When Your Characters Lead Your Story


Character-driven stories are always the best kind of stories.

I don’t talk to my characters (I swear!), but they do control my story more than I might let on. Characters, though fictional, are fully fleshed out people living in your universe of fiction writing if writing is what you live and breathe every day. If you’re serious about your craft, I think that you should be strongly connected with all of your characters. I might take this a step further.

I confess that often, it really is my characters that decide the direction that they will go in a story. I have heard of a few writers admit to this as well. Some writers whose blogs I have read think that this level of thinking is weird/wrong and that they as writers are always fully in control of their stories. The latter type of thinking seems too mechanical for me. I prefer to think of writing as a way to tell the stories of the people who exist in one realm of my fantasy universe.

Of course I am the one writing my story, but as a writer, I am not living this life fully on my own. These characters exist in my rich inner world and they have influence over how I write them. Writing totally is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. Maybe this weirds you out. Perhaps you disagree. That’s okay, too. There are many different types of writers. This is how I work.

My characters do have minds of their own and I have changed the direction of nearly every story I have written because they disagreed with the direction that I was taking them in. Sometimes, I stress out about this disagreement and I hesitate to write their fate in a way that I originally planned not to.

Writing is supposed to be fun. Write what makes you want wake up in the wee hours of the morning just to finish that next chapter. Write what causes you to lay in bed at night thinking about your characters. Write something you’re passionate about.

If that means that you talk to your characters or if that means that you let your characters choose certain paths for themselves, then let it be.

Writers, do you ever feel a character pulling you in the opposite direction of where you want them to go? Do you feel them have a mind of their own? Do you think all of this is simply weirdness? 

(Photo Source: http://www.everystockphoto.com by Shandi-lee)

Write, Little Girl, For Ye Know Not When


Waiting for me with a steaming tea. Warm eyes, shy smile, dark hair, strong character. Or so he said.

Holding my hand with reassuring words. Numbness melted away to hope. I submitted to trust.

We laughed, we shared, we planned. I awoke to his warmth. He borrowed my story.

He left.

He reappeared in the form of pictures, memories, nightmares. I cannot escape, but I write.

Once I saw him and his eyes flickered blue as he stared at me. I wondered if I would awaken one day to him killing me.

I write. Poison is not always physical.

Write little girl, for ye know not when death’s final grip shall drag you to her cold, final den.

Plans to Publish The Suicides

I will be publishing The Suicides very soon! It’s sitting at a solid 20,000 words making it a novella. My sister has been designing a simply beautiful cover and is adding in the finishing touches.

I have a knack for novellas. :)

I will keep you posted on the publishing date of The Suicides. It has been a joy to write, I am very happy with it and how it turned out, and I thank all of you who followed along with the story of my protagonist, Alfred and his quirky friends. Your support means the world to me. Without you, my blogging would just be idle typings.

Eve & Adam Playlist

I’m a writer who loves to have a sound track to my books. Music plays a large role for the inspiration of my writing. I would like to share the play list for the songs that inspired Eve & Adam. Some of the songs are appreciated by the characters themselves in the story.

A short play list for a short story. <3

Eve & Adam Is Now In Print!

Hello, my awesome readers, I am here to announce that Eve & Adam is now available in print on Amazon for only $6.25 US. All proceeds will go toward my editing costs for my next book. The cover, designed by my very own sister Jessica Kjeldsen, would make a great addition to any coffee table or desk.

I read Eve & Adam myself in print, and the feel that you get as you read your own story, turning the pages of a tangible book, is great.

Here’s me with Eve & Adam! (Backwards). :P

The Melancholic


Sari felt as though she was melting into the soft cushions. The moment that she stepped inside of Gunnar’s eccentric yet cozy retreat, a great weight lifted from her shoulders. She stared out the window at the mountains; the sunset highlighted the peaks in fiery glory.

As Gunnar sketched Sari, the sounds of his charcoal pencils scratching along the paper sent her into a relaxed trance. She imagined Melancholia posing for Gunnar in the very same room – his beautiful lover must have been happy during her moments at the retreat with him. Imagining the artist in love sketching the striking features of Melancholia cast a euphoric spell over her.

