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This Wooden Monster

The following article is my answer to The Sandbox Writing Challenge — Exercise 6




Kelvin M. Knight

So what is holding me back?

Nothing. Everything.

This silent noise inside me. This noisy silence outside of me. The here and now of this moment, of all these moments, in this room and that room. Standing up. Sitting down. Looking out of the window. Looking into myself. This roar of revealing myself and then not being heard hence understood. Such monsters manifest themselves daily. They lurk on these blank pieces of paper. They reveal themselves in the whiteness of my computer screen.

Whiteness is meant to be indicative of purity. These monsters are far from pure. They slither and slide, crawl and claw, scratch and scream through these half finished sentences; these stop, start, stop, start, give up, restart abominations of words. Words whose meaning is lost. Words who lose me.

Lost in this monstrous imagination of mine, this blessing and this curse, I stop wandering aimlessly around and stand still. I sit still. I light a candle. As I stare at this candlelight, as I let it fill my heart, my courage returns. Once the darkness retreats into shadows, shadows inside me and shadows around my computer, my words appear to me like insects.

400-10 Courage Quote - Twain.jpeg

Insects trapped in a web. This web I have spun from all my storytelling, all those characters’ emotional showing not telling. All the things they said and did. All those things they did not say or do. Stuck in this web with me. And then there are those characters whose stories are half completed, whose stories have an ending but no beginning, who have a voice but no story, or a story without the right voice to tell it. Even though I try not to ignore them, I find myself ignoring them. This rankles.

Being ignored holds me back, strange as that may seem. However, discovering the right story to tell, discerning the correct emotions to show, and gauging the impact this will have on my readers when they read for the first time, and often the only time, spurs me on.

After all this web of words is mine. This web of words is a web of lies. Lies I willingly spin to reveal truths untold in a way that is entertaining and enjoyable. A way that makes my readers stop and think.

I cannot complain. I chose this way of life just as storytelling chose me. I cannot not write as much as I cannot stop breathing.

Breath and stories. Stories and life. Life and growth. Growth and change. Change and love. Nothing can hold that back.


First and foremost I am a reader, then a storyteller. My reading tastes are eclectic. My writing can focus around the intimacy of closed settings and may tend towards characters who might be hiding something from themselves.

8 thoughts on “This Wooden Monster

  1. “Once the darkness retreats into shadows, shadows inside me and shadows around my computer, my words appear to me like insects.” I couldn’t help thinking as I read that that without the shadows you’d never find the light (story, voice…). Made me wonder if appreciating the shadows a bit more might take some of their power away… Very interesting post, Kelvin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “A story without the right voice to tell it.” I wonder how many people are in that position? I wonder whether telling those stories is part of our calling as writers?
    “My writing tends to focus around the intimacy of closed settings with characters who hide from themselves.” In “This wooden monster” you have given us a taste of the reality of that statement, as you hide behind layer after silken layer of spinning words, as you shine lights and say “Here it is,” “No, over here…” Hiding, hiding, hiding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Penny, I have missed your insightful comments. Yes. Exactly. Stories without the right voice to tell it are those big monsters I try and face down, luring them out into the open with my lights, my lights, then hiding, hiding, hiding and observing them to get the voice just right.


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