There And Draft Again

A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers

My love affair with Legend June 15, 2013

Filed under: Inspiration,Writing — thereanddraftagain @ 7:34 am
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When the movie, Legend, came out, I was thirteen years old. It had everything my young teenage heart could wish for: love, magic, unicorns, and a battle between good and evil. Also, a handsome, peasant hero in love with a princess, a villain with horns and cloven feet, elves, faeries, pixies, goblins, and of course, a flesh-eating witch.

legend2

Now, as a woman and writer of fantasy, the movie still captivates me, despite the negative reviews by the critics.

The plot is simple: the hero must defeat the villain to save the world from eternal darkness. The theme is more complex: neither light, nor dark, can truly destroy the other, for they’re dependent on one another. The characters each have his or her own role to perform that supports the branching elements of the plot.

I’ve used Legend as a template for storyboarding. Often my plot overwhelms me and I need to narrow it down to its most basic before branching out or creating sub-plots. I want to make sure my theme carries through from beginning to end, and choose the best elements to represent or symbolize this theme. Character development is the most important to me. Are each of my characters necessary? Do they have a purpose? Do they create conflict, aid my MC, have hardships of their own? Do they grow at all? Do they inspire me?

I won’t bore you with every facet of Legend I adore, but I will ask you: What movie/book do you watch/read over and over again and never tire of? Why? Is it the mythology, the world-building, the time-period? Once you know the answers, you’ll know what story to write. And more importantly, you’ll love it.

My love affair with Legend has lasted twenty-seven years. I want the same with my stories.

Happy writing!

Kate

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Don’t Mythunderstand Me April 27, 2013

Filed under: Writing — thereanddraftagain @ 6:00 am
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(C’mon, you know you love the title. Stop groaning.)

Show of hands if you’ve ever heard the declaration, “This is the stuff of myth and legend!”

*glances around room* Thought so. Now, how many of you have actually used the phrase?

Uh-huh.

So, who knows the difference between myth and legend? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller . . .

Sorry. I digress.

Myth, legend, fables and folk tales — in the fantasy genre (and some others) we’re immersed in them. As readers we enter worlds with their own rich tales. As writers, we create them. And though some use the words interchangeably, they’re really not. It doesn’t help that the list of synonyms for “myth” include legend, fable and fairy tale.

In my novel First of Her Kind  Ciara refers to the Sciathian Tales as something of “myth and legend.” Donovan corrects her by saying, “Legend perhaps, but not myth.”

Why does he make the distinction? Let’s look closer at the definitions:

                MYTH: a traditional story about heroes or supernatural beings, often attempting to explain the origins of natural phenomena or aspects of human behavior

                LEGEND: a story that has been passed down for generations, especially one that is presented as history but is unlikely to be true

                FABLE: a short story with a moral, especially one in which the characters are animals

                FAIRY TALE: a story for children about fairies or other imaginary beings and events, often containing a moral message

When we include myths, legends, and fairy tales as part of our world building, we add a depth and richness to the culture we’ve created. These stories, whether to teach children, explain phenomena, or share our history, exist in every civilization. Along with their traditions, speech patterns, jewelry choices, and even what foods they eat, they define a people — real or imagined.

If you’re looking for ways to make your world more real for your readers, sprinkle in bits of these fabulous four and let the magic begin.

~ Kathi