Gunnar’s sketching ceased. The silence that followed seemed to heighten Sari’s senses. He came to her side and knelt down, touching her chin. For a moment, she thought that she was imagining things. Then, mind fog overtook her and she saw a pair of angry hazel eyes from her past staring back at her. She blinked.

Gunnar’s soft gaze calmed her. He looked down for a moment and a familiar sense of sadness stung her insides. She always seemed to somehow scare people away just when she felt that she was connecting with them. She took a deep breath and sighed.

He offered her his hand. She took it without hesitation, mirroring her reaction the night that they met in his dark gallery. She allowed Gunnar to guide her then; he took her on the most amazing journey by telling her about his travels and how he met his Melancholia. His artwork conveyed so much emotion to her. Only someone who loved as much as he had could paint with such depth.

Gunnar asked her to come with him on the balcony and watch the final sun’s rays yield to the night sky. She smiled and agreed to go. He put his arm around her shoulder and they walked toward the French doors. His comforting hold set her at ease.

As they stepped outside into the cooling air, they watched the world fall to sleep. The evening’s chill brought them closer. Their calm silence cast a spell on her mind. Both of them overcame considerable pain and hurt, but they still had a long way to go. There was much for them to live for as long as they never stopped seeking the light. They were both dreamers with a will to fight for the life that they wanted.

As she rested her head on his shoulder, echoes from the voices that she did not want to remember fought their way back into her memory. She longed so much to stay in the moment, but even as she stood so close to her new friend, the darkness within her awakened.

Melancholia – Sari’s Story

Sara Flower Kjeldsen:

Me and fellow blogger, Hyperion Sturm, are working on a story together. The story begins in the gallery. Gunnar, a painter, finds a lone admirer of his artwork in the dimly lit art gallery – her name is Sari. Sari cannot take her eyes off of his painting of a sad young woman. The piece is called Melancholia.
Gunnar and Sari connect because of Melancholia; they both share a world of darkness that they begin to discover as their bond deepens. Sari cannot help but feel a strong connection to Melancholia – it feels as though they understand one another, even though they have never met.
Enjoy and be sure to stop by Hyperion’s blog if you have not done so already. He is an excellent writer with an exquisite imagination and story telling ability.

Originally posted on Hyperion Sturm:

“The sky put on its own evanescent spectacles, a pivoting stage with geometric architecture in snows and cotton. His theater was the clouds, where no spectacle repeated itself.” ― Anais Nin

Sari Sari

The stone mortar and pestle ground the minerals to powder in a ceaseless rhythmic motion. Strong hands, familiar with the toil of making pigments for paint in the old way, worked tirelessly until the studio grew dark.  

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The Fascinator Pt XIV


The muscles in my legs burned as I climbed. The exertion did little to keep my mind off of the two men that lay dead below me. As I neared the top, instead of large boulders, the terrain became smoother and began to level out. Black stars marred my vision. I closed my eyes every so often. Stopping to rest, I gagged as exhaustion and thirst assaulted my core. Then, I continued on my ascent and wondered why the reptile was not calling for me.

I reached the top, which was relatively flat and overlooked the smaller mountains in the distance. I collapsed to my knees, panting and crying. Dauvit’s last gaze had seared his hatred for me into my memory forever, but my heart would forever mourn Jonathan’s sacrifice. Even the hazy, pink sunset offered no consolation with its surreal beauty. I arose on my ruined legs and drank in the fantastical scenery, longing for any ounce of hope or healing. In my usual naivety, I expected something to happen as I stood at last on the mountaintop.

Terrible scratching against the rock startled me. Chains rattled and a large, dark form arose from the rocks. I stood in frozen disgust as I looked upon the morbid scene in front of me. Chains and bindings stretched taught as a four-legged beast stood to its full height. I gagged as the large creature’s breath escaped from its open mouth. Its pupil-less grey eyes stared at me and then I took in the rest of it. It was as muscular as a horse, but about the size of what I imagined a hyena would be. Spikes as sharp as swords covered its back. Its larger upper body sloped down to narrower hips and shorter legs. It was far from the dragon-like reptile that I imagined. It was a true monster.

