Using Mythology to Improve Your Writing

Here is some food for thought, feast your imagination

A Writer's Path

by Doug Lewars

Mythology is a goldmine for authors–particularly those who write fantasy–although some of the plots within the myths can be adapted to other genres as well. Myths are a feature of every culture and they’re generally used to explain natural phenomena or the establishment of cultural norms. They are deemed to be of sufficient importance that courses on the subject are offered at the university level.

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4 thoughts on “Using Mythology to Improve Your Writing

  1. A fine article. It reminded me that we often use mythological themes quite unawares. Yesterday while blogging I came across the word “lycanthropy” and I was immediately curious as to the meaning to discover that one basic theme of my current fantasy novel depends heavily on that theme: the ability of a human or humanoid entity to shape-shift into a wolf or a werewolf. Thus in a Brave New Word time when mythology is relegated to the dust-covered back shelves of history, we carry it forth nevertheless, aware of it or not. It’s in us and it will not be eradicated by crass consumerism and the sere (sear) worlds of evolutionary science and bandit economics.

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    • In my own personal journeys through imagination, speculation and reflection (Durn! I spoiled the poetic flow) it appears Humanity will always find a way to bring a metaphysical or mythical edge to everything, everywhere, for better or for worse. (Such as the trillions of $, £, francs, etc we magic up to make economics work- alchemy has finally arrived people!)
      In my personal meld of scientific and theistic beliefs…. who’s to say ‘it’ can’t happen, somewhere, somewhen, somehow….

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      • One of the several basic lessons from the Teacher YLea: Know this, that nothing is impossible. The entire global banking system is pure alchemy. The problem with alchemy is that its power doesn’t come from thin air – it is drawn out of nature and the blood, sweat, tears and death, of billions of willing and unwilling slaves throughout the planet. Even while writing of alchemical powers in my novel I couldn’t escape that fact. Everything extracts a price.

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