Category Archives: Emily Godhand

Saving people. Hunting things. The family business.

The TV show Supernatural has gotten a reputation for being a show about two male models (who happen to be brothers) who hunt paranormal creatures, while repeatedly coming back from the dead. Much like the seasons and story arcs after the end of Eric Kripke’s Era of the first five seasons. So we’re not going to talk about those, or I’d be here all night.

The first season of Supernatural opens with a prologue. Family settles down for the night. Mother hears a noise and goes to check on her infant son, Sam. Father goes to check on his wife, and finds her on the ceiling. Bleeding. And then on fire.

So, hello there inciting incident to the overall story arc! Character motivation and high-stakes villain, so nice of you to join us so soon!

And then it does something very subtle, but important. The father hands off the infant to the six year old Dean, telling him “Take your brother outside as fast as you can. Don’t look back.” Translated? “Protect your brother and keep him safe. That’s the most important thing.”

The child cradles his infant brother and tells him, “It’s okay, Sam.” And then he looks up to the room consumed by flames and the family that was there. He looked back.

His father snatches them both away before the fire bursts out of the windows and doors.

Title screen.

Like oh, wow, okay, so that happened. And then what?

Cut to Halloween at Stanford, ‘present day’. Sam is grown up and has a seemingly normal life. A girlfriend. Excellent LSAT scores and his choice of a full-ride at just about any law school he wants. But then Dean shows up, looking like he doesn’t want to be there, and asks for help. “Dad’s on a hunting trip, and he hasn’t been home for a few days.” And Sam knows exactly what Dean means.

Our only indication outside of the, you know, title, that this is about paranormal hunters is the strangeness of the circumstances in the prologue.

You can tell that Sam and Dean are a bit estranged, and it’s revealed that Sam didn’t like growing up in a transient lifestyle of constantly hunting monsters. Dean wasn’t much into it either, but he saw it as a necessity, because he was old enough to remember the stakes and what he’s lost. And now he risks losing his father, too.

So with a truck full of guns, hatchets, and silver-bullets, they drive off together, on the road again in a black ‘67 Chevy Impala while nostalgic rock music plays in the background.

And as the story progresses, as each new season is introduced, the stakes are raised higher, and higher. ((We’re going to ignore the episode with the possessed racist truck ghost.))

First, there’s the yellow-eyed demon who killed their mother. He is amassing an army of demons, who are near impossible to kill at this point, for God knows what. ((Except God is missing, but we’ll get to that later.))

At first, they risk losing each other. Then their father, who they do lose, and it’s just them. And then they risk losing each other, again, because one’s dead, then not, and the other is destined for hell in a year.

Whew, okay, deep breath.

Stopped the demon army, learned about family and being there for each other, and reinforced the bond that was established when they were very young. Dean will do anything, anything, up to and including “Promise your immortal soul to the enemy that killed your father and mother” to protect his little brother.

Sam is just as loyal to Dean. He wants to try to find a way around

And then an angel literally grips Dean tight and raises him from perdition. Oh, yeah, now there are angels, too. They’re not all good, let alone on our duo’s side. In fact some of them are actively working against them, on top of all the demons they have to deal with.

They get a blade that can take care of demons, and oh look, now there’s another Big Bad even more powerful than the first one! And the seals that keep Lucifer locked away are being broken faster and faster. You gotta move, boys. Gotta figure this out.

So angels and demons are all warring amongst themselves and with the Winchester boys as they try to cause or stop a full on Apocalpyse, and God is still missing.

Until he isn’t.

And you think, oh, wow. So is God going to be on the Winchester’s side and fight the devil himself with a set of unified angels behind him? Are the Winchesters going to have to fight frickin’ God now?

And sadly, no, the God figure is more of a literal author who just organizes the world and lets the characters have free will to play out the story as they see fit.

Which means, they have to take down Lucifer themselves. Together. After all they’ve been through. But to do so, they might have to lose each other (…again.)

Took notes? All caught up? Good.

One of the writing lessons I took away from this series was how compelling, emotionally charged characters with a deep connection to each other (and a lot of humor, rock and roll, and self-awareness thrown in) can still drive a story when the plot seems to consist of the “…and…?” impromptu technique.

Now the series has 11 seasons and is being renewed for a 12th. Tumblr and DeviantArt and every other fandom forum out there are still talking about the show and analyzing the details in it years later. I’m pretty sure half the internet right now is Supernatural .gifs.

