Monday, August 20, 2012

Myth and Story

Life gives characters and storyline ideas to every writer on a daily basis. There’s so much information in a day, it’s incredible. When the question comes up what to write, how does a writer decide what’s worth the telling?

The writers I like best tell stories about real life in fiction or non-fiction; it doesn’t really matter as long as truth comes through. Joseph Campbell is one of my favorite writers.

Myth serves to provide base stories for culture, much of the information given in myths in a general way works with individual life too. Given a long enough time line the characters in myth are seen for who or what they are, often providing the information needed for others or for the listener to come to the correct conclusion. Trends lead the protagonist or hero through a series of adventures to reach the discovery.

Often the discovery of self which is at least a portion of the quest includes overcoming obstacles, sin or character flaws to gain important skills and to acquire a sense of self or virtues along the way. In addition, the secondary players in the quest such as the villain or the trickster often reveal him/herself through the course of the story.

This is the stuff that makes a good story. Young writers who read myth gain the wisdom of the ages in a few short years. In addition to reading, observing people in their natural habitats help to make characters more believable. To become an accomplished writer there is a need to understand the basics of a good story as well as how people interact, so the story is not only entertaining but believable.


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