by amanda rivard
(pahrump, nevada)

Question: How do I write a legend that involves magic and martial arts?

Answer: The simple answer is that you make one up.

If you're stuck, you might try reading some heroic mythologies from different cultures. Pay attention to the types of plot devices, themes, and values they convey.

You can take some existing myths and modify them to suit your purpose. Just make sure you change them enough to make them your own. By that I mean, don't just change the names. Change some important plot details. Then rewrite them to make the story work with those changes. Or perhaps you can take elements of a few different myths and combine them in a new way.

You may find that, after you've read a number of myths and legends, you can easily sit down and write one of your own that's entirely original.
Most of these stories are intended either to convey moral lessons or warnings of what not to do, or they celebrate heroes who made the right choices. Magic and other larger-than-life elements are used to elevate the stature of the heroes of old. Characterization is often rather shallow, compared to a modern novel or short story.

Either way, make sure your legend conveys the message you want for the purpose of the story you're telling.

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