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Starting a mythology?

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Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:57 am
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Snoink says...



I have a mythology in my head. How do I first go about writing it? Any tips?
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

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Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:47 am
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Meshugenah says...



I don't think there's a set way to do a mythology.. I would write down everything you know about it first, and work from there. Make sure you know what you're talking about before writing, I would think. This is all assuming your talking about your own mythology, not existing ones. With existing ones research is key.

This also depends on how you want to write this. For a story by itself, you'll need more novel type elements, not just mythological stories. Short ones are what I see most.. like snippits of lives. Or you could write it like a story, if that makes sense.

If this is more backround,or part of a larger story, than I would write down everything, and then work it in throughout the story.

Start at the beginning, or as close to it as you can, or the beginning as you know it, for your own pruposes (at least I would). Then, depending on how you mean to write this, you can work it in accordingly, and confuse others while knowing exactly what you're talking about.

Or you can just go for it, which I think is the most fun.

One thing, though. If this is going to be big, keep notes. Just random things like who's related to who and how, feuds and how they strated, hair colour, favourite foods, strange character/god/creature charactistics and relations to human or humaniod group/gods/eachother, etc.

basically, notes and go for it. Or did you want something more specific?
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Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:55 am
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Snoink says...



Well... I was thinking, how would I approach writing such an epic?
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

Moth and Myth <- My comic! :D




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Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:05 pm
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Rei says...



Read Joseph Campell.
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Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:35 pm
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Bjorn says...



I would say look at Tolkien, but unfortunately he had the same problem. At first, I mean, when he wrote the Book of Lost Tales, it started with a mariner who came to the Lonely Isle, and there learned much of the History of Elves, and the Beginnings of the world. Later it evolved into something like The Silmarillion, though of course, that was published after his death, and in the fashion of his son's thoughts. Many claim it to be read like a history, and true it is, but a tale nonetheless. If you haven't read The Silmarillion, perhaps reading it will give you ideas, especially for a mythology.




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Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:10 am
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Bjorn says...



I must add, that recently reading The Book of Lost Tales, I have started creating a myth myself, I just read the account of 'The Sun and the Moon', and immediately after thoughts swam through my head of my own account of the sun and the moon, their origins and placement and movements and such. It adds on to a 3/4 page that I wrote about an old hermit, or the one that controls the winter, and lives and is en-girdled in the far north 'the North Pole', and he was inspired by Santa Claus, whom I have began thinking about again, and how he enslaved the elves, and bought mans heart. So doth this hermit have similar origins and he was the primevil of the world.




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Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:41 am
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spike71294 says...



Are there many characters with complex backgrounds?
Then I suggest you should tell each of their stories in different chapters like short stories (Don't forget to mention the time and the place).
If there aren't many characters then tell it like a story. Go to the library and read some re-tellings of mythologies. I have one named 'Jason and the Argonauts'.
I am writing a story that has rich culture and myths, but it's not centered on the myth but on the characters who are supposed to be real people. (By real I mean they aren't mythical.)
The only advice I can give you is just write and if it doesn't work then write again. Life is long.




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Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:53 am
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Snoink says...



Oy, yes they are a lot of characters and they have very complex backgrounds. But they're very connected with each other, so it's weird. And sometimes they are people who were resurrected after thousands of years, so they have connections with different time periods. And you have immortals. And you have mortals. And dead people. So that part is weird. And there are other weird parts.

So yeah. Even though this topic is almost six years old, it has been baffling me for several years now and continues to baffle me. XD
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

Moth and Myth <- My comic! :D




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Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:50 pm
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Kyllorac says...



Well, especially with epic-scale mythologies, I always like to start at the beginning:

    How was the world formed?
    How did the people (in the most general sense of the word) come into existence?
    Where did X tradition/social structure/etc. come from?
And then comes the fun part:

    What do the various peoples believe happened?
Alternative forms of myths are always fun to play with and give your mythology a greater sense of realism and scope.

At this point, you should have a whole bunch of little myth snippets and notes, so the next step is to collect some of these smaller mini-myths into a larger myth. For instance, the creation of the moon in one myth could be tied as a cause of the existence of nocturnal creatures. You could make the creation of the moon and nocturnal creatures one myth, or you could make them two interrelated myths.

The nice thing about myths is that they're often short and reference other myths, be it through characters or events, so when you begin to compile your mini-myths into a more readable myth form, it's always a good idea to incorporate connections between elements of other mini-myths and even refer to them specifically.

As you go along and add more to the mythology, it's always a good idea to go back and add references here and there to the oldest myths you wrote, to keep your mythology consistent.

Writing a mythology is a pretty nonlinear process as you're constantly going back and including a reference here, fitting in another myth there, rearranging the order of the myths, and adding more and more elements to the larger mythology. You really can't finalize an organization of the myths or even tell it in a coherent story format until you've finished writing the larger mythology, and then it's a matter of finding a common thread you can follow through all the myths.

I'm writing a mythology right now (To Touch the Moon and Sun), and there are two common threads: the Rimwalker and a yet unintroduced character, Nameless. The basic plan is for the story half to center around Nameless' journey to touch the moon and sun, while the myths tend to center around the Rimwalker, with a lot of overlap between the two main threads. I'm still figuring out how to mesh the two threads together, but in the meantime, I'm writing out the two separate threads since I have a clear idea of what to do within each thread.

Besides which, making things work is the job of later drafts. XD
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Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:03 pm
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Alpha says...



I suggest you read Abandon by Meg Cabot (when it comes out in Spring 2011 ). It's based on the myth of Persephone and Hades. Reading it might help you...
hrm. -judges silently-







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