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Still looking for ideas for your 'under a spell' entry?

If you still can't think of a spell to start your next witchy story, or need some other hints... read on

By Raymond G. TaylorPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 5 min read
Top Story - October 2023
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Alice Boyd, The Witches go to Market, 1876, public domain

Bless you! What's that if not a magic spell? Well I guess it could be a prayer but then again... what's the difference?

"Happy birthday to you" is a line from a song. But if you sing it and then ask the birthday girl or boy to blow out candles on a cake, then surely that's a spell too? I once heard a talk about magic that made just this point.

Write a witch awards: WINNERS ANNOUNCED

If you are still struggling (as I am) to think up some new ideas for the Under a spell challenge, why not start with something simple. The

challenge has two main requirements. You write about a coven, and the first line has to be a spell. A coven is just a group of witches, and there are covens that meet around the world to this day. The term may have a sinister connotation and in fiction it is a commonplace that wicked witches meet as covens to cast their evil spells.

Fact and fiction, there are good witches, bad witches, funny witches, literary witches and witches from history. During the 17th and 18th centuries there were many persecutions of people accused of witchcraft and devil worship and some may have practiced witchcraft, others were simply those viewed with suspicion within a community or those that others harbored grudges against.

So if you are looking for inspiration, a simple piece of web research into historical, fictional or latter-day witchcraft should produce some good ideas. You may even like to try using one of the Chat applications currently being plugged. I have written several articles about how to use Chat-GPT for research and please feel free to make use of these if it helps.

AI tools like Chat-GPT can often help with research but can also provide some useful ideas as a starting point. If you are going to use any text generated by GPT and such systems, please add a note to say that you have done so. There is too much AI-produced text on this forum for my liking and much of it is not properly labelled.

For those who consider AI to be akin to a wicked witch, or those who want to know more about how to make good use of AI, one of my articles deals with how to use AI responsibly.

Back to the question of spells and spelling. One approach you could try is to write a spell as a simple rhyme, as many literary spells seem to be. "double double, toil and trouble" from Macbeth, for instance, although in this case the rhyme is a prophesy rather than a spell. You can see what I mean, though.

For one of the short stories I am trying hard to complete for the 'Under a spell' challenge, I have written the spell to start the story, introduced the main character, just can't quite decide where to take it. Still, plenty of time to go (nine days as I write) so hopefully I will have something to show by the deadline. If you are interested, the spell goes like this:

Breezes calm and waters placid, render this man's member flaccid.

As you might imagine, the intention of this spell is to introduce a story that has a humorous and irreverent tone to it. It will feature a character from another witchy story I published a while ago. In Dark clouds gather, there is a scene where a young witch talks about her best spell and it is this

character and her successful (but mischievous) spelling that has inspired my yet-to-be challenge submission.

I will link the story here once I have entered it

If you like the rhyming spell approach I have suggested above why not give it a go? You are welcome to use any of my suggestions but please credit the source if you do copy the words verbatim. Once you start scribbling down or keying in some ideas, you will soon find something that inspires you to write a stunning witchy submission for the challenge. Jotting down some initial ideas or prompt words is often a good way to start your creative juices flowing.

If you still need some nudging, how about playing around with some of the following ideas:

  • Eye of toad and wing of bat...
  • Witches old and witches young...
  • Frogs and snails and puppy dogs' tails...
  • Jewels and gems and diadems...
  • Bless this house and all within it...
  • Sun and moon and planets bright...
  • Blessed Venus, hear my plea / prayer / voice..
  • Dreaded demons come to this place / house / town

The list could be endless and I am sure you will come up with your own brilliant ideas for a spell to start your story with.

I don't know if some of the things I have suggested will count as spells but you could always try asking the Vocal team if you are not sure

A lot of my witchy stories have been inspired by witches of history, books, films and TV. I have referred to this in another of my articles. I am also

Another tip for inspiration. Think of the names of your favorite witches then weave those names into a witchy story. Mine would be Samantha and Tabitha. You know who they are?

acquainted with several practicing witches and those who follow wiccan and pagan beliefs, often a blend of these things and other spiritualistic ideas. I will even be attending the famous international Witchfest event in London in November. If you are planning to go, do let me know and I would love to meet up there.

Dont forget, if you have written a story for the 'Under a spell' challenge, you can also enter it into my unofficial Write-a-witch awards and earn an additional cash prize: $20 to be won in total.

Other witchy vocal creators

For more inspiration, I would recommend the following creators/stories:

Plus:

Yet more witchery from other Vocal creators:

I will add some more when I get time. Please feel free to make suggestions.

Love, peace and blessings (is this a spell too?)

Ray

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About the Creator

Raymond G. Taylor

Author based in Kent, England. A writer of fictional short stories in a wide range of genres, he has been a non-fiction writer since the 1980s. Non-fiction subjects include art, history, technology, business, law, and the human condition.

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Comments (13)

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  • Matthias Evans 4 months ago

    Intresting post

  • Rob Angeli4 months ago

    Thanks for these compendia on the subject, I actually just finished my entry, but I wanted to read this and see what was up, excellent work. I will get into some reading of that tomorrow on my day off. I chose to do a horror story with a Navajo setting, to discuss initiation into Yee naaldlooshii or the art of the shapeshifter/skinwalker. https://vocal.media/horror/by-means-of-which-it-goes-on-all-fours Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Naomi Gold4 months ago

    As an actual witch (yeah, we’re not mythical creatures or wrongly accused “healers”) I find this so well written! All words are spells. Prayers, chants, poems, psalms, petitions, even song lyrics. That’s why we must be very mindful about what we take in. It shapes our subconscious thoughts, putting a spell on us. Thank you for this, and congrats on your Top Story. 🥂

  • Lamar Wiggins4 months ago

    Congrats Ray! And yes, I’m looking for a different idea now. I’ve read quite a few and two of them had very similar plots as the one I was working on, so I abandoned my entry. I will keep the first few paragraphs, everything else need to change, lol. Congrats again on your Top Story!

  • Naveed 4 months ago

    Congratulations on reaching the status of a top story!

  • Mark Graham4 months ago

    You have the way. Good work. I am posting a poem using the word 'witchcraft' for an acrostic poem.

  • Hahahahahahahhahahaha I freaking laughed out loud at your spell! Now I can't wait to read that story!

  • Akina Marie 4 months ago

    Thanks for the share, Raymond! This is such an amazing resource for writers.

  • Joelle E🌙4 months ago

    Awww Raymond! This feature really means a lot. Thank you.

  • Mother Combs4 months ago

    Thank you for including my story.

  • Judey Kalchik 4 months ago

    This is a rather amazing reference for anyone and everyone. I was one of those that struggled until I found an angle I could embrace. I'm going top link it to your challenge. Thank you for this!

  • You can do it👍💯😉🧡👻🧛💭🎬

  • StoryholicFinds4 months ago

    Love it! ❤️

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