“You called for me, even in my dreams.”

It blinked. It opened its broad, yellow-fanged mouth and screamed. I covered my ears with my hands and screamed with it.

“Stop!” I cried.

It pulled in vain against its bindings. That was when I noticed the red pool underneath it, fed from a wound on its back. One of the spikes was a sword. I stepped toward it and it screamed again.

“I am going to help you. Hush now.”

It bared its teeth at me, but held its peace as I inched closer. I felt a sense of belonging with it.

“You are mine. My wild pet. Calm down and I will take the sword out. I will free you.”

Its long black tongue dangled from its mouth as it panted; it watched the movement of my hands as I stood only a foot away. I slowly extended my hand. The beast’s nostrils flared as it took in my scent. It bowed, and for a moment, I wondered if that was its killing stance, but it remained fixed in its position.

“Were you calling for me to help you?” I asked it gently.

I took a deep breath and felt my hand encircle the hilt of the sword that rested deep in its strong body. I pulled on it as hard as I could. I held back the urge to vomit as the entire length of the blade emerged from the beast. I stepped away and set down the bloody weapon. The beast remained quiet and still. I placed a hand on its muzzle. It closed its eyes as its flesh shifted unnaturally. I drew my hand back, feeling my skin crawl as its fur melted away to reveal muscles and veins before its entire body transformed into a smoky cloud. The plume of grey fog rose to the sky in pursuit of the pastel clouds.

Confusion, loss, and fatigue formed a powerful surge that rose from the pit of my stomach and screamed out of my mouth like caustic acid. I fought so hard and for so long only to end up alone on the peak of a mountain in a world that should not have existed. I took a deep breath of the clean air and took in the magnificent shades of purple and pink before my eyes. I ran to to the edge without slowing down. I pushed both of my feet off the edge and leaped into the open air, crying out as I fell to the rocky terrain below.

In a whisper, soft cotton caressed my skin. I sat up, yelling in between my desperate gasps for air. I was in my own bed dressed in my nightgown. I leaped from my bed I packed everything that I could into one suitcase and left a short note on the table with one month’s rent in cash for my landlord. I went as fast as I could into town, stopping when I reached the laboratory. I ran inside, out of breath, and found the doctor first. His perplexed frown made me cringe. The last thing I wanted was another fight.

“Zara, where have you been?” he asked. “You were absent yesterday. I knocked on your door and you did not answer. I am not sure what I should do about this.”

“I am very sorry, but I must leave.”

He raised an eyebrow. “You’re leaving town?”

“I must. I’m sorry. Tell Bekka that I wish her well.”

“But Zara…”

“I have to go. This is me. I can never stay anywhere too long. I have experienced too much of this place. Forgive me.”

I ran away from the formaldehyde-filled air and took a deep breath outside for a moment. I studied my smooth wrists that were free from any scars. It was not all my imagination. I felt those cuts. Throwing a decent career away should have worried me more than the world that I had either imagined or escaped from. Walking to the core of town to catch a cab to the train station, a kindly driver stopped for me and helped me with my suitcase. I settled myself into the soft seat, at last able to gather my thoughts and process everything that happened.

Staring outside of the window, a fancier carriage pulled by an equally fancy ebony horse caught my eye. My heart slammed into my rib cage at the sight of those cunning hazel eyes peering out the window at me. I blinked several times. It had to be someone else, but it was not. It was him. He ordered his driver to stop.

“Did you enjoy yourself?” asked Dauvit with a strange grin.

I could not find the words that I wanted to say. All I could do was stare at him with unanswered questions yelling at the back of my mind. My driver urged his horse to move us forward. Dauvit’s eyes narrowed into slits.

“Stab me deeper next time.”

The End

(Photo Source: http://www.everystockphoto.com “purple.mountain.japan”) 

The Fascinator Pt XIII

The same photo as the eye in my A-Z Project...but about a million times more scary!

