By Laurie Steven. October 7, 2022

Witches in folk tales can be found feeding unfortunate heroines poisoned apples (Snow White), plumping up children to eat them (Hansel and Gretel) and trapping  damsels in towers (Rapunzel). They are not nice women.

These days we suspect that women healers in pagan religions were intentionally demonized as Christianity devoured its competition by burning women accused of witchcraft at the stake. In response, there has been an effort cast witches in a more positive light in works like the musical Wicked and in the Harry Potter series.

So what’s a writer to do?  First, I think we should ask: what can a witch do for your story?

Witches are tricksters who can lead people into danger. The rollercoaster journey that ensues as characters try to extract themselves from the clutches of death, forces them to grow and reach a greater understanding of themselves.

One of the ways of creating a witch is to find one in your life. No better place to start than by looking inside yourself.  Did a mischievous inner spirit ever trick you into a potentially devastating life decision and how did that work out?

Who whispered in my ear “make a podcast series, you can do it in six months, it can’t be that hard”? I suspect it was a sadistic workaholic who lurks in my subconscious, hatching sneaky plans that prey on my willful naiveté.

It’s not the first time I’ve been down this road only to find myself saying, two years later in this case, I can’t believe what a nest of toil and trouble I got myself into.

Just as we know that Snow White should not take that apple, I know I should look before I leap. But she takes that apple and I didn’t look. Ask yourself if you’ve ever had a voice whispering in your ear, luring you into your own hornets’ nest.

Once you find your own witch, you’ve got the beginnings of a great character and maybe a path to personal recovery.

Then again, if what your witch tricked you into turned out to be something quite rewarding, you may be back to square one, thinking: I can’t wait to begin work on The Other Path Season Two. Score another one for the witch! 

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy discovering Emily Pohl-Weary’s take on the magnificent witch, Baba Yaga, a multi-faceted immortal whose deadly tests make Lisa face her inner demons.