How To Write A Myth in 16 Steps With Examples
Have you ever wondered how ancient myths and legends were created? Fancied having a go at writing your own tall tale? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we’ll be walking through a simple 16-step process to teach you exactly how to write a myth from start to finish. From deciding on your mythological characters and settings to plotting your story arc and bringing it all to life with feedback and editing – we’ve got you covered. So if you’re ready to unleash your inner Homer or Aesop and try crafting your own mythical masterpiece, read on for a fun, easy-to-follow guide on how to write a myth that would make the ancient storytellers proud!
- What is a Myth?
- Examples of Famous Myths
- How To Write A Myth in 16 Steps
- Step 1: Think of a Theme
- Step 2: Decide on the Moral
- Step 3: Incorporate Symbolic Elements
- Step 4: Idea Summary
- Step 5: Character Development
- Step 6: Setting Development
- Step 7: Define the conflict
- Step 8: Outline the beginning
- Step 9: Plan the resolution
- Step 10: Develop a plot outline
- Step 11: Write the first draft
- Step 12: Choose a title
- Step 13: Edit and Revise
- Step 14: Seek Feedback
- Step 15: Final Edit
- Step 16: Publish and Share
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Myth?
Myths are influential fictional stories that have been passed down for generations across different cultures. They have had enduring appeal as they often explore timeless themes about human existence – from birth and love to conflict and death. Myths also offer explanations about our world – why the sun rises, how different languages originated, and what happens after death.
While myths are fictional rather than factual accounts, for ancient civilizations they represented a reality grounded in their unique cultural contexts and belief systems. Myths helped shape worldviews, values and customs within these societies. Modern society may classify myths as fantasy, fairytales or legends but their imaginative power and symbolic meaning still resonates.
The fantastical elements in myths like all-powerful gods, mystical quests or monstrous beings capture our imagination. Talking animals and shape-shifting tricksters teach us moral lessons. Heroes overcoming epic trials represent the universal theme of the underdog defeating mighty opponents against the odds. Myths reveal both human flaws and virtues – jealousy and deception but also courage, ambition and redemption.
So myths continue to have significance and value. Their timeless quality means they can be reinterpreted to explore modern challenges – from ethical issues posed by technology to current social dynamics about gender and race. Myths also inspire contemporary pop culture through comic book heroes on quests to computer games built around mythic themes and imagery. Their metaphorical style adds depth to any form of storytelling across genres and mediums.
Types of Myths
Myths come in many forms, serving distinct purposes across cultures and eras. Though myths may intertwine multiple elements, some main categories include:
- Creation Myths: Explain the origins of the universe, Earth, and humanity. They often involve gods, goddesses, or supernatural beings.
- Heroic Myths: Focus on the adventures and exploits of heroic figures. These myths often follow a hero’s journey, involving challenges, trials, and a transformation.
- Trickster Myths: Feature characters who are clever, mischievous, and often disrupt the natural order of things. The trickster figure challenges societal norms and brings about change.
- Etiological Myths: Explain the origins of customs, traditions, or natural features. These myths provide cultural explanations for certain practices or phenomena.
- Cosmogonic Myths: Similar to creation myths, cosmogonic myths address the origin and order of the cosmos, including the relationships between various celestial bodies.
- Didactic Myths: Also known as folktales or fables. Convey moral lessons or teachings. These myths often involve characters facing moral dilemmas and making choices that lead to consequences.
- Afterlife Myths: Explore beliefs about what happens after death. They may describe different realms, deities, or rituals associated with the afterlife.
- Eschatological myths: Focus on endings/destruction. Like flood or rapture myths depicting world catastrophes.
- Apocalyptic Myths: Envision the end of the world or a significant transformation of the existing order. They often involve prophecies, divine judgments, or catastrophic events.
- Liminal Myths: Focus on transitions or thresholds, such as rites of passage, initiation ceremonies, or rituals marking significant life changes.
- Ancestral Myths: Explain the origins of a particular people, tribe, or community. These myths often involve the creation of the first humans or the founding of a civilization.
- Deification Myths: Describe how certain individuals or beings become gods or achieve divine status. This may involve heroic deeds, ascension, or divine intervention.
This list covers some of the major types of myths recorded from civilizations worldwide based on their central themes and messages. The great diversity illustrates myth’s enduring capacity to both explain and explore the human condition in creative ways that still influence how we tell stories today across artistic mediums.
Myths Vs. Legends
Myths and Legends share similarities in being tales passed down over generations that take on symbolic meaning. However, they have some distinct differences:
- Origins: Myths trace back to ancient oral storytelling traditions grounded in religion/spirituality. Legends originate from perceived historical events and may incorporate real people or places.
- Timeframes: Myths are set in ancient, timeless settings like the beginnings of Earth or humanity. Legends occur in knowable eras of antiquity but details remain unreliable or obscure.
- Characters: Myths utilize archetypal non-human characters like all-powerful gods, magical beasts or the forces of nature in human form. Legends may feature heroic human characters accomplishing exaggerated feats.
- Believability: Ancient societies often took myths as literal explanations of divine truths. Legends blur fact and fiction but don’t demand faith in the same way religious myths did.
- Functions: Myths cemented ideological belief systems and helped impart cultural values. Legends tend to inspire national/community pride in past heroes and events.
In essence, the distinction depends on whether supernatural, sacred narratives of myths give way to more grounded tales of extraordinary mortal exploits in legends.
There’s certainly overlap – legends borrow mythic tropes while myths may incorporate historical elements. But generally, myths emerge from faith and legends from memories of remarkable deeds. Evaluating the context and purpose behind fantastical tales illuminates how they spread and the significance they held.
Examples of Famous Myths
Mythology has spawned countless captivating tales across ancient cultures that remain influential. Here are a few iconic myths and their significance:
- Icarus and Daedalus: In a Greek myth, there’s a skilled builder named Daedalus. He and his son, Icarus, were stuck on an island called Crete. To escape, Daedalus created wings using feathers and wax. He warned Icarus not to fly too high or too low. Excited, Icarus flew too close to the sun. The sun melted the wax on his wings, and he fell into the ocean and drowned. This story teaches us about the dangers of being overly ambitious without thinking. It also represents how humans strive for greatness and creativity.
