04 Dec

I love doors. I know it sounds a little odd, but well, there it is. A few months ago, I said to my critique group, “Every time I leave the bathroom at work, I wonder if the world will be the same on the other side of the door.” The bathroom is in the backroom and the light is often dim or more likely off, so the atmosphere does lend itself to speculation.

They looked at me with sympathy, secure in the knowledge that I wasn’t dangerous, and replied, “No.”

Ah, so it is just me.

I recently read an article about doors. In one section, it read that when you walk through a door, your brain automatically switches to a new beginning. This explains why I spend half my life retracing my steps in an effort to remember what I set out to do. FYI, it doesn’t always work. So, if our brains are going to subconsciously tell us this is a transition point, we need to take advantage of that natural inclination.

Doors hide the inevitable. When we come home, we don’t know what will happen when we enter the house. Will everything be running smoothly, or will we be greeted with a catastrophe? It all depends on what’s on the other side of the door.

Use the description of a door to foreshadow what’s behind it. Or use it as a contrast to what’s on the other side. A delicate, hand-carved door that hides cruelty.

Use doors to change POV. It’s a perfect time. You enter a new room or go outside and the surroundings change as well as the perspective on the scene.

You can put a door between two people to symbolize that neither one is willing to take the next step.

You can leave a door shut to symbolize a choice not made or a past event suppressed. The list goes on, but you get the idea.

The point is, doors are under-used so step through and take advantage of them.


10 responses to “Doors

  1. Clarissa Southwick

    December 4, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    Great suggestions, Peggy. I’ll be watching for doors in your next book 🙂

  2. Peggy Staggs

    December 4, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    They’ll be there.

  3. Judith Keim

    December 4, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Peggy, I love the idea of doors! I guess what I love about them most is one word – Possibility. In writing fantasy for middle-grade kids (or anyone) it’s the possibilities that keep ideas flowing. And you’re right. You never know what will be lurking, hiding, patiently waiting behind a door!

    • Peggy Staggs

      December 5, 2012 at 7:42 AM

      I love the idea of possibilities. Whether it be on the other side of a door, around a corner, or behind a drape of vines in an old jungle movie.

  4. Janis McCurry

    December 4, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Interesting imagery to work with in a plot. Thanks.

    • Peggy Staggs

      December 5, 2012 at 7:43 AM

      It doesn’t have to be a traditional door, it could be anything that blocks what lies beyond.

  5. maryvine

    December 4, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    What a great post, Peggy. Great thoughts. I’ll be looking at doors differently now 🙂

    • Peggy Staggs

      December 5, 2012 at 7:45 AM

      The idea of doors always brings back the image of the scene in The Mummy where the jailer tells the heroin to, “step over the threshold.” Then the adventure begins.

  6. Lynn Mapp

    December 4, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    A door isn’t just a door, it’s a portal.

  7. Peggy Staggs

    December 5, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    Well said.


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