So, find something about your story, some aspect that you do really, really well. Work it. Respond to the fans and rework it to give them more of what they want.

Meet the Fictorians: Emily Godhand

“Come in, — come in! and know me better, man!” -Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

We’d love for you, our wonderful readers, to get to know us better. That’s why, each month, Kristin Luna will interview a member of The Fictorians. We’ll learn more about each member, such as their writing processes, their work, where they live, and what they prefer to drink on a warm summer’s day. We hope you enjoy this monthly installment of Meet the Fictorians.

Meet the Fictorians:

Emily Godhand

Kristin Luna (KL): Hi Emily! How are you and what are you drinking right now?

Emily Godhand (EG): I’m well, doing the same thing I do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world.
…while sipping a hard drink, of course.

KL: You’re one of our newest Fictorians, and I thought this would be a great opportunity for our readers to get to know you. Can you tell us a little about you?

EG: Dark thriller author, former psych nurse, and rat enthusiast. I am an Ambassador for, where I am the administrator for a profile of international paranormal authors called the “Ouija Board of Directors.”

KL: What inspires you the most when it comes to writing?

EG: I’d have to say music and the nightmares I’ve had for over 16 years now. Lyrics are poetry and music is poetry without words. I’m not sure I’m actually capable of expressing myself without music playing, but fortunately I always have a radio playing in my head. If you see me dancing with my eyes closed, you’re welcome to join in. As far as the nightmares, they were of course surreal, but I couldn’t die in them (because I’m me.) I started to write them down, and then re-write them, and through that I was able to become lucid and redirect the story from inside the dream.

My friends discovered my journal and kept asking, “…and then what happened?”, so I turned them into stories.

KL: You have a great presence on Wattpad. What’s your username/website? Can you tell us a little about that process?

EG: Absolutely. You can find me at, as well as the ParanormalCommunity profile at

Signing up for Wattpad is easy! All you need is a username and password of course, and then an email, Facebook, or G+ account. As far as Wattpad particulars, I’ve started a book to help new users adjust to the particulars of how to do well on Wattpad. The biggest thing to remember is that Wattpad is mostly a community of mobile readers, so, activity within the comments section will be your biggest way to interact with the community and to draw attention to your story. Wattpad’s biggest demographic is young women, and there is a robust LGBT+ and fanfiction community.

KL: Do you have any books out right now?

EG: I currently have a work in progress on Wattpad called “Fear of the Dark”, about two women who seek freedom, then revenge, on the cult that killed them. I’m also working on two projects for the ParanormalCommunity to teach the community within a frame story so that writers and readers alike can enjoy. Paranormal Academy teaches users about historical/cultural lore and common tropes and Paranormal Powers teaches about such things as ESP, Clairvoyance, Telekinesis, and other such abilities found in paranormal stories. That one I write with my friend and fellow author J.S Bennett, who also wrote a story with me that was published in “A Game of Horns: A Red Unicorn Anthology” that raised scholarship funds for aspiring writers to attend the Superstars Writing Seminar here in Colorado.

KL: Where can we read more of your writing?

EG: At this time I’m currently working on launching my website,, where I’ll post updates on my works in progress and links to published books. Probably some rat pictures, too.
…Yeah, that’s about guaranteed. My rats are adorable.

KL: I’m friends with you on Facebook, and I love your posts. Specifically, I love your posts about rats. Where did your love of rats come from?

EG: When I was still a psychology major, we studied rats at the lab at the main campus and I became fascinated with how much about them I had learned wrong. They were clean, intelligent, friendly creatures who just wanted to snuggle and eat snacks with their friends. They’re also incredible survivalists, who will not only persevere and thrive in the worst conditions, but care for their colony. They bring food to the infirm, they share treats, they will free a trapped buddy and defend each other.

I guess I really identified with a small, cute, cuddly creature who will sink their teeth into your flesh if you threaten them or their friends.

KL: You have a unique job, and I was wondering if you could tell us more about that and how it’s factored into your writing?

EG: I am still a nurse, and though I’ve since moved out of psychiatric work due to frustrations with the system, I use my writing to help educate and advocate about mental illness, particularly depression and PTSD, or Post-Trauma Stress Disorder. A lot of my characters will often have anxiety, depression, or PTSD due to the things they’ve experienced in the past or things experience during the course of the novel. I was frustrated with reading about heroes who were unaffected by what happened to them, because I feel that reading is a way to learn how to process, adapt, and overcome similar situations in our lives. Reading about the character’s mental process of dealing with these issues and coming out on top can be cathartic and validating to a reader (and to the writer crafting the story). It shows heroes who are afraid, and then act anyway. People who are tired and exhausted but carry on. It also humanizes people with these conditions and I hope will reduce harmful stigma and stereotypes, because it is written in their, or rather my, voice.