- Thor vs the Midgard Serpent: In a Norse myth, there’s a big battle between Thor, the thunder god, and the enormous serpent called Jörmungandr. This happens before Ragnarök, a big event where the gods and the world are supposed to be destroyed. Thor goes fishing for the serpent using an ox-head as bait. He hooks the massive serpent, but even with his powerful belt and gloves, he can’t beat it before the line breaks, and he gets thrown backwards. This myth shows the constant struggle between opposing forces in the world, and how they balance each other through their fights for control.
- Pandora’s Box: In an ancient Greek story, there’s a woman named Pandora. The gods made her very beautiful and charming. She came with a sealed jar, and she was told not to open it. But Pandora couldn’t resist her curiosity and opened the jar. This let out all kinds of troubles like sorrow, sickness, and plague, which then affected people forever. The only thing left inside the jar was hope. This story tells us that even when faced with difficulties, people can still keep going with hope.
- The Buddha: In a story from Hindu and Buddhist traditions, there’s a prince named Siddhartha Gautama who later becomes the Buddha, which means the Awakened One. He leaves behind his comfortable life as a prince, including his wife and son, after seeing how much suffering exists in the world. He goes on a spiritual journey for many years, trying extreme ways to find enlightenment. After a simple meal, he sits under a tree and enters deep meditation. During this time, a demon named Mara tries to distract him with desires and fears, but the Buddha remains focused. He reaches a state called nirvana, gaining profound insights. The teachings of Buddhism come from these insights, suggesting that letting go of material desires and fixed ideas can free people from worldly sorrows. This myth shows that humans can transcend difficulties and reach a state of enlightenment.
- Hercules (Heracles): From Greek mythology Hercules, the son of Zeus and a mortal woman named Alcmena, faced a series of challenges known as the Twelve Labors as a punishment for a crime committed in a fit of madness. One of these labours was to clean the Augean stables, which housed an immense number of cattle and had not been cleaned for years. It seemed like an impossible task. Hercules, known for his strength, devised a clever plan. He redirected the rivers Alpheus and Peneus to flow through the stables, cleaning them in a single day. Despite his initial disbelief, King Augeas, who owned the stables, refused to honour his agreement to reward Hercules. This myth illustrates Hercules’ wit and problem-solving skills, showcasing that strength alone is not always the solution. It also highlights the theme of justice as Hercules faced an unfair situation and ultimately demonstrated his capabilities through intelligence and resourcefulness.
These represent just snippets of legendary tales full of symbolic details that have endured for millennia. They remind us of myth’s storytelling power – using fantasy and imagination to probe poignant universals that still compel audiences today.
How To Write A Myth in 16 Steps
Myths have charmed readers for millennia thanks to their imaginative worlds and timeless themes. If you want to join the ranks of storytellers like Homer, the Brothers Grimm, and J.R.R Tolkien, follow these 16 simple steps to learn how to write a myth:
Step 1: Think of a Theme
Choosing a theme is the foundational step in crafting a myth. It involves selecting a fundamental concept, value, or message that will serve as the core focus of your narrative. Themes can range from love and courage to justice or any other overarching idea. This choice not only provides direction to your tale but also shapes the underlying philosophy that will resonate with your audience. Consider what profound concept you want to explore and what moral or lesson might emerge from it.
You might want to take a look at our collection of myth ideas for some inspiration on possible themes for your own myth.
Here is a list of common themes found in myths:
- Courage: Exploring the inner strength needed to face adversity and overcome fears.
- Love and Sacrifice: Investigating the transformative power of love and the sacrifices one might make for it.
- Justice and Redemption: Delving into the pursuit of justice and the possibility of redemption, even in the face of past mistakes.
- Wisdom and Knowledge: Uncovering the value of wisdom, knowledge, and the pursuit of understanding.
- Fate and Free Will: Examining the interplay between destiny and the choices individuals make, challenging the concept of fate.
- Friendship and Loyalty: Exploring the bonds of friendship and loyalty, and the challenges faced in maintaining them.
- Nature and Balance: Reflecting on the interconnectedness of nature and the importance of maintaining balance in the world.
- Perseverance and Resilience: Illustrating the power of persistence and resilience in the face of trials and tribulations.
- Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Focusing on the themes of forgiveness and reconciliation, exploring the healing power of letting go.
- Self-Discovery and Identity: Following characters on a journey of self-discovery, exploring questions of identity and purpose.
- Hope and Despair: Investigating the contrast between hope and despair, and the transformative impact of hope in challenging situations.
- Duty and Honour: Examining the concepts of duty and honour, and the conflicts that may arise when these principles are tested.
These themes provide a starting point for beginners, offering broad and profound concepts that can be explored in various ways within the structure of a myth. As a beginner, choose a theme that resonates with you and sparks your imagination. Remember, the theme is the soul of your myth, anchoring it with a deeper purpose beyond the surface narrative.
If your theme is “Courage,” your myth might revolve around characters facing daunting challenges and finding inner strength to overcome them. The theme of courage can be expressed through the characters’ actions, decisions, and personal growth throughout the mythic journey.
Step 2: Decide on the Moral
Once you’ve identified the theme of your myth, the next crucial step is to determine the moral or lesson you want your audience to take away from the narrative. The moral is the guiding principle or truth about living a good life that aligns with your chosen theme. This element gives depth and purpose to your myth, as it imparts meaning beyond the surface storyline.
Here are some key elements to consider in this step:
- Alignment with Theme: Ensure that the chosen moral resonates with and complements the theme you’ve selected. It should be a natural extension of the theme, reinforcing the central concept.
- Universal Applicability: Aim for a moral that possesses universal appeal, allowing readers to relate to and find personal relevance in the lessons imparted by your myth.
