Friday, September 23, 2011

Where I Go #4: Dark Sky, Bright Stars

by: Ellen Faith

The night’s always been mysterious to me. When the sun goes down and the moon takes its place, casting a white glow over my backyard. When creatures scuttle out of their home into the world. It’s like a whole new world after seven pm for me. So I suppose that should explain why I always find it easiest to write at night.

Because when I’m in the dark and I can’t see three or four feet in front of me, my imagination runs wild. Even swimming in the pool at night with its light turned off has me terrified, imagining that there’s going to be a croc stalking me there since it’s a pretty normal thing to happen where I live.

But if the atmosphere isn’t right then the words don’t come out. It’s as simple as that. To write I have to be in the right frame of mind. I have know my characters before I can sit down and write their story, or else their personality is all over the page (seriously!). I have to know where the story is heading each step of the way, or else I go off track. Getting into the right frame of mind is hard sometimes, though when I put these boundaries in place. Especially recently since I haven’t felt like writing at all, even though I know I should be.

Then, one night while I was sitting outside on our swing, I ended up writing almost a thousand words. It felt great. The words kept coming out—like word vomit, but nothing embarrassing. I was writing again and the atmosphere—snuggled in a blanket with my Dalmatian Luna against my legs—was simply perfect. And an owl hooted. That was very much the second highlight of that day after the writing that I did. I love the sound of owls hooting. It truly does add to the atmosphere.

Since I journeyed into writing professionally I’ve learned that even the smallest of sentences about atmosphere can change your story. One sentence about if the air was hot and thick, if the lights were flickering, or even if the street was completely empty can change a scene’s atmosphere. Every little thing affects your writing so it’s important to make sure that when writing you’re not only in the best frame of mind, but that you’re in the right place. At least for me, that is.

Ellen Faith is a sixteen-year-old Aussie writer, reader and blogger while completing grade eleven (which makes for an interesting schedule). Ellen wants to be published, become a lawyer (in case she doesn’t get published until she’s 80) and travel/live in Europe one day. With her loony Dalmatian and her sanity by her side, she hopes she one day succeeds at all three.

Vist Ellen's blog at


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