There are so many different Mythology and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in. The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.
This week we have:
Paranormal, Humor, and Mystery author Adrienne Jones
Talking of Angels.
The best thing about using myths and legends in fantasy fiction is there's really no wrong way to do it. We hear a lot of talk about artists 'reinventing' certain established legends, mythical creatures and folklores. But myths by their nature are not a solid thing. Myths are fluid, they have variations from culture to culture, details that change based on religion or region, and an ever compiling series of add-ons collected through time and interpretation.
So what are you going to keep and what are you going to toss out, change, take apart and put back together? Research of past interpretations creates the foundation, but it's the imagination of the author that twists all this rusty old metal into a new shape. Angel mythology exists in historical writings around the globe, including most religions, and while there are similar threads running throughout, it varies greatly. The wings didn't show up in artistic interpretations until around the 4th century – so do you use the wings, or ditch the wings? Do you go with a religious fiction or science fiction theme? I always loved the old Prophecy films, but knew from the start that I wanted to veer away from traditional religious mythology when it came to my characters. No Lucifer, no falling from Heaven and the like. While the crux of their background includes breaking through from an alternate existence, I wanted my characters' story to be less magical and more visceral, violent, and closer to our reality.
So while we strive in mythological fiction to create something unique, to reinvent, we're paying homage to previously established ideas about the legends we choose to write about. Something about them lures and fascinates, and that's what motivates us to take them on. It's a risky choice but a challenging one, to present an ancient idea in a new light. You risk trampling on clichés and trudging through an oversaturated swampland of like-minded concepts. But the longevity of such myths, the fact that they have remained and morphed through the ages means they still hold interest to the masses, and that's the benefit on the flip side of the challenge.
I had a great time ripping apart my mythological used car and building something new from things found in the literary junk yard. And when I look at the final product, I like what I see. Of course the final challenge is hoping others will pick it out of the lot, drive it home and enjoy the ride...or the flight, depending on whether you added those wings or not. Either way, you've just tossed your coins into the mythological melting pot, and only time will tell what comes of it. With any luck, it will endure – even if it gets scrapped for spare parts.
You can Find Adrienne Jones:
Facebook: Adrienne Jones