Ghosts and Imagination by Donna Jean McDunn

What is it about ghosts that fascinate us? Do they live only in our imaginations? Or do they live in the dark shadows of the night, waiting for their victims to fall asleep? Maybe it depends on what kind of ghost we’re talking about. Is it a ghost, like Casperthe friendly ghost, who only seeks friendship, or is the ghost a little more lethal, like Nichol Kidman as Grace in The Others? She wanted to keep a secret hidden at all cost, so she didn’t have to face what she had done?

I love writing about both kinds of ghosts, the good and the scary. I love reading about them too. Many of my favorite books and movies have been about ghosts and spirits. Which brings me to another question, are ghosts and spirits the same thing? Were spirits once living and breathing humans who died, and now are unseen entities that wreak havoc or good, depending on their agenda, on the unsuspecting.

If ghosts were humans who passed into the spirit world, does that passing automatically make them a spirit or does staying in our world make them a ghost?

Since I write fiction, for me, the answer is another question. Does it really matter?

As a fiction writer, I get to decide what their fate will be. In The Merriam Webster Dictionary, fiction is defined as “something (as in a story) invented by the imagination”. Those words, “invented by the imagination”, is the key to writing fiction.

The characters in a story can be whatever we want to imagine them to be. They can be evil or good, sad or happy, brave or cowardly. Maybe the characters start out as good or cowardly and by the end of the story, they’ve evolved into evil or brave. Since almost no one is all evil or all good, it’s up to the writer to make believable characters the reader will either love or love to hate, but those characters are only a figment of the writer’s imagination until someone reads their words.

Writers create characters with the written word, but it’s the readers of those words that give them a life with a purpose. Without the reader, the words lie dormant.

I speak to the reader that lives in all of us and thank anyone who reads my words and gives my characters and stories the life I have imagined for them. Without a reader, my characters are only words on a page.

If by chance, the reader is also a writer of fiction, my wish for you, is to keep writing and inventing characters I can read about and there for I can give life to your work in return.

Please, leave a comment and allow me to find your words, whether they are about ghosts or whatever that has inspired you to use your imagination to create. It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone. We have one another to help guide and support us.

Leave me a comment and let me know where I may find your words. I’d love to hear from you and read your work.

Some of my work can be found online: Here’s a direct link to my children’s story “Pack Leader” at Knowonder Magazine.

I also have a children’s story, “The Golden Stallion” online at Once on the site click on the Story Library and then Children’s Stories

In May, my children’s story, “Gus’ Big Adventure” will be published at Bumples Magazine.

In June my first adult short story, “Saving Katie” will be published at


One response to “Ghosts and Imagination by Donna Jean McDunn

  1. Hi Donna,
    What a fantastic blog post!
    I’m not much of a ghost fan, but I do love “The Ghost Whisper”. I also love reading about the paranormal and other things of that nature.
    Grea job, Donna. I look forward to your next post and all those that follow.


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