Mist or Fog

Fog makes it harder to write but it’s essential. (No I didn’t leave the window open to add atmosphere to my morning writing). 

The reason fog both helps and hinders in equal measure is research. In order for my books to make sense I have to research what I’m writing. It’s time consuming but necessary.

In my most recent writing stint I decided it was important to know the difference between fog and mist. A character has the power to disperse into a cloud. 

I thought the distinction between ‘fog’ and ‘mist’ would be an important one, and planned on using it in the book. Turns out it’s basically arbitrary. The distinction even gets cloudy (see what I did there) from one country to the next.

Apparently, for most of Europe it’s ‘fog’ when it impedes visibility for 1000m or less. Whereas here in the UK we don’t call it fog until one can eat it.So I went back and rewrote. My research felt fruitless but it actually saved me from writing something convoluted, hard to follow, and worst of all something that would have been nonsense.

Writing is often like that. You wait for the fog to clear. Do some research. Find out it’s just mist (at least in the UK) and get back to work.

Writers reading this, what odd facts have you discovered in your research? Did they force a change in your book?

I love getting comments so please feel free to have a blether in the comments section below. 

As always, thanks for reading, 

all the best, John 

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2 thoughts on “Mist or Fog

  1. sjgreenhart

    I don’t know if it’s odd, but I was surprised to learn of the importance of spices in medieval times. AND the kinds of spices. It didn’t play a major role in what I was writing, but it did inspire some fun cooking…. 😉

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    Reply

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