- Character Transformation: Consider how the moral will contribute to the transformation of your protagonist. The mythic journey often involves personal growth, and the moral serves as a compass guiding this transformation.
Deciding on the moral is crucial because it gives your myth a purpose beyond entertainment. It elevates the narrative to a realm of meaningful storytelling, allowing readers to connect with the characters and events on a deeper level. The moral provides a guiding light, shaping the overall message you wish to convey and leaving a lasting impact on those who engage with your myth.
If your theme is “Courage,” your moral might be centred around the idea that true courage is found not in the absence of fear but in the face of it. This moral aligns with the theme and encourages readers to reflect on the nature of courage in their own lives.
Step 3: Incorporate Symbolic Elements
Once you’ve established the theme and decided on the moral, the next step involves weaving symbolic elements into your myth. These elements can take various forms, including items, characters, colours, numbers, and more. Symbolism adds depth and layers of meaning to your story, enhancing its richness and reinforcing the themes and messages you wish to convey.
Here are some key elements to consider in this step:
- Relevance to Theme and Moral: Ensure that the symbolic elements chosen are relevant to the theme and moral of your myth. They should enhance the narrative rather than feel forced or arbitrary.
- Metaphorical Representation: Symbolic elements often carry metaphorical meaning. Consider how they can represent deeper concepts, emotions, or aspects of the human experience.
- Consistency and Coherence: Maintain consistency in the use of symbolism throughout your myth. Symbolic elements should contribute to the overall narrative rather than feeling disjointed.
- Reader Engagement: Allow room for reader engagement with the symbolism. Some elements may be more clear, while others might be subtle, encouraging readers to interpret and discover meanings on their own.
Incorporating symbolic elements adds layers of meaning to your myth, making it a more immersive and thought-provoking experience for readers. Symbols have the power to evoke emotions, create connections between elements in the story, and reinforce the overarching themes. Well-executed symbolism enhances the myth’s impact, allowing readers to explore deeper levels of interpretation and engage with the narrative on a more profound level.
For the theme of courage, you might incorporate a symbolic element like a Phoenix feather. The Phoenix, known for its mythical rebirth from its ashes, becomes a symbol of resilience and the ability to rise anew despite challenges. The feather, handed down through generations, represents the legacy of courage within a family or community. As characters face daunting trials, the presence of the Phoenix feather serves as a reminder that courage isn’t the absence of fear but the determination to confront and overcome it, emerging stronger on the other side. In this way, the Phoenix feather becomes a metaphorical representation of the theme, adding layers of meaning to the narrative and reinforcing the message about the nature of courage.
Step 4: Idea Summary
After establishing the theme, deciding on the moral, and incorporating symbolic elements, it’s time to create a concise idea summary for your myth. This summary serves as a condensed version of your myth, outlining the basic premise, main characters, central conflict, supernatural aspects, and the moral message in a paragraph or two.
Here are some key elements to consider in this step:
- Protagonist and Basic Arc: Introduce the main character (or characters) and briefly outline their journey or character arc. What challenges do they face, and how do they evolve throughout the myth?
- Main Conflict: Identify the central conflict that drives the narrative forward. Is it a moral dilemma, a battle against dark forces, or a quest for self-discovery?
- Supernatural Aspects: If your myth involves supernatural or fantastical elements (common in many myths), provide a glimpse of these aspects. This could include gods, magical creatures, or enchanted objects.
- Moral Message: Summarize the moral or lesson that readers should take away from your myth. How does the protagonist’s journey and the resolution contribute to this message?
The idea summary serves as a roadmap for your myth, providing a clear and concise overview of its key elements. It acts as a guide for the subsequent steps, ensuring that your narrative remains focused on its core themes and messages. Additionally, having a well-defined idea summary can be a valuable tool for pitching or sharing your myth with others.
Aria, a young girl from the mystical land of Eldoria, finds an ancient prophecy about a looming darkness that will consume the world. She is chosen by the gods to stop it, armed with a Phoenix feather inherited from her ancestors. Along her perilous quest, she encounters mythical creatures and faces moral dilemmas that test her courage. She learns that courage is not the lack of fear, but the will to act despite it. In the final showdown, she faces the source of the darkness, a monstrous entity that feeds on fear. She musters all her courage and stabs the Phoenix feather into its core willing to sacrifice herself, triggering a massive blast of light and heat. The darkness is burned away, and the land is restored to its natural beauty. She realizes that the Phoenix feather symbolizes courage, a powerful force that can overcome any evil.
Step 5: Character Development
Character development is a crucial aspect of crafting a compelling myth. In this step, you’ll outline your characters, delving into their backgrounds, motivations, flaws, and the growth they undergo throughout the mythic journey.
Here are the key components of developing characters:
- Protagonist: Introduce your main character—the protagonist—who will navigate the challenges of the myth. What makes them unique? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- Backstories: Provide backgrounds for your characters. What events or experiences have shaped them into who they are at the beginning of the myth?
- Motivations: Explore the motivations driving your characters. What do they desire, fear, or hope to achieve? Motivations often propel characters forward in the face of adversity.
- Flaws: Characters with flaws are relatable and dynamic. What imperfections or internal struggles do your characters grapple with? How do these flaws contribute to their arcs?
- Character Arc: Consider how the challenges and trials of the myth will lead to the growth and transformation of your characters. What lessons will they learn, and how will they evolve?
- Supporting Characters: You should also consider introducing supporting characters who complement and challenge the protagonist. These characters can provide additional layers to the narrative and contribute to the growth of the protagonist.
Well-developed characters contribute to the emotional appeal of your myth. Readers connect with characters who feel real and undergo meaningful transformations. Character development adds depth, authenticity, and relatability to your narrative, making the myth more engaging and impactful.
- Main Character: Aria
- Aria is a young and determined girl from Eldoria.
- Background: Her background reveals a lineage of courageous ancestors, instilling in her a sense of responsibility.
