. I loved snowball fights when I was a kid in Detroit. With my characters, someone would put a rock inside their snowball!! :-) Thanks for visiting my blog and staying to chat!! I'm off to tweet about your post now;

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    1. A rock! Ouch!!! Remind my characters not to get in a snowball fight with your characters. ;) You're welcome! Thanks for visiting my blog in return and for the tweet.

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  14. This is so fun. I really liked that scene, too! Of course, I've been in many snowball fights. The worst ones are where someone gives you a face wash. It actually hurts a little. Funny thing about a snowball fight is we're never too old for one. :)

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed that scene. I had a lot of fun with it.

      Nope, never too old for a snowball fight.

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  15. I have never been in a snowball fight. I imagine it would be really fun. Roland's comment made me chuckle. I would rather have the kiss than the stone.

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    1. I've never been in one either, but I'd love to have one! And I'd rather have the kiss than the stone too.

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  16. Great tips! Snow doesn't often play a role in my books--I think it might be because it really never snows here in Nashville, so I forget it happens!

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    1. I live in Florida...it never snows here, but 30 Seconds is set in Cleveland, so snow played a big role.

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  17. Wonderful tips! I have been in a couple of snowball fights. They're great fun. And it sounds like both of your characters won at the end. :)

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  18. I'm Canadian, so I've got lots of snowball fighting experience - and once the 2 black eyes to prove it :)

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  19. This is great advice, Chrys, and perfect for our current weather! I remember that scene in 30 Seconds, especially since I am looking out of my window right now and there is 3 inches of snow on the ground. We are getting a blizzard overnight.
    I used to get into a lot of snowball fights but now that I am older, I get too cold easily. I can't stand to hold the snow, even with gloves and hand warmers, lol.

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    1. Stay safe and warm, Gina!

      I get cold easily too, but I'd still love to experience a snowball fight.

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  20. Lots of snowball fights as kids. We also had a German Shepherd, and he LOVED to catch snowballs in the air. (He also peed on my snow fort, which made me furious.)

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    1. Aw! That's so cute! I would've liked to see that. But not the peeing part. HAHA!

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  21. Hi Chrys, I read your book over the weekend and will do a review for Amazon and Goodreads. I'll do a shout out next week during IWSG as that day generally attracts so much traffic.

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    1. Thank you so much, Stephen! I hope that since you're going to do a shout out that you liked it? *fingers crossed*

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  22. I had tons of snowball fights as a kid. Nowadays, I just let my kid whack me! *LOL* Hope you're having a good week.

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    1. I'm having a really good week so far, Christine. Thanks! I hope you are too. :)

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  23. Thanks Chrys for this post. I'd have no idea how to write a snowball fight! Might come in handy one day. Hope all goes well with you! :-)

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    1. You're welcome, Denise! You never know what you may need to write in a story. ;)

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  24. That sounds like a great way to relieve tension! I might go have one right now :)

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  25. Snowball fights are great. I loved hiding behind the tree in our front yard to avoid getting hit, but then that tree died and there was nowhere left to hide. The games got a lot tougher after that.

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    1. Poor tree! I think I would do the same thing you did, find a tree or something to hide behind. In 30 Seconds, Dani hides behind Blake's police car. ;)

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  26. There was a snowball fight that broke out when my 8th grade was walking back to our bus in the parking lot after a field trip. Even teachers and chaperones were getting hit.

    I saw a snowball-maker and launcher at EMS recently. That seems like it'd take the fun out of making and throwing your own snowballs.

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    1. That snowball fight would've been a lot of fun!

      A snowball-maker and launcher? That's cheating! :P

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  27. My kids have started having snowball fights. :) More fun for me to watch than participate at this point.

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    1. It would be fun to watch kids having a snowball fight.

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  28. My childhood winters were full of snow forts and white cannonballs hurled toward neighborhood kids. In our town, the snow drifted and created a unique way to build forts. Instead of raising the walls, we dug in and then packed the sides. Thus, we were provided with the perfect defense - no one could sneak up on you. They'd have to wade through waist deep snow. Trench warfare - alive and well!

    Sitting in our impenetrable fort, we stack the snowballs and lay in wait for the enemy of the day.

    The temperature of winter is nearly unbearable now and I think it is directly tied to my height. I never remember being cold in the snow fort.

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    1. Forts for a snowball fight would be awesome! The only fort I ever had was made of pine needles, but it was in the shape of an igloo. :D

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  29. It's been a while since I've been in one myself. Hardly ever snows in London. Hmmm...I bet I can remember though.

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    1. At least you've been in a snowball fight. I had to use my imagination to write this scene. lol

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  30. ooh this makes me want to have a snowball fight--got over 20" of snow yest and today here on Long Island! :)

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  31. I bet the people in Boston are having lots of snowball fights now!

    I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I don't know if you do those things, but I wanted to let you know that I find your tips very inspiring! Thanks for sharing them.

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    1. I bet they are!

      Thank you so much, Sherry! Of course I do the awards. I love them! :D I'll put up my post tomorrow.

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  32. Never thought of trying this. Then again, I can't say I've written a scene with snow yet. I think. I'm in Utah; how have I not written about snow yet?! :)

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    1. You live in Utah and you've never written about snow?! I live in Florida and I have! haha

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  33. Also, if the snow is too powdery, the snowballs disintegrate in mid-air before hitting the opponent.

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  34. Sometimes, the heat in my neck of the woods makes me wish we had snow.

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Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

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