WEATHER AND EARTHLY PHENOMENON THESAURUS

AIR POLLUTION



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HELPFUL TIP:

Don’t be afraid to pair weather conditions with your setting choice to contrast or reinforce a character’s emotions. Hopelessness might be mirrored in the relentless drizzle of rain and the resulting heavy drag of one’s clothes; alternatively, this feeling can stand out in stark contrast to sunlight dancing over fresh snow. Can weather also provide symbolism, thereby enriching the reader’s experience? Think about your goal for the scene and the mood you are trying to create, and then layer your description with meaningful choices.
SIGHT:
  • From a distance, air pollution often appears as a grey or brownish haze, usually centered on highly populated urban areas or factory and production districts.
  • Within the immediate area of the source, pollution is not usually visible in its collective form but rather through individual contributors (a thick grey plume billowing from a factory smoke stack, powdery white smoke leaking out of a restaurant cooking vent, fumes trailing from an idling vehicle's tailpipe, etc.). Some pollutants are invisible to the naked eye.
  • Pollution also comes from natural sources as well, such as volcanic ash or the smoke resulting from wildfires.

SMELLS:
  • Scents associated with air pollutants can range from an oily or sour smell to something more specific like exhaust fumes, a burning plastic stench, or even raw sewage. Consider the source of the pollution when adding scents to your scene. A beer factory gives off the odor of hops while an industrial bakery sends out the smell of yeast. Both scents are vastly different than those issuing from, say, a car manufacturer or oil refinery.
  • One of the most common personal pollutant smells is burning tobacco from cigarettes (slightly sweet and smoky). Also remember that if characters remain in a polluted environment for an extended period of time, their exposure to the scents will cause them to notice it less and less until, eventually, they won't be able to detect the odors at all.

TASTES:
Sometimes the air can have an acrid or smoky taste to it, but air contaminants would need to be significant for people to notice a specific taste coating the tongue while breathing.

TEXTURES AND SENSATIONS:
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SOUNDS:
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REINFORCING A MOOD:
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SYMBOLISM:
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COMMON CLICHÉS:
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WEATHER NOTES:
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SCENARIOS FOR ADDING CONFLICT OR TENSION:
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