- Weakness: Aria struggles with self-doubt and the fear of not living up to her family’s legacy.
- Motivation: Her motivation stems from a deep desire to prove her courage and protect Eldoria from the impending darkness.
- Character Arc: As Aria faces mythical creatures and moral dilemmas, her flaws become apparent. She must confront her self-doubt and overcome her fear, learning that courage is not about being fearless but about acting despite fear. Through the challenges, Aria experiences significant character growth. By the end of the myth, she emerges as a resilient and self-assured individual, having discovered the true meaning of courage.
- Supporting Character: Cyrus
- Cyrus, a wise elder and mentor, becomes a pivotal supporting character in Aria’s journey.
- Background: With a mysterious past tied to ancient prophecies, Cyrus possesses knowledge crucial to Eldoria’s survival.
- Motivation: His motivations are rooted in a deep sense of duty to guide and protect the realm.
- Weakness: Despite his wisdom, Cyrus grapples with a past mistake that haunts him, serving as a reminder that even the wise have imperfections.
- Character Arc: Throughout the myth, Cyrus serves as both guide and challenge to Aria. He imparts valuable lessons about courage, sacrifice, and the interconnectedness of all things. As Aria faces the trials ahead, Cyrus’s guidance becomes instrumental in her growth. In turn, Aria’s courage inspires Cyrus to confront his own lingering fears.
Step 6: Setting Development
Setting development is the process of creating and detailing the world in which your myth unfolds. The setting encompasses not only the physical locations but also the cultural, historical, and magical elements that contribute to the overall atmosphere of the narrative.
Here are the key elements for this step:
- Primary Setting: Define the primary location or realm where the events of your myth take place. Is it a fantastical land, an ancient city, or a mythical kingdom? Consider the geography, climate, weather patterns, and overall ambience.
- Crucial Locations: Identify specific locations within the primary setting that play a key role in the narrative. These could be sacred sites, enchanted forests, mythical caves, or significant landmarks.
- Cultural Elements: Explore the cultural aspects of your setting. What beliefs, traditions, and customs shape the characters’ lives? Cultural elements add depth and authenticity to the world you’re creating.
- Historical Backstory: Develop a historical backstory for your setting. What events have shaped the world, and how do they influence the characters and conflicts in the present? A rich history can enhance the myth’s sense of depth.
- Magical Aspects: If your myth involves magic or supernatural elements, detail how these aspects manifest in the setting. Are there magical creatures, artefacts, or ley lines that influence the characters’ journeys?
Setting development establishes the backdrop against which your characters’ journeys unfold. A well-crafted setting immerses readers in the world of your myth, making it more striking and captivating. Additionally, the setting can influence the characters’ beliefs and actions, contributing to the overall atmosphere and thematic appeal of the narrative.
Eldoria, the mystical land in which our myth unfolds, is a realm steeped in magic and ancient prophecies. The primary setting consists of diverse landscapes, from sprawling enchanted forests to majestic mountain ranges. Eldoria is governed by the principles of balance, with natural forces and magical energies interwoven into the fabric of everyday life.
Crucial locations include the Sacred Grove, where prophecies are whispered by ancient trees, and the Luminous Falls, a source of magical energy that sustains the land. The cultural elements of Eldoria centre around a deep reverence for nature and a belief in the interconnectedness of all living things. Eldorians celebrate seasonal festivals that honour the cycles of nature.
The historical backstory reveals a time when Eldoria faced a similar threat of darkness, and a legendary hero emerged to restore balance. This hero’s legacy echoes through the ages, influencing the characters’ beliefs and motivations. Magical aspects include mythical creatures like the ethereal Moonlight Stags and the elusive Starlight Foxes, both guardians of ancient secrets.
Step 7: Define the conflict
In Step 7, you will define the central conflict that drives the narrative of your myth. The conflict is the driving force that moves the characters forward, creating tension, drama, and opportunities for growth. This step involves determining what challenges, obstacles, or moral dilemmas your characters will face as they embark on their mythic journey.
Here are the key elements of defining the conflict:
- Nature of the Conflict: Clearly state the central conflict that forms the core of your myth. Is it a physical threat, a moral dilemma, an internal struggle, or a combination of these elements? Define what the characters are up against.
- Stakes: Outline the stakes involved in the conflict. What is at risk if the characters fail to overcome the challenges they face? Stakes add urgency and significance to the narrative.
- Antagonistic Forces: Identify the antagonistic forces that oppose the protagonist. These could be external entities, internal struggles, or even the consequences of their own choices. Antagonistic forces create opposition and obstacles.
- Moral Complexity: If your conflict involves moral dilemmas, explore the ethical complexities surrounding the choices your characters must make. This adds depth and nuance to the narrative.
The conflict is the driving force behind your myth, shaping the characters’ journeys and providing a narrative arc. A well-defined conflict creates suspense, engages readers emotionally, and sets the stage for the characters’ growth and transformation. It establishes the challenges that must be overcome, making the myth compelling and resonant.
- Internal Conflicts:
- Self-Doubt: Aria doubts her magical abilities, fearing that she lacks the strength to combat the darkness. This self-doubt hinders her from fully embracing her role as the chosen one.
- Moral Dilemmas: Aria encounters a village torn between two factions, each seeking her assistance. The moral dilemma forces her to choose between conflicting values, challenging her understanding of justice.
- Fear of Failure: Aria envisions the consequences of failing in her mission, haunted by the idea of Eldoria succumbing to eternal darkness. This fear propels her forward but also tests her resilience.
- External Conflicts:
- Corrupted Mythical Creatures: Aria faces a once-gentle unicorn corrupted by the darkness. Overcoming the creature requires both physical combat and a demonstration of empathy to restore its purity.
- Monstrous Entity: The monstrous entity, fueled by fear, creates illusions that prey on Aria’s deepest fears. Overcoming this external threat demands Aria to confront her personal demons while battling the monster.
