The comfort zone
For must humans, there’s a place they go to relax, exchange some good words, or just because they feel comfortable there. For example, there’s a little hardware store near my house were all the local males come, like moths to a light. When I was six, it was Charlie’s Shack. My aunts and cousins would take me there to get a moon pie and an RC cola, and a can of snuff for my grandmother. I think most people have a comfort zone that makes them feel welcome and cozy inside.
The other day, I had an epiphany that all my romantic suspense novels possess one common property – they have a comfort zone where the characters return. For example, in FORGOTTEN CHILDREN, it’s a Bar and Grill named Tally’s. The hero and heroine spend a lot of time socializing there, especially on Goobers night every Thursday. In BLIND CONSENT, the hero focused on May’s Emporium, an old country store where the heroine worked. In TAINTED HERO, the hero spent a lot of time in ice cream parlors because he loved to watch the women in his life enjoy sweets. In VEIL OF DECEPTION, it was Ruth’s Place; a convenience store out in the middle of nowhere. In this case, it was an actual place where all the local’s hang out for coffee and a cathead biscuit.
I didn’t notice this pattern in my stories until a reader asked me, “Is there any common theme in the way you create scenes.” Then I realized there is; it’s the use of a comfort zone for the characters. Is that wrong? I don’t think so. As I mentioned earlier, most people have some comfort zone or zones in their lives where they go to get away. Come to think about it, those are the scenes I like writing the most. Maybe it’s just a “me” thing. Perhaps because I relate to gathering holes in my world, it’s just my comfort zone. I’ll have to see if the trend continues in my future stories.
Till next time, be safe.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The comfort zone