WEATHER AND EARTHLY PHENOMENON THESAURUS

SUNRISE



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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.
SIGHTS:
A sky filled with shades of pink and orange
Clouds silhouetted while their undersides glow with light
A bright ball of orange rising up on the horizon
Trees
Foothills and structures reduced to dark shadows in contrast
Light reflecting off smooth, shiny surfaces and picking up the hues of sunrise
Reflective surfaces (lakes, pools, ponds, puddles, and windows) providing a mirror for the sky
Dew beads shimmering with the sun's glow
Leaves glimmering with warm gold
Flower petals opening at the sun's touch
Shadows receding
Birds and animals becoming more active (foraging for food, swooping tree to tree, etc.)

SMELLS:
The cool, crisp smell of night giving way to sun-warmed earth
Mulch
Dew-drenched grass
Flowers that open, releasing their floral scents

TASTES:
No specific tastes are associated with the sunrise, unless one is enjoying a coffee or breakfast in accompaniment.

TEXTURES AND SENSATIONS:
Warmth seeping into one's skin as the sun touches it
Pores opening and causing hair follicles to respond and lift
Squinting against the bright light
Closing one's eyes to better enjoy the other senses during a quiet moment (the feel of the sun, sounds of the world waking up, the smell of dew and grass, etc.)

SOUNDS:
Silence gradually giving way to noise
Chirping birds
The patter of feet as a squirrel runs along a fence
Dogs barking as they are let outside
The thump of a paper landing on one's doorstep
A coffee pot percolating
Garage doors opening and house doors shutting as people leave for work
Increased traffic sounds
The rhythmic sound of runners' and joggers' feet hitting the pavement

REINFORCING A MOOD:
  • Sunrise is often used as a transition in books to signify the beginning of a fresh day or a new stage about to unfold. There is beauty in a sunrise which allows for reflection and introspection, both on big questions and internal musings.
  • Dawn is a wash of light across the setting, causing darkness to recede. In characters, this can be a moment where their choices and mistakes can be forgotten and forgiven. With a new day they are able to forge ahead, renewed. Sunrise is a powerful feature in a setting; always use it with intent, and never overuse it.

SYMBOLISM:
BEGINNINGS, BIRTH, BEAUTY, GOD, HOPE, PEACE, UNDERSTANDING, NEW IDEAS

COMMON CLICHÉS:
Comparing the sunrise to one’s love for another
Comparing one’s beauty to the sunrise
Sunrise marking the time that good is stronger than evil

WEATHER NOTES:
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The timing of sunrise is dependent on the location and date.

SCENARIOS FOR ADDING CONFLICT OR TENSION:
  • Invert the meaning of dawn by marking it as a transition point for something terrible to come, such as an unavoidable consequence, a death, or grave loss.
  • Sunrise returns light to the world, which is usually a good thing. But if your hero is trying to hide or escape, sunrise will complicate things greatly.
  • Flip the script of good and evil by making sunrise the moment your villain is at his strongest, and your hero at his weakest.