- Isolation: Aria finds herself alone in the eerie Whispering Woods, where shadows play tricks on the mind. The isolation intensifies her internal struggles and challenges her ability to trust her instincts.
- Environmental Hazards: Eldoria’s magical landscape shifts unpredictably, creating illusions and mirages. Aria must discern reality from illusion, adding an external layer of challenge to her journey.
Step 8: Outline the beginning
In Step 8, you will outline the beginning scenes of your myth. This involves crafting the opening moments that introduce readers to the world, characters, and central conflict. The beginning sets the tone for the entire narrative, hooking readers and drawing them into the mythic journey.
Here are the key elements to consider:
- Introduction of the Protagonist: Establish the main character, providing essential details about their identity, background, and current situation. Create a connection between the protagonist and the readers.
- Introduction of the World: Describe the setting and the mystical elements of the world in which the myth takes place. Transport readers to a realm filled with magic, wonder, and potential challenges.
- Foreshadowing: Drop subtle hints or clues about the impending conflict or challenges the protagonist will face. Foreshadowing adds intrigue and anticipation, encouraging readers to delve deeper into the narrative.
- Establishing the Normal World: Present the protagonist’s everyday life before the call to adventure. This normal world provides a baseline against which readers can measure the transformative journey that lies ahead.
- Introduction of Key Elements: Introduce any key elements, symbols, or objects that will play a significant role in the myth. These elements may include magical artifacts, prophecies, or mythical creatures.
The beginning of the myth serves as the narrative’s foundation, establishing the characters, world, and conflict. A well-crafted beginning captivates readers, prompting them to invest emotionally in the protagonist’s journey. It also sets the stage for the transformation that will unfold as the myth progresses.
The myth begins with Aria, a young girl from Eldoria, going about her daily life in the quaint village of Lumara. The sun-dappled streets and the laughter of children provide a sense of the normal world. Aria is introduced as a relatable character, known for her kindness and curiosity.
As Aria practices her magical abilities in a secluded grove, readers witness the first hint of foreshadowing—an ancient prophecy etched into the bark of an ancient tree. The words speak of a looming darkness and a chosen one who will stand against it. Aria, unaware of her destiny, continues her routine.
The normal world is disrupted when mysterious shadows start encroaching on Eldoria. Aria witnesses the corruption of once-gentle creatures and feels an unexplained calling. The call to adventure begins as Aria discovers the Phoenix feather, a family heirloom that glows with newfound intensity. This sets the stage for her journey to confront the darkness and fulfil the prophecy.
Step 9: Plan the resolution
In Step 9, you will plan the resolution of your myth. This step involves scripting the conclusion of the narrative, determining how the central conflict will be resolved, and outlining the fate of the characters. The resolution should bring closure to the story while imparting the moral lesson or universal truth you want readers to take away.
Here are the key elements of this step:
- Climax: Identify the highest point of tension in the story, often referred to as the climax. This is the moment of greatest conflict or confrontation between the protagonist and the antagonist.
- Resolution of the Central Conflict: Determine how the central conflict will be resolved. Will the protagonist succeed in overcoming the challenges, or will there be a tragic outcome? The resolution should align with the overarching theme of the myth.
- Character Arc Completion: Ensure that the resolution reflects the growth and transformation of the protagonist. Characters should undergo significant changes, learning important lessons or discovering newfound strengths.
- Impact on the World: Consider how the resolution will impact the world of the myth. Will there be a restoration of balance, a transformation of the realm, or a lasting change in the characters’ lives?
- Moral Message: Clarify the moral or universal truth that the resolution will convey. This is the lesson or insight that readers should take away from the mythic journey.
The resolution is the culmination of the mythic journey, providing a sense of closure and fulfilment. It is the moment where the themes, conflicts, and characters come together to deliver a powerful message. A well-planned resolution leaves a lasting impression on readers and reinforces the moral or universal truth embedded in the myth.
As Aria confronts the monstrous entity fueled by fear in the climactic showdown, the Phoenix feather becomes the key to the resolution. The entity, representing the embodiment of darkness, is relentless in its attempt to consume Aria’s courage. The climax unfolds as Aria, drawing strength from within, stabs the Phoenix feather into the entity’s core killing herself in the process.
This courageous act triggers a blinding blast of light and intense heat, burning away the darkness that had threatened to engulf Eldoria. The world is restored to its natural beauty, and the once-corrupted mythical creatures regain their purity. Aria, however, is presumed dead in the aftermath.
In a poignant twist, Aria’s soul emerges from the light, having absorbed the darkness into the Phoenix feather. Aria is transformed, now radiating with a brilliant glow like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Aria’s character arc is complete, as she learns that true courage involves self-sacrifice and that even the darkest aspects can be transformed into light.
The resolution leaves a lasting impact on Eldoria, symbolizing the triumph of courage over fear. The realm is forever changed, and Aria’s sacrifice becomes a legendary tale told across generations.
Step 10: Develop a plot outline
In Step 10, you will develop a comprehensive plot outline for your myth. This involves mapping out the narrative structure, key events, and character developments from the beginning to the resolution. The plot outline serves as a roadmap, guiding your writing process and ensuring a coherent and engaging story.
Here are the key elements of outlining the plot:
- Hooking Opening: Craft an engaging opening that captures the readers’ attention and introduces the world of your myth. This could involve an intriguing event, a mysterious prophecy, or the introduction of a compelling character.
- Rising Action: Outline the series of events that build tension and propel the story forward. This includes challenges, conflicts, and discoveries that the protagonist faces on their journey.
- Climax: Identify the highest point of tension in the story, where the central conflict reaches its peak. The climax is a pivotal moment that often involves a confrontation between the protagonist and antagonist.
- Falling Action: Detail the events that follow the climax, showing the aftermath of the central conflict. This phase may include resolutions to secondary conflicts and the beginning of the resolution.
- Resolution: Script the conclusion of the narrative, bringing closure to the central conflict and showcasing the transformation of the characters and the world. The resolution should align with the overarching theme and moral message.
