gods and goddess

by Shade
(Tennessee )

Question: I was wondering if I were to write a book with gods and goddesses that are already in mythology if it was better to recreate/add my own version/ideas or if I should stick with the mythology I have read?


Answer: If you're going to write about gods and goddesses, it will be your own version automatically. That's unavoidable, unless you're simply making a literal translation of mythology.

The advantage of using existing characters from mythology as a starting point for your own stories is that your readers may be somewhat familiar with the characters, so they may be interested in seeing what you do with them. This is why movie go-ers still line up to see new King Arthur or Robin Hood movies, even though these characters have been portrayed many times. Some stories are retold for each new generation.

Of course, these characters are in public domain, so you have plenty of scope to play with the myths and personalities -- keeping enough of the original so that they are the same characters, but perhaps putting a few twists, or putting them in new situations, etc.

On the other hand, the advantage of creating a new pantheon of gods is that you can design them from scratch, without no obligation to follow the existing myths or keep the characters recognizable. Sometimes if you change a well-known character too much you risk disappointing your audience so it's better to design a new character from scratch.

In the end, neither choice is necessarily better, so long as you are passionate about it. You have to decide what interests you more, what stimulates your imagination: a new spin on some old gods, or a totally original set of gods.

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