I sat hugging my knees in the crevice at the side of the mountain which provided very little protection from the downpour. My hot tears mingled with the cool rain drops. Closing my eyes, all I could see was Jonathan falling to his knees, slowly losing control of his body as spider venom incapacitated him.

I told myself that it wasn’t real, that it hadn’t really happened. I would wake up in my soft, warm covers and breathe a sigh of relief that I hadn’t just caused the death of a kind young man. Exhaustion overtook my raging thoughts and pulled me into a fitful sleep. I woke up covered in sweat. Screeching shook the air.

“The reptile,” I breathed.

Its call ceased.

The sun still slept below the horizon. I stretched, allowing my eyes to adjust to the dimness, and then I moved on. I started my climb, praying to God that there would be no more spiders waiting somewhere to finish me off. Jonathan seemed to think that I had to make it to the top in order to go home, but it also could have simply been the neurotoxins speaking. While facing the great beast at the top of the mountain was not something I wanted to think about, I had no other choice. I knew deep down that I had to meet the creature that called to me, even from earth.

As sunlight slowly woke up the colourful, deadly little world, I climbed faster. I hoped to go as far as possible before the heat of the day slowed me down. The incline steepened to a near impossible climb, running almost parallel to the ground in one area as it curved upward. I moved left until I found a place where I could ascend easier. The striking cobalt rocks glistened in the rising sun. I stopped to close my eyes every few minutes to give them a break from the brightness.

When I finally reached another level of the mountain where I could walk upright, I cried with relief. I judged the distance to the top and it seemed it would only be another couple of hours before I reached it. I stretched my aching limbs and went to the nearest tree. I found some leaves whose shapes allowed them to form little bowls of water from the night’s rain. I drank the small amounts of water in relief. Some water was better than no water. I listened for any sound of running water as I continued on; I would need a long drink before I started on another long climb.

I rounded an intimidating corner, grasping onto a jutting rock for my life. I climbed up another rise and reached another ledge. I steadied myself before walking forward. A man suddenly jumped down in front of me. I screamed and nearly fell backward at the sight of Dauvit.

“Hello, Zara.”

He bent down and picked up me, throwing me over his shoulder.

“Please don’t drop me!” I cried.

His shoulder dug into my ribs; I gagged as a wave of nausea hit me. When he finally put me down, he pushed me toward the rocks.My back slammed into the boulders and I cried out. He pinned both of my arms down and stared at me with unmistakable glee.

“You should have let the spiders bite you. It would have been a far more merciful death for a lady.”

“What about Jonathan? He is dead!”

“Well, he simply proves that nice guys really do finish last.”

“What are you going to do to me?”

“You don’t want to be surprised?”

“Nothing you do would surprise me.”

He eased his hand away from my right arm and grabbed my breast. “You’re a cheeky little mouse. Maybe I should throw you over the edge of the mountain. Do you want to fly, or would you rather bleed to death? A slower death would be more painful, yes, but I could bring you to a heightened awareness before you die. It would be euphoric for both of us in the end.”

I wrapped both of my legs around his torso. He smiled. “Do you like my idea, little mouse?”

“Could you please just slit my throat?” I begged.

My free hand slowly made its way to my boot where my dagger rested. I pressed myself against him. Feeling his arousal, I hoped it would distract him from noticing how I quickly pulled out my dagger by its sheath.

His smile faded when I brought the blade to his thick neck. He let go of my other arm.

“Get off of me,” I demanded. “Now.”

His face froze in anger, but he rolled off as I pressed the dagger hard against his Adam’s apple. We switched positions. i straddled him, staring down into the twisted eyes of my worst enemy. I didn’t want to kill him, but it was the only way I would get out alive.

“This is for Jonathan,” I said.

I brought the point of my dagger down hard into Dauvit’s heart. I pulled it out and stumbled to my feet as he groaned. I didn’t want to look back, but I did. My knees grew weak at the sight of him crawling toward me. So much blood splattered from his chest. His amber eyes flashed at me as he growled. I would have died if his hateful gaze held any measure of power. I watched him crawl for another second before turning my back on him.

(Photo Source: http://www.everystockphoto.com. “Look into my eyes.”)