Developing a plot outline provides a structured framework for your myth, ensuring a cohesive and engaging narrative. It helps you visualize the entire story, identify key beats, and maintain a sense of direction throughout the writing process. A well-crafted plot outline serves as a valuable tool for both planning and executing a compelling mythic journey.
- Aria discovers an ancient prophecy foretelling a darkness threatening Eldoria.
- Introduction of Aria’s normal world in Lumara, a village filled with magical beings.
- Rising Action:
- Aria finds the Phoenix feather, setting her on the path of the chosen one.
- Encounters corrupted mythical creatures and faces moral dilemmas.
- Discovers the nature of the darkness and her role in stopping it.
- Confrontation with the monstrous entity fueled by fear.
- Aria’s self-sacrifice with the Phoenix feather to burn away the darkness.
- Falling Action:
- Eldoria transforms as the darkness recedes.
- Reveal of Aria’s presumed death and the impact on the realm.
- Aria’s soul emerges, transformed into a radiant figure
- Symbolic restoration of Eldoria’s purity and balance.
- The Phoenix feather becomes a beacon of courage and hope.
Step 11: Write the first draft
In Step 11, you embark on the actual writing process, crafting the first draft of your myth. This step involves translating your plot outline, character developments, and key themes into the myth. The primary goal is to get the narrative flow down on paper without obsessing over perfection.
Here are some elements to consider during this step:
- Follow the Plot Outline: Refer to the plot outline you developed in Step 10 as a guide. While writing, allow for creative detours if they enhance the narrative, but ensure that the core structure remains intact.
- Establish the Tone: Set the tone of your myth through your writing style. Consider the atmosphere you want to create—whether it’s mysterious, adventurous, or poignant—and infuse your story with appropriate language and imagery.
- Character Voices: Give each character a distinct voice and personality. Their dialogue, actions, and internal thoughts should align with their individual traits and arcs.
- Show, Don’t Tell: Use descriptive language to evoke vivid imagery and engage readers’ senses. Show character emotions, the magic of the world, and the impact of key events rather than simply stating them.
- Build Atmosphere: Create a rich and immersive atmosphere that draws readers into the mythical realm. Pay attention to the details of settings, sounds, and even the cultural nuances that contribute to the world-building.
- Maintain Consistency: Ensure consistency in character traits, world-building details, and the overall tone of the myth. This consistency enhances the believability of the fictional world.
- Embrace Creativity: Allow your imagination to flourish. Don’t be afraid to explore new ideas or unexpected twists that may enhance the narrative. The first draft is an opportunity to discover the full potential of your myth.
- Focus on Narrative Flow: Prioritize the narrative flow over perfection. The goal is to convey the essence of the story, and you’ll have opportunities for refinement in later editing stages.
Writing the first draft is a crucial step in bringing your myth to life. It allows you to explore the narrative in its raw form, discovering variations, character depths, and unexpected turns. The first draft is a creative space where you can experiment, refine your voice, and build the foundation for subsequent editing and polishing stages. It’s an exciting phase that captures the essence of your mythic journey.
Dawn’s rosy fingers stretched across the clear morning sky as Aria awoke, brimming with excitement for the Solstice Fair. She leaned out the window, drinking in the crisp air as the village of Lumara began to stir. Golden light spilled over the cobblestone streets below while the mouth-watering aroma of sweet cakes and pies drifted from the bustling bakery next door.
After washing and dressing hurriedly, Aria bounced downstairs where her mother was brewing hot honey-mint tea. She wolfed down a still-warm spice bun, listening with half an ear as her mother fussed over the handwoven shawls they would sell at their fabric stall. The thrill of the annual fair left no room in Aria’s 12-year-old mind to focus on such mundane matters though.
The whole village seemed infected by the frenetic energy as Aria skippered down the main thoroughfare. Everywhere colorful banners and Lantern flowers garlanded the buildings in preparation for the legendary nights of feasting ahead. Weaving through the crowds, Aria felt as if the very air tingled with festive magic.
Her steps slowed as she passed the looming stone wall shrouded in emerald ivy that marked the edge of the Twilight Grove which held far greater enchantment for Aria than any Solstice Fair. The wall enclosed a forest clearing that called to Aria in a way she had never been able to explain…
Step 12: Choose a title
Choosing a title is a crucial step in the myth-writing process. The title serves as the first impression and a guiding beacon for readers, encapsulating the essence of your myth. It should be graphic, intriguing, and reflective of the themes or central elements of the story.
Here are some key elements to consider during this step:
- Reflect the Essence: The title should capture the core theme, message, or unique elements of your myth. It should give readers a glimpse into what makes your story special.
- Evoke Emotion or Curiosity: A compelling title evokes emotion or piques curiosity. It should make potential readers want to explore the mythical world you’ve crafted.
- Avoid Spoilers: While the title should provide insight, avoid giving away major plot twists or spoilers. Maintain an element of mystery to engage readers.
- Consider Symbolism: If there are symbolic elements, key objects, or motifs in your myth, consider incorporating them into the title. This adds depth and intrigue.
- Clarity and Simplicity: Ensure that the title is clear and not overly complex. Simplicity can be powerful, making it easier for readers to remember and relate to.
- Check for Availability: Before finalizing the title, check for its availability. Ensure that it’s not already in extensive use by other works to avoid confusion.
Choosing a title is important because it serves as a gateway for readers to enter your mythical world. A well-crafted title not only attracts attention but also sets the tone for the narrative. It becomes a concise representation of the myth’s identity, making it memorable and inviting. The title is the first step in creating a connection between your story and its audience, drawing them into the enchanting realm you’ve created.
- Embers of the Eternal Phoenix
The title emphasizes the enduring nature of the Phoenix, suggesting a timeless quality to the myth. The use of “Embers” hints at both the fiery aspect and the remnants of ancient magic. “Embers” also evokes a sense of warmth and sparks curiosity about the Phoenix’s eternal flame, inviting readers to explore the myth’s mystical journey. The title maintains a level of intrigue without revealing specific plot details, leaving room for discovery within the narrative. It is also clear and concise, making it easy to remember while conveying the myth’s focus on the eternal aspect of the Phoenix.
