COMFORT ZONE….

“Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” is online. Another chapter in my writing life has closed and it’s time to start anew. While there is still a lot of work to do with getting some exposure and working a bit of marketing I can’t bring myself to not have a Word document open. I have to be working on something and my read-through of the Kindle version of “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” provided me with another storyline. It involves some of the ‘walk-on’ characters from one of the scenes.

Being ‘walk-ons’ in no way diminished their importance to the storyline. The roles they played, while not central figures, provided insight into the main characters and created some interesting scenes. One character in particular made his appearance early in the book, created a little havoc then disappeared. The more I thought about this man the more I realized there is a story behind who and what he is and how he got there. I decided to flesh out his story and it came surprisingly easy.

Unless you have read “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon” the name Fergus Lloyd would mean nothing. If you have read it then you already have an opinion of Fergus and what he is all about. As in reality and with real people an opinion based on first impression is often wrong. The well-spoken, well-dressed banker might have some questionable material on his computer and that street person might have a heart of gold. You just never know what’s behind their public faces. Fergus wasn’t always the Fergus that confronted Evan and exploring his life has provided some interesting research and excitingly addictive writing.

From the outset of the first draft I had to expand my comfort zone. I prefer to write light and with a sometimes questionable sense of humor and while there are some lighter moments in this story there is also an underlying darkness. This was a challenge for me and a welcome brain-teaser. Then came the scene that I believed would be the pivotal point of the story. Without getting into detail the young boy discovers something horrific in the woods and all his childhood nightmares come back and…never mind. I’ve already said too much.

Suffice to say that this scene completely ripped me out of my comfort zone and threw me headfirst into the horror/psychological terror genre, one that I’ve never explored. Blood, gore, and childhood nightmares wreak havoc with my usual style of writing and way of thinking. After I wrote it I would wake at night and think about it. Each time I rehashed it in my mind I became less impressed. It sounded forced, manipulative, and not at all like me. A week later I wrote an alternate scene where someone else stumbles on the terror and relays it second hand in a more sterile manner. I was more at ease with the revision and I sentenced the original storyline to life in my ‘not used’ folder and continued writing.

One of the elements of writing a story based on a previously introduced character is maintaining continuity with the original. That wasn’t all that difficult in this case but as the new story progressed I realized that I was missing something. The emotional development (or destruction) of this character wasn’t strong enough to result in the character traits featured in “Barking at Yesterday’s Moon”. The crisis, real or imagined, that set him on my created path hadn’t occurred. I opened up my ‘not used’ file, read the original scene and knew that it had to be included. I also learned the value of putting something aside and revisiting it later. I actually like what I wrote back then and with a little work it will become that pivotal scene. It just goes to show the value of never throwing anything away.

On a side note: My age is showing…I welcomed my seventh grandchild into this world on September 3, 2015. Mum and son are doing well.

Shameless self-promotion side note: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0143ZI4W8?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

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8 comments on “COMFORT ZONE….

  1. Congrats on the new grand baby and the new story line!!

    • Mike Grant says:

      Thank you Patrick. I seem to be tumbling into a pretty busy time as I’m reworking the blog and trying to learn how best to utilize it. It was set up by my publishing rep to promote White Wolf Moon but I’m finding the concept too restrictive and I want to expand the format rather than start a separate one for Barking at Yesterday’s Moon. I want to utilize it in other areas, sharing other people’s blogs etc. so I’m spending the weekend working on that.

  2. sknicholls says:

    Congratulations on the new book and the new baby. WOW! I had no idea you were this close to publication. If you would like to do a guest post on my blog to promote your sequel, let me know 🙂

    • Mike Grant says:

      Thank you Susan and I will take you up on the post. As well as working on the new (and challenging) ideas I have for a book I have decided to rename/revamp the White Wolf Moon blog and facebook pages. They served the purpose at the time but the blog in particular has become the distant cousin we never talk about and I need to change that. I find the title too restrictive and hope to find a format that will let me promote the books but also allow me to cover my other interests and perhaps express my views on other things besides the books. So I’m back to learning new things again…

  3. sknicholls says:

    Reblogged this on S.K. Nicholls and commented:
    Mike Grant has the sequel to White Wolf Moon available NOW!!!

  4. Mae Clair says:

    I found your blog thanks to a reblog on Susan Nicholls’ site. Wow! Love the sound of your books. I’ll have to start with White Wolf Moon first, but I’m adding both to my TBR.

    And congrats on the new grand baby! 🙂

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