Posts Tagged: Myth

And They Lived Happily Ever After...

“You can’t deny myth. It’s too powerful. You have to embrace it.”

I didn’t come to writing through literature and creative writing courses. I was a singer and then a lawyer before I turned to writing. I had an instinctive sense of what was satisfying, (and really writing is about telling a story you’d like to read), but actually analyzing how you make something engaging and emotionally satisfying is a long process, and you never stop learning. This little essay on myth represents where I am in the journey of learning and refining upon which I’ve embarked.

So how did this musing about myth and to some degree fairy tales all start? It was because of a movie script and a video game.

I’ve been writing a movie for Universal Pictures based on the Wild Card books that I co-edit with George R.R. Martin, and there’s a father/son situation in the script. My protagonist was a man trying to live up to the legend of a deceased father and this shows up on about page three of the script. The world is filled with images and comments about this father. Ultimately my hero discovers his father’s not dead, and then I had to figure out how Frank was going to react emotionally. What would he actually do? Read More »

Rinse and Repeat?

The idea behind my recent series, the Aetherial Tales, is simple: I wanted to write my own version of the “other-race living among us” trope, but in my own individual way. Although each novel can be read as a stand-alone, the most recent volume, Grail of the Summer Stars, completes a bigger story arc that was simmering in the background of Elfland and Midsummer Night. And that set me thinking about the themes – conscious or otherwise – that keep cropping up in an author’s work.

For years I had this idea in my head that every new book I wrote had to be completely different from the last, different from anything else that’s ever been written! Sigh. It took a while, but eventually I accepted that this is impossible. Well – at least incredibly rare and not always desirable. (Readers often want “more of the same”, and why not?) Virtually everything that can be written about already has been, and will be again, over and over. And that’s fine: many themes are universal because we can all relate to them. Love, birth, death, survival, finding the place we truly belong, war, crime and justice, the hero’s journey, and so on, are timeless and resonant. They don’t have to become clichés, as long as the author can bring an individual voice, pull something fresh from a well of compassion, wit or wisdom that engages the reader. Read More »