I currently work with individuals with physical disabilities, who, like individuals with psychiatric disabilities, I feel are another underrepresented group within literature. While my patients’ stories aren’t mine to tell, I do like to include characters with a variety of disabilities in my stories because they are people who exist in our world, and deserve to exist in worlds we craft.

KL: If you could give any writerly advice, what would you say to new writers?

EG: Writing, or any form of communication really, whether music or art or dance, is a practiced skill that is developed. If your words aren’t perfect at first, keep writing. If you hate everything that comes out, get something down anyway, because you cannot edit nothing. Write sentences where you accidentally leave out the verb because you’re so excited to get the idea out. If you get stuck on a scene or what a character says, write “TK” and come back to it. Don’t lose the momentum. Maybe you won’t feel it’s ‘good enough’ because your first draft is not the same as the edited, polished work of individuals who have worked for years on improving their skill, and that’s okay. Keep working on it.

KL: What has been your favorite Fictorians post that you’ve written so far?

EG: My favorite would have to be my two part piece on conflict. Part One, Perceiving A Threat covered the ways that different people from different backgrounds might perceive, or not perceive, a threat. Part 2, Reacting to the Threat, described the different ways someone of different upbringings and experiences might react differently.

Within our culture and within writing, I feel there is not enough understanding of what constitutes violence and the various and valid ways that people perceive and react to it. The social, cultural, and situational things that influence how we might act or react should be reflected in the stories we tell, because they are our stories, and how we communicate with each other. What we learn from stories influences how we perceive ourselves and contributes to the lens through which we read our experiences, past and future.


If you have any questions for Emily, please leave a comment below. Thank you for reading!

Walter White, you monster.

Everyone loves a good anti-hero, right? Maybe they have limited…moral inhibitions, but we root for them because ultimately we believe that even if their methods aren’t right, they are. The thing we wish we could do if only we weren’t constrained by things like “propriety” and “conscience”. The anti-hero becomes a sort of escapist fantasy where the reader or viewer can be a badass who gets what they want (or what ‘needs to be done’, you know, whatever they tell themselves to sleep at night) vicariously through the protagonist.

And they’re memorable characters for that, sure. Yeah. Of course.

…but let me tell you about a villain protagonist. A sociopath who is good at manipulation. You root for him to overcome obstacles because he was a normal person like you. A seemingly loving and attentive father who wanted a place in his family’s hearts. A teacher and brilliant chemist who wanted his contribution to his field to go noticed and appreciated. A victim fighting against life’s unfair cruelty that left him with terminal cancer and against a system that would let him die because he wasn’t rich enough to afford to live.

But with each new murder, each new atrocious act he rationalizes to assuade his own self-guilt, he asks more, and more, and more of your sympathy and support, until you have nothing more to offe-

Wait, you’re saying that Walter White was a compelling and memorable character until the very end?

Once he’s in the criminal underworld, even though he had many chances to quit and turn back, he doesn’t take them. He wasn’t in too deep. There was a way out. But like the Greek tragedies, he had a fatal flaw that lead to his downfall. His perception that he’s sunk so much of his life and savings and good-will into this that he can’t stop now, no matter how much he promises and thinks he can, is overshadowed by the insight that he…he likes it.

What’s more, he can justify his own behavior to himself. He believes himself, in the beginning at least, that he’s the victim, that he is doing what needs to be done to provide for his family before he’s gone. That the alternative is for him to die thinking he’s lived a meaningless life and his family in debt and grief.

But he likes what he does. He likes the taste of power when he previously felt powerless. He likes the recognition for his talents and skills when he felt he had fallen from grace after his contributions weren’t acknowledged and the people he worked with made a lot of money off HIS ideas. Money he really needs now. He had done everything “right”, and he still didn’t have what he wanted.

Now? Now he has nothing left to lose, he feels, because he’s already a dead man, and he can have one last shot at everything he wanted.

The ‘sunk-cost’ fallacy that explains why humans tend to “throw good money after bad”, also applies to the viewers as well. We’ve invested so much emotionally in this character ourselves, we’ve identified so much with them, that we want him to be redeemed…or at least see his goal through.

