A pointy hat + magic wand + flying broom = A Cliche Witch

Halloween is coming upon us soon. I have been writing and searching for jobs lately – so, I haven’t been able to update my blog and actually write something other than the contest updates for the October short story contest here. But today, I want to write about something that has been on my mind a lot lately… During Halloween you see them dressed with pointy hats. They are flying on brooms with their black cat side-kick and are yielding a magic wand. We see them having warts on their faces like the witch in the cartoon Snow White. And others we see with completely green faces like in The Wizard of Oz. 

Thinking back as far as I can to my first few Halloween’s I know I’ve always been fond of the story idea of witches. It makes me think of the many years I dressed up as a witch for Halloween and went door to door on crisp October evenings with my brother, sister and our friends. Ah, what a fun time… wish I could go back to that and relive it.

I don’t believe in ‘real’ witches who are practicing things in the occult. But, I do find something mysterious and lovely about the fantasy stories involving witches (a completely different thing than those in real life.), but only when they are done well.

Witches are over rated usually – just like vampires in the latest vampire hype. (and to tell you the truth… I hate that… I hate that some authors copy the author who came up with the idea and then afterwards you see a bazillion like-twilights or like-harry potters or like-50 shades. Like really, what happened to originality?)  I know there are a few well done examples where writers have actually done extremely good jobs.

I want to be like that – to break the cliche witch that many stories have. And instead bring to life some crazy unique witches that have a spell-binding story in the air that they breathe, causing readers to love, but hate them at the same time.

In my novel The Mason of Hearts, There are  three witches. These three girls are all quite different, but yet are all in it together. Three sisters start out their journey innocently.

One thing I have found tricky while writing my witches to life is dealing with today’s story witches. The magical powers that you find all over fantasy stories from Disney, The Sword in the Stone, and even Harry Potter.

Finding an actual model of this type of witch is hard to do.

Two witches done well – Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter and The White Witch from The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. Those are the two witches I think that actually spell-bind their readers in the way that I want to do to my readers. I think they were written wonderfully. Another one that I can think of is the head witch from Roald Dahl’s book The Witches. She frightened me so much as a child.

Photo Credit : Ebay

While writing the witches in my story I want to create something that hasn’t been done before.

I want to make them out side of the box witches unlike any others.

I don’t want their powers to be repeats of the authors before me. I don’t want to use the witch that makes all enemies weapons steaming hot or the witches that melt after water is put on them. I want them to stand out. Just as Bellatrix and The White Witch stuck out to me.

  1. Do any of your stories involve witches? Or magic? And how do you avoid the cliche ‘witch’ or fantasy creature that are all over the publishing world today? 

The Contest

Day 9 – October Writing Contest                                                                                 Photo Credit : http://pinterest.com/pin/190136415488813133/

Join the Fun!

The Haunting October Short Story Extravaganza

All you have to do is:

  1. Use the photo to break through the surface and give you echoes of a story
  2. Write a smashing hauntingly amazing short story.
  3. When you finish the story, send it to Devin at devinberglund (at) live (dot) com.
  4.  And the winners will win something and don’t worry – I think up awesome surprises. :)
  5. Are you ready to join us in this journey??

To see the winners from last year, check out these links.

Emily Kunkel – The Farmhouse 
Abigail Anderson – The Monster Inside of Me

Everyday I will upload a new hauntingly beautiful, slightly creepy, and enchanting photograph to my facebook page for your inspiration. Please check it everyday and see if you are prompted to write a short story that has something to do with the photo you picked. It doesn’t have to be word for word what you see – it just has to be creative and creepy since October is the month of Halloween.

I really enjoyed this last year! Once you have written it you may send it to my email with the Subject Box filled in as “Short Story Extravaganza” You have the whole month of October to do this. Have fun!!

Did you know that LIGHT conquers the darkness?

Day 3 of Haunting Writing Contest (Join the Fun!)

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. -John 1:5

Today was a super long day of writing (4,368) words so I thought I would put up the 3rd day of the Haunting October Short Story Extravaganza Writing Contest’s picture! :) Please join us in this months contest!

This writing contest will help you with your writing. When I write about dark things I like to bring the light out at the end and I make sure it conquers the darkness. Because in real life,  death is conquered by LIFE. Curses are conquered by BLESSINGS and darkness is conquered by LIGHT.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lordyour God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. -Deuteronomy 30:19-20


Every day in October I will be uploading a new picture into this file on pinterest and also on my facebook page.

All you have to do is write a short story that one of the pictures have inspired you to write.

And then send it to me at devinberglund (at) live (dot) com and you could win a prize.

Deadline: The end of October. :)

How About You

  1. Tell me something that you are afraid of?
  2. What is the nightmare that frightened you the most?

…the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.

I have been listening to the audio books of “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. I so, badly wish that I could have met C.S. Lewis. Sometime after my trip to Australia I want to make a way back to England and see the C.S. Lewis house. It’s just amazing how you can feel like you know a writer from their writing voice. I want to make a difference on a person’s life like C.S. Lewis made a difference in my life.

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” 
― C.S. Lewis

Have you ever felt that way? I remember always feeling that way when I was in high-school. I was always a little different than the other kids. I always made friends with the under-dogs and maybe I could have been considered an under-dog as well. I didn’t want to be like everyone else and I guess I never was. In high-school I went through some of the loneliest times in my life. I remember coming home from school crying because, I didn’t have many friends. I hid behind the covers of books… Narnia was definitely some of them and I definitely found myself wishing for a greater place, like Narnia. A place where people would except me for who I was. Every once in a while I feel that same way- that wishing I could escape to another place where I could just fellowship with the Lord. Leave the land of people hating others, and stress and drama.

I have been busy writing a lot of my evil characters lately and it has caused a lot of mental and spiritual drain on me today. When you write dark stuff, if ever? Does it affect you in an such ways?

“We Christian writers must paint evil with the blackest of brushes, not to sow fear, but to call out the monsters to be scattered by our light. If Satan cloaks himself as an angel of white, intent on deceiving the world, any attempt on our parts to minimize evil is only complicit with his strategy… Turn to the light; don’t fear the shadows it creates.” -Ted Dekker (At least Ted knows my feeling!)

“It isn’t Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It’s you. We shan’t meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are -are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.” -The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – C.S. Lewis

So, I hope this note of inspiring quotes and a little bit of my backstory all find you well and living blessed! :) I have thought about writing a memoir about my past… would that be something you all would be interested in?