Archive for the ‘Writers Hints/Tips’ Category

Using the magick and lore of the Celtic / Norse gods / goddesses in writing your next novel

Mythology is a symbolic way of looking at the world. Myths use storytelling to put form to the unseen, so that the human mind can expand and begin to know the unknowable. This type of mythology operates on a different plane from that of science, history, or even fiction. A culture’s mythology is its pathway into the mysteries. They use symbolic language to trigger our deepest levels of connection with existence.

The same myth can operate at different levels and can be interpreted in a variety of ways – all of which may be true, all at the same time. The meaning of a myth is not literal, not history, but is poetry.

•It’s not the original plot of the story that’s the important part, but the essence of the character which aligns the use of bits and pieces from lore and myths and rewrites it, expands it, alters it and changes it.
•As you write about your characters you are actually making them more real, bringing them to life and offering them individuality.
•Think of your self as a creator and you are molding these characters, breathing life into them and making them act out a life that you have put together for them.
When you begin to create your characters ask yourself the following questions:

•Where do the deities live – the Astral? – the Otherworld? – or do you have a place you’ve created?
•Do they have laws?
•How would the character react?
•What is their true voice? (Aggressive, haughty, shy, meek, etc.)
•What is their true nature?
•Do they even like each other?
•Is there drama between many of them?
•Is there past history that creates drama and affects how they act, how they speak, how they interact with each other and Earth characters?
•Do different Gods and Goddesses have different degrees of power or ability?
•Does morality vary among the deities just as it does among humans?
•Is it true that no one deity is purely good or purely evil? (more…)

     It is said that in order to create really great characters that your readers care about you must absorb yourself into their psyche; you must take a part of your own personality and place it into ‘them.’  I’m sure many of you have done that – think back – go on…ahhhh, so you remember how that damsel in distress was a part of you when you were going through a tough time, or how the great warrior in your latest fantasy novel resembled your thoughts and feelings on a matter.  This is all great and wonderful for the good guys in a story, but what about the bad guys?

     The same holds true for the villains – yes, the author’s darker side.Sure, everyone wants to see the hero triumph, but in order for that to happen you have to have a really good bad guy, someone that will challenge your hero, someone who will throw out all the obstacles that he can to make the hero really struggle.  But to love the hero one must also love the villain.

     It’ll take an exceptional villain, one with much evil, dastardly doings and underhandedness to capture your reader’s hearts.  He or she will have to pull out all the stops and really be nasty to the hero, doing all they can to destroy him and thwart the whole saving the world thing.  But how do you do that?

     Unfortunately, my friend, you’re going to have to get evil.  Yes, that’s what I said.  You need to think mean and nasty, and allow the dark corners of your demented mind (and yes, I know you have them) to trickle out.  You have to actually draw out from your being all the demented, twisted ideals from the very fabric of your soul and entwine these ideals throughout the story.  The villain will challenge the hero from the very beginning and the storyline must have a balanced roller-coaster ride of really bad stuff happening, then a lull, then more bad stuff happening.  All of which the villain is instigating.

     If you’re having trouble coming up with great ideas for the bad guy to do to the good guy think of opposites.  Example:  In a store line someone may allow another person to cut in line.  What’s the opposite?  What mean thing could be done?  I’ve found a lot of negative, dastardly stuff in cartoon movies, anime, or even by watching some of the best villains in current HBO shows 

     There are actually a lot of great ideas out there, you just have to look. Once you find them you must embrace the dark side, allow your villain to be the most evil, scheming, conniving villain he/she can be, and make your readers love to hate him/her.  Give them a twisted since of humor.  Make them sarcastic.  Make them a complete asshole.  The choice is up to you.

     Go, now, and create.  Enjoy the dastardly events that will make your hero miserable and the reader cheer, yet cry, when your villain is defeated.

Happy Writing!

TJ Perkins