When your characters look up, what do they see? Sunsets and sunrises are so prevalent in books as to be clichés, yet every day there is a sunrise and every day there is a sunset, even if it’s too cloudy for us to see either. I suppose mentioning the rising or setting sun makes more sense if there is a reason. For example, tonight there was a gorgeous sunset here because of the fires in California. The smoke drifts to Colorado and is trapped by the mountains.
I try to find different things for my characters to look at, because to a certain extent, a character is what he sees. If a character sees a flock of what looks like hawks, and he or she knows that they are vultures, it tells you a bit about the character. Vultures fly in packs, hawks fly alone. Or so I’ve been told. Both hawks and vultures are equally lovely as they coast on the updrafts, but somehow knowing that the regal bird is a vulture and not a hawk takes away some of the beauty of the scene.
In A Spark of Heavenly Fire, the characters see helicopters patrolling the skies above quarantined Colorado. In Light Bringer, which will be published next year, the characters see unnatural lights in the sky, they see strange airplanes, and they see an impossibly brilliant rainbow. In my WIP, the characters see a light in the west on Easter morning, and for just a moment, they think it’s the rising sun.
So what do your characters see when they look up? Does the sight have a bearing on the story? Does it tell you a bit about the character?