Because ultimately, as much as we want to be the powerful professional who is finally recognized for their talents, whose name puts fear in the hearts of our enemies under the illusion that that will protect our prestige and authority, as much as we want to be the one who knocks

We want to know that it was all worth it. We want to know there’s an escape from our own mistakes. Because the character has become a viewer-insert, we begin to rationalize their actions on their behalf. Even an atrocious murder is a victory for us, because it was a victory for that character.

We want redemption to be possible for us, because the character was written in a way that we think, “But for the Grace of God goes I.”

And even if it is a tragedy and the main character goes out in a blaze of glory, we find comfort in the thought that we won’t forget their name, or the legacy they left behind.

Making Tea…and time to write.

Here’s a stupid joke:
“How do you identify a writer in a crowd?”

You call out “Shut up and write!” and wait for them to wail back “But I don’t have the tiiime!”

Haha, I’m so funny.

But also, I’m that writer. We all are at times. We think, “Oh man, if I could just quit my day job, then all I’d have to do is write! I could wake up at the crack of dawn, grab some coffee after a nice brisk walk to get my blood flowing to the creative part of my brain, and just sit at the keyboard until lunch and bleed.”

Oh and how I dream, readers. I dream of this idyllic life. All that free time just to sit and write and write and write…

If that’d be the case, if I were so disciplined and motivated, on my days off of my Breadjob, I’d be doing that. I mean, wouldn’t I? 

But what do I do oftentimes? Get some coffee, sit down at my keyboard, and not write a single word.

Oh sure, I’ll type out some things on Facebook. To people. I can tell them all the words. I can tell them all about my story and my thoughts and my feelings and what happens in this particular scene. Meanwhile, my manuscript is sitting all alone in its little folder, quietly sobbing to itself and wondering why, if I love it so much, I tell other people and not it?

So what am I doing, really? Waiting for Calliope herself to descend to this mortal plane and wrap her arms around me, sing sweet hymns into my ears to inspire me? Not even inspire me, just tell me what to write! It’s not like writing is work or anything. Make her do all the work and complain when she doesn’t.

That’s the ticket to success right there.

One of the things that helps is to prioritize what needs to be done today, and what my needs are for the week. For example, on my days off from work, is it more important for me to recover and rest from whatever is going on and spend time on myself, or is it more important to get my deadline done for my long-term goals?

But in our drive to succeed, we can’t forget that we need to nourish ourselves. Not just our bodies with food and sleep, but our connections to the things and people we love. The story isn’t more important than the person writing it, and oftentimes seeking out new experiences or conversations will refill your creative well, so to speak.

Authors often talk of rituals that work for them, and you should find what works for you. I have mine, but they don’t always work.

For example:
“I’ll brew some tea. A little caffeine to help me focus. Also, tea.”
“I’ll just check Facebook while it brews!”
“…Aww those rat pictures sure are super cute.”
“A political argument? On the internet? This is important and I should join in!”
“Ooh, this article my friend linked is super interesting.”
“I should talk to them about it.”
“Well, they’re afk, so I’ll check on Wattpad.”
“Maybe another episode of my favorite TV show will inspire me…”
“Aww my friend is back! I love talking to friends!”
“Oh man! What time is it? Jeez, what have I been doing. I never have any time to write. I don’t know how other authors do it. It’s not fair.”
“I’m going to go write and be a Good Writer.”
“I should make some tea before I write.”

But the better one that works involves eliminating those distractions:

“I’ll brew some tea. While it brews I can look over what I have and edit the outline a bit more and organize what scenes I plan to get done.”
~Two Hours Later~
“Well, got 1,000 words done, about half the chapter. I’ll give it a look over tonight before I post it.”
“Didn’t I have some tea? I should make some tea…”

When I get distracted, what gets me back on track is to realize how much time I’m wasting and eliminate those distractions. I turn off the WiFi and go find a secluded spot where I can put on my noise-canceling headphones and just write. It takes about 15 minutes to get really focused on a task, and then once I’m focused I dedicate the next 45-55 minutes to it, since that’s about how long something can generally hold attention.

Then I like to do something else that doesn’t take much thought, such as walking, errands, or chores. I get my work done so I’m not neglecting other aspects of my life, and it gives my brain a chance to recharge and refresh for when I sit down to write again.

So when are you going to find time to write?

WRITE-NOW-LOGO-AWI make no apologies for puns.