My Twilight Zones

May 19, 2008 at 11:27 am (General)

Good Morning.  Are you ready for a journey into the unknown?  To escape into the life of another and experience the world through their perspective?  As a writer it is a journey I make every day.  But unlike most people who delve into a story, it isn’t a means for escape for me, but a painful quest.  When people ask me if I write between the hours of 9 to 5 everyday, I tell them no.  I procrastinate during that time and then I write.  Especially today.  I think I would do anything to escape these killer revisions I am banging my head against the wall on.  Last night I was working until 3AM then up at 6 AM today.  I am currently working on books three( Kiss of Darkness) and four (Bride of the Wolf) of my Shadowmen series.  They will be released April and May of 2009 and thought I would talk to you today about My Twilight Zones.

My First Twilight Zone is in my books.  If you’ve had the opportunity to read either of my contemporary werewolf books, Touch A Dark Wolf or Lure of the Wolf, you’ll know that I’ve set the Shadowmen Series in the fictional town of Twilight, Tennessee.  The more I delve into building my paranormal world there the more fun I am having with taking everyday occurences and giving them a paranromal twist.  Rain isn’t exactly just rain.  Storms are more than just the clashing of warm and cold air, but the hot front of the Gaurdian Forces fighting the cold, evil front of the Fallen Army in the spirit realm.  Tornados are more than whirling wind.  And the Black Cloud over Hades Mountain…well let’s just say you don’t want that hanging over your head.

 I’ve always been fascinated by the notion that the reality of the world is different than we perceive it to be.  Of course, it is always slightly different because everyone is an individual and thus has a different perception of reality, but I’m talking about a really different and sometimes shocking suggestion of what a reality might be.  I think that when a writer or a movie maker hits the right twist on skewing the world as we know it, they wake people up and get them to start thinking.  Stephen King is a master at making you question your world and if the ordinary things in it are really ordinary.  The Matix was another winner.  But long before these came onto the scene, Rod Serling of Twlight Zone fame and his otherworld tales were there.  For generations he has been feeding and expanding our our hunger for stories that take us beyond the limits of our everyday lives into the realm of things unknown to us and make us question life.

So my first question to all of you readers out there is what have you read lately that makes you take a second look at the ordinary world around you and question it?


My second Twilight Zone is my own horror story.  It is one that I think almost every writer will at some point in their career agree with.  It begins this way…

 An ordinary woman enjoying everyday life is suddenly struck by an idea, a supposition of characters and events that would make a great story.  But unlike the blessed ones of the population, this woman can’t let that notion of a story fade away into the heavenly graveyard for untold tales.  No, she is compelled, driven to write that story.  And that compulsion spirals her into a Twilight Zone of hell.  Voices from those characters begin to ring in her head and soon those characters are having conversations with each other without a care as to whether the woman is trying to sleep or currently interacting with her own family, or trying to remember where she put the grocery list so she would forget anything at the store when those rude characters start talking in her head again.  She can’t take a shower or fold clothes or cook a meal without interuption.  This goes on for months at a time until finally the story is told and she writes The End, often with tears of relief streaming from her eyes.  She thinks she is free at last.  Little does she know she has only just begun the arduous journey of seeing that story told.  That story will go on to be ridiculed and rejected and reviled and if she is very unlucky one soul will love that story, pay her a token for it and then have her cut and change that story so that it hardly resembles the original idea that inspired her to begin with.  The the story is sent out into the world where the ridicule and rejection begins again.  And if she is very, very lucky a few will buy her book, love her story, and tell her and her publisher how much they loved it.  The woman, now free of the burden of story, goes back to her ordinary life and as she is trying to enjoy everyday events something happens, she is struck by an idea, a supposition of characters and events and she’s back into the Writers’ Twilight Zone that repeats over and over and over again.

Are there any other writers out there in the Twilight Zone?

Happy Reading and Heaven help the writers.

Jennifer St. Giles




  1. Savanna Kougar said,

    Jennifer, I’m sucked into the twilight zone of edits right now, one I may never emerge from since…dare I say it. I can’t give the publisher what they want. Only one POV per scene. Since I designed the story intentinally to have shifiting POVs. So, shrug, who knows???
    Great description of what it’s like!!!

  2. jenniferstgiles said,

    LOL Savanna. Try and look at it from the stand point of choosing to tell the scene from the point of view of the person who stands to loose the most or has the greater conflict with the others in that scene. If there is something essential to your story that another character thinks during that scene, figure out a way to reveal that either later in their thoughts, through dialogue or through interaction then or at another time.

    I write first person gothic historicals too and it is always a challenge to reveal what the other characters are thinking or hiding.
    Good Luck, but never never give up
    Jennifer St. Giles

  3. Rebecca York said,

    I write each scene from one pov, if I can. Sometimes, though, I need to change pov ONCE in the middle of the scene. Sticking with one person gives the reader tighter identification with the character.

    Something interesting–Sometimes a scene absolutely isn’t working for me. When I change the pov, it magically works. And it’s funny how the dialogue comes out differently when the pov is changed.

    I spend a lot of time in the Twilight Zone. Dh always has a book with him, and sometimes he’ll say to me, “we’re going to be waiting around. Don’t you want to take a book?” And I’ll say, “I don’t need a book. I’m working out a scene in my head.”


  4. Jennifer St. Giles said,

    Right on with the POV thing Rebecca. And too funny about the book thing. There’s always one going on in my head. Thanks for popping in today and sharing.

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