Step 13: Edit and Revise
Editing and revising are integral steps in refining your myth, enhancing its overall quality, and ensuring that it resonates effectively with your audience. This step involves a thorough examination of the narrative, language, character development, and overall coherence.
Here are the key elements of editing and revising:
- Language Refinement: Scrutinize the language used in your myth. Look for opportunities to elevate descriptions, choose graphic words, and create a more immersive reading experience. Ensure clarity and coherence in your sentences.
- Tighten Pacing: Evaluate the pacing of your myth. Ensure that the narrative flows smoothly, building tension where needed and allowing moments of reflection or revelation. Trim unnecessary details or scenes that may slow down the pace.
- Character Motivations and Development: Revisit your characters. Ensure that their motivations are clear, their actions align with their personalities, and their development arcs are compelling. Characters should feel authentic and contribute meaningfully to the story.
- Emotional Beats: Enhance emotional beats within the story. Whether it’s moments of triumph, tragedy, or self-discovery, make sure these emotional points resonate with readers. Readers should feel connected to the characters and invested in their journeys.
- World-Building Consistency: Check for consistency in your world-building. Ensure that the rules of the mythical world are adhered to and that details about locations, magical elements, and cultural elements remain coherent.
- Address Plot Gaps: Identify any plot gaps or inconsistencies. Make sure that the sequence of events is logical, and that resolutions align with the established conflicts. Fill in any gaps in the narrative that may leave readers confused.
- Balance Descriptive and Action Scenes: Strike a balance between descriptive scenes that establish the atmosphere and action scenes that drive the plot forward. Too much description without progression can lead to pacing issues.
- Check for Redundancy: Eliminate redundant or repetitive elements. Ensure that each scene, character trait, or piece of information contributes meaningfully to the overall narrative.
- Consistent Tone: Maintain a consistent tone throughout your myth. Ensure that the mood and atmosphere align with the themes you want to convey. Consistency enhances the immersive experience for readers.
- Grammar and Syntax: Pay attention to grammar, syntax, and punctuation. Correct any errors to ensure a polished and professional presentation of your myth.
Editing and revising are crucial steps that transform your initial draft into a polished and compelling myth. This process allows you to refine the language, tighten the narrative, and address any inconsistencies or weaknesses in the storytelling. Effective editing ensures that your myth engages readers, conveys its themes effectively, and leaves a lasting impression. It is an opportunity to elevate your work to its fullest potential before sharing it with a wider audience.
- Original Sentence: “Aria, feeling the Phoenix feather pulse, bravely uttered words she didn’t know she had.”
- Revised Sentence: “Feeling the pulsating warmth of the Phoenix feather, Aria courageously spoke words she never knew resided within her.”
Step 14: Seek Feedback
Seeking feedback is a crucial phase in the myth-writing process. It involves sharing your work with others, gathering diverse perspectives, and gaining insights that can help improve and refine your narrative. Constructive feedback provides valuable guidance for enhancing your myth before its finalization.
Here are some elements to consider in this step
- Selecting Trusted Readers: Choose individuals whose opinions you value and who can provide constructive criticism. This could include fellow writers, beta readers, or individuals with an interest in mythology and storytelling.
- Ask Specific Questions: When sharing your myth, provide specific questions or areas you would like feedback on. This helps readers focus their feedback and ensures you receive insights into the aspects that matter most to you.
- Remaining Open-Minded: Approach feedback with an open mind. Be open to various perspectives and consider how different suggestions align with your vision for the myth. Remember that feedback is a tool for improvement, not a directive for rewriting.
- Balancing Positive and Constructive Feedback: Acknowledge both positive aspects and areas that need improvement. Positive feedback highlights strengths, while constructive criticism points to areas for refinement. A balanced perspective helps you build on what works well while addressing weaknesses.
- Multiple Rounds of Feedback: Consider gathering feedback in multiple rounds. Initial feedback can focus on broad aspects like plot and character development, while subsequent rounds can delve into finer details such as language and pacing.
- Implementing Changes Thoughtfully: After receiving feedback, take time to reflect on the suggestions. Decide which recommendations align with your creative vision and make changes thoughtfully. Not all feedback needs to be incorporated, and retaining your unique voice is crucial.
Feedback is a vital tool for refining your myth and ensuring it resonates with your intended audience. Other perspectives can highlight blind spots, offer fresh insights, and identify areas that might need clarification or expansion. Constructive feedback is a collaborative process that contributes to the overall quality of your myth, making it a more compelling and engaging narrative. Embracing feedback is an essential aspect of growth as a writer and contributes to the success of your myth when shared with a broader audience.
When sharing your myth with a trusted reader, you might ask specific questions such as the following:
- Engagement and Interest:
- Did the beginning of the story grab your attention? Why or why not?
- What part of the story did you find the most exciting or interesting?
- Character Development:
- Did you feel like you got to know the characters well? Who was your favourite, and why?
- Were there any characters whose actions or feelings you didn’t understand?
- Plot and Pacing:
- Did the story move at a good pace, or were there parts that felt too slow or too fast?
- What was your favourite part of the story?
- Conflict and Resolution:
- Did the central conflict drive the tension effectively, and was it resolved satisfactorily?
- Were there any parts of the story where you felt confused or wanted to know more?
- Could you picture the magical world in your mind? Were there things you found confusing?
- Did you feel like you understood how the magic worked in the story?
- Language and Descriptions:
- Did the language used in the myth enhance the storytelling, or were there areas where it could be improved?
- Were the descriptions of settings, characters, and magical elements detailed enough?
- Emotional Impact:
- Did you feel emotionally connected to the characters and their journeys? Were there specific moments that stood out emotionally?
- Themes and Symbolism:
- What do you think the story was trying to teach or tell you?
