Today's quote is from John Cheever:
For me, a page of good prose is where one hears the rain and the noise of battle.
But how to do this? I run to the same, tired phrases over and over. I use one cliche after another, and then kick myself because I'm not expressing the scene I imagine in my head. It seems all the original descriptions have been used, and I'm left with drivel.
I must find a way to make the rain (which we've all felt running down our faces) feel as new and fresh and alive as it does when I picture the scene in my mind.
Maybe the secret is to stop writing the story--instead, let the characters tell it. It's not me editorializing about what the weather is like. It's my character expressing what's happening in the setting.
There's a big difference between Gene Kelly joyfully Singin' in the Rain, and the Battle of Helm's Deep in The Two Towers. Rain can be a symbol of happiness or despair, depending on what the characters are going through at the time.
I think that's it. Keep my nose out of the story and let the characters tell their own story. Next time I find myself running to the thesaurus looking for another way to say "rain," I'll try to stop, and instead think of how my character feels about it. Let her tell me how she feels about the raindrops falling down her cheeks, and go on from there.