7 Tips to Writing Hot/Sunny Day Battles

Google Image Search

We’ve had rain and snow, so now let’s go to their opposite.  A sunny day that might be really hot.  You’d think the risks and issues with this day are minimal.  It’s basically the standard fighting weather when you don’t want to do anything special.  Still, there are a few ways to spice things up.

  1. Hot weather is a brutal on a body that’s in motion, especially if that body is dressed in armor.  Muscles cramps are possible and the risk gets higher as the character continues fighting.  Vision can blur if things go on for too long and breathing will become labored if there aren’t any chances to cool off.  Think of a warrior like a computer here.  If they keep going without any way to reduce their temperature, they’re going to crash and it won’t be pretty.
  2. With heat and exertion comes sweat.  Aside from the smell, this can lead to a few minor issues.  Anybody be working out and get sweat in your eyes?  It stings and can blind you for a bit.  At least when exercising, you can pause to rub at your eyes.  In battle, you have to push through and keep fighting.  If a character isn’t wearing gloves them their hands can become slippery.  One with limited experience can find themselves swinging wildly out of exhaustion and sending their weapon spinning away.  It’s a foolish accident, but still a possibility.
  3. If we’re talking a heat wave that’s lasted a while, the fight could happen in a desolated area.  Water would be minimal if available at all, which means not much to cool off or drink prior to the fight.  The ground can become cracked and crumble easily as combatants move around.  This may lead to tripping or slowed movement similar to mud.  Like with frozen ground, hitting this earth can stun because it could be dry and hard.  Of course, this is extreme heat instead of the ‘nice day’.
  4. Let’s talk about the sun, which is responsible for the heat.  It can also be the source of sudden blindness.  The light can hit a warrior in the eyes if they look up at the wrong time.  A way to avoid this is to have them remember where the sun is, so they won’t look in that direction.  Of course, that isn’t foolproof.  If you have a lot of warriors in metal armor then you have a chance at polished spots reflecting light.  It’s similar to using a mirror to bounce beams and it can accidentally blind a person if bright enough.
  5. A lot of sun can mean a lack of shadows in some terrains.  This means there are very few places for enemies to hide.  It’s why ambushes tend to happen at night, during bad weather, or in areas with a lot of cover.  If you have a sunny day in an open plain or hilly region then it might not be possible to hide.  Even forests can be an issue because the good weather can draw out enough animals that they’ll be spooked by the intrusion of warriors.
  6. Characters can be lulled into a false sense of security by a sunny day.  They won’t think of the dangers of traveling since there isn’t any clear sign of danger.  We’ve all been there on summer days.  The weather is so nice that we get lazy without realizing our guard is dropping.  I’ve found that there’s a higher chance if you spend a lot of time stressed and then hit this pleasant body.  You think it’s a chance to relax, which is fine for real life.  During an adventure, this instinct can cause trouble and mean that they start the fight in a weaker mindset.
  7. Even with the negatives I mentioned, the hot and sunny day is easier to pull off without making the weather a major factor.  Most readers won’t pick up on these patterns in the same way they think of rain, snow, fog, hail, frogs, and meteors.  So, this is the perfect weather pattern to use if you don’t want the environment to be a major factor in the battle.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to 7 Tips to Writing Hot/Sunny Day Battles

  1. L. Marie says:

    Having experienced the sweat in the eyes factor recently, I totally hear you on these tips! This has been a great series of posts. Through your tips you remind me to really think about the environment. I am working on book taking place in the fall. Though the days aren’t blazing hot, I still need to consider the position of the sun and the exertion that comes through battling in warrior gear even in slightly cooler weather. My writing approach has been too pristine, too forgetful of the nitty-gritty. So thank you.

    Whenever I read your tips posts, I think of Avatar and other anime, since the animators are so thorough about showing the elements of battle (sweat, blood, etc.).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. Sometimes I think fall is the easiest season to work with. People don’t expect more than wind, so you can get away with ignoring the environment. Authors also tend to focus more on the obstacles created by the plot and other characters, so the weather doesn’t always have an influence, especially sunny days.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In your point #3, the dry ground could cause dust. A lot of people moving fast would create a lot of dust, and could for instance cause people to not see where their banner is.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. More great tips, Charles. I hope you have a good weekend.


  4. V.M.Sang says:

    I hadn’t thought about heat in battle. I suppose one might cook in plate mail!
    In the battle in my latest WIP, I haven’t thought about the weather. I’ll go back and re-read it and have a think.
    Thanks for giving me food for thought.


  5. This has been a great sequence. Obviously directed at fantasy, but it could apply to all genres. Putting your back to a shipping container could scorch your hide. Bare feet can burn on the street. Lots of cool things to include during a heatwave.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s