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Another thing a lot of writers get wrong:  cold.

Film and television writers are particularly bad in this regard, possibly because so many of them live in southern California, where cold is something that you make a day trip to visit and then drive home again.  But they aren’t the only ones.

Cold — true cold — isn’t charming and picturesque.  It’s dangerous and debilitating; it drains your energy and makes you stupid and has no compunction about killing you dead.

A few writers have gotten it right, notably Jack London in “To Build a Fire.” (The fantasy novelist Sean Stewart also got it right, in an elegant homage to London’s work that appears in his novel The Night Watch.)