- Were the symbolic elements effectively woven into the narrative, or were they confusing?
- Surprises and Predictability:
- Were there unexpected twists or surprises that you enjoyed?
- Did you find any parts of the plot predictable, and if so, did it impact your enjoyment of the story?
- Overall Impressions:
- What did you enjoy most about the myth?
- Is there anything you think could be improved or expanded upon?
Step 15: Final Edit
The Final Edit is the penultimate step in the process of crafting your myth. During this phase, you focus on thorough polishing, ensuring that your narrative is finely tuned, error-free, and ready to captivate your audience. The Final Edit involves both a macro and micro-level examination of your myth, addressing broader structural elements as well as minute details.
Here are the key elements to consider during this step:
- Flow and Pacing: Ensure the overall flow of your myth is smooth and engaging. Check that each scene transitions seamlessly to the next, maintaining a cohesive narrative rhythm.
- Consistency: Verify that your story maintains consistency in character traits, world-building rules, and any established magical or mythic elements.
- Word Choice: Carefully choose words that enhance the mood, tone, and imagery of your myth. Replace any repetitive or weak language with more vibrant and graphic alternatives.
- Sentence Structure: Vary sentence lengths and structures to maintain reader interest. Ensure clarity and avoid overly complex or complicated sentences.
- Dialogue: Review and refine character dialogues, ensuring they align with each character’s personality and contribute to the plot. Dialogue should feel natural and authentic.
- Character Consistency: Double-check that characters’ actions, motivations, and growth align with their established traits and arcs.
- Visual Imagery: Enhance descriptive elements to vividly paint scenes and characters in the reader’s mind. Engage the senses through rich, immersive details.
- Show, Don’t Tell: Where possible, use descriptive language to “show” the reader what’s happening, rather than simply “telling” them.
- Emotional Connection: Amplify emotional moments by fine-tuning language and expressions. Ensure that readers can connect with the characters on an emotional level.
- Pacing of Emotional Beats: Confirm that emotional peaks and valleys are well-paced, allowing readers to experience a range of feelings throughout the myth.
- Spelling and Grammar: Conduct a meticulous review for spelling and grammatical errors. Consider using grammar-checking tools, but also manually inspect the text for issues that automated tools might miss.
- Consistent Style: Ensure consistency in writing style, whether it’s formal, casual, or a blend of both.
- Clarity: Verify that the narrative is clear and easily comprehensible. Address any areas where confusion might arise.
- Readability for the Intended Audience: Consider the age group or demographic your myth targets and adjust language and complexity accordingly.
- Consistent Theme Weaving: Confirm that the chosen theme is consistently woven throughout the narrative. Every aspect of the myth should contribute to reinforcing the central theme.
- Author’s Vision: Evaluate whether the final draft aligns with your initial vision for the myth. Ensure that your unique voice and storytelling style shine through.
- Reader’s Experience: Consider how the myth will be perceived by readers. Aim to create an immersive and satisfying experience.
The Final Edit is crucial for presenting a polished and professional myth to your audience. It elevates the overall quality of your storytelling, providing readers with a seamless and enjoyable reading experience. This step is the last opportunity to catch any lingering issues and ensure your myth is ready for publication. The Final Edit reflects your commitment to delivering a well-crafted and thoughtful narrative to your audience.
Sunlight crept over the forested peaks, casting its golden glow over the sleepy village of Lumara. Aria stirred slowly from a night filled with vivid dreams of soaring over emerald treetops. As she rubbed the sleep from her eyes, the scent of baking bread and sweet honey-mint tea beckoned from the kitchen below.
After changing out of her nightclothes, Aria drifted downstairs where dawn’s light streamed through the open windows. Her mother, Rhea, was stoking the brick oven’s dying embers while a kettle whistled on the stove. “Good morning, my little owl,” said Rhea. “Ready for some cinnamon spice buns?”
Aria seated herself at the hand-carved oak table as Rhea placed a hot mug of fragrant tea and two gooey pastries before her. Famished after her nighttime adventures in the dreaming world, Aria wasted no time devouring her treat. As she licked sticky cinnamon from her fingers, thoughts turned to the annual Solstice Fair which would flood Lumara with visitors and magic unlike any other day.
“This year the fair will be more wondrous than ever before,” said Rhea, interrupting Aria’s delicious daydreams. There was joy but also solemnity in her mother’s voice which puzzled Aria. But before she could question it, a knock sounded at the front door…
Step 16: Publish and Share
Step 16 is the completion of your journey as a myth creator — it’s the moment you share your crafted tale with the world. This step involves taking the necessary actions to publish your myth, making it accessible to your intended audience. Here’s a breakdown of the key components within this step:
Here are the elements to consider:
- Choose Your Publishing Platform: Decide where and how you want to publish your myth. Options include traditional publishing through literary agents and publishers, or self-publishing through online platforms like Amazon Kindle or other e-book distributors. If you prefer a physical copy, consider print-on-demand services.
- Formatting and Presentation: Ensure your myth is formatted appropriately for the chosen publishing platform. Pay attention to font styles, page layouts, and any illustrations or images you plan to include. A polished and professional presentation enhances the reader’s experience.
- Cover Design: Create an eye-catching and relevant cover design. The cover is often the first thing potential readers notice, so it should reflect the essence of your myth and entice them to explore further. If you’re not artistically inclined, consider hiring a professional cover designer.
- Metadata and Descriptions: Craft compelling metadata and descriptions for your myth. This includes a concise and engaging book description, relevant keywords, and categories. This information is crucial for attracting the right audience and improving the discoverability of your myth.
- Distribution Channels: Decide whether you want to make your myth available exclusively on a single platform or distribute it widely across multiple channels. Each distribution choice has its advantages and considerations, so weigh them based on your goals.
- Marketing and Promotion: Develop a marketing strategy to promote your myth. Utilize social media, author websites, book blogs, and other platforms to build anticipation and reach potential readers. Consider offering promotional