I want to be a writer and if possible, an amazing writer. A column writer, a blog writer, a fictional writer, a news writer/reporter and I'd even settle for a ghost writer. Even though a ghost writer doesn't typically involve super-natural phenomena, I'd like to be one as much as I like a good ghost story.
Speaking of ghosts, my WIP (work in progress) is a YA novel told in the early 1800s, through the POV (Point of View) of a ghost. My ghost is the cousin of the future Queen Victoria and is a kind of guardian to her. It is an epic fantasy or at least that's what I'm shooting for. I've named it Keeper of the Dragonflies and that's all I'm going to say for now.
So, why the fascination with ghosts? Well, most people believe in restless spirits and hauntings, so a ghost holds up well in any audience. I remember wanting to only read ghost stories in the 4th or 5th grade. As a kid, I loved the thrill of a fictional spirit. The average kid (not the whining babies who suck their thumbs until the 6th grade) likes to be scared.
Ghosts are better than shadows or monsters. Ghosts can be so effective in altering an emotion or feeling, goosebumps are next to guaranteed. These spirits can see things and do things the average character cannot. A ghost is also a deeply conflicted soul. The bests kinds of ghosts died tragically and usually died young. If you can work in a murdered ghost, than you may have a great character.
The main trouble I'm facing is keeping the ghost strongly "present" as I tell the story of Queen Victoria. This spirit is not the protagonist and she is not even the antagonist. Her main purpose is narrator, but she is also inside the story. She shares her feelings, her pains and her ideas, while also sharing the thoughts of the main character. An irony in the story is that if she hadn't died, she would have been the next Queen of England. So she is also a little angry, jealous and odd at times.
Sadly, I don't remember most of the ghost tales I read or was told to as a child. Only a few stand out in my memory. The Headless Horsemen was one, but that was more of a horror story than a true ghost story. I'm pretty sure I read Stephen King's "Christine" as well. I believe there were a few from the Hardy Boys series, but don't ask me for the titles. Most of the ghost stories I came across were shared orally around a campfire in the dark, with myself often being the narrator. Maybe it's because I'm nearing 40, but I can't even recall one of those stories. On the other bloody hand, I do remember how I felt.
Every sound and each gust of wind hold a new weight after a good spirit tale. The trees awake from a deep sleep and stretch out their spiny limbs as if to catch you and do you harm. Even the nocturnal birds and night-time scavengers seem to know when a ghost story has been delivered.
After all, what good would a ghost story be without a creepy owl or a haunting voice carried on the wind. It's just the wind and my imagination playing tricks on me of course. That would be the most probable, but what if the crying sound in the wind was more than that? What if that sound is a restless spirit whom you've just disturbed? Is this spirit angry, evil or lost? Maybe those wished away ghosts have been following me for years, and cursing the ground I walk upon. No wonder I have such bad luck and so many mismatched socks.
Perhaps it is not a spirit at all, but a zombie instead. I'm fairly certain that a zombie only wants live company and will take one's body back into his grave.
Walk gently into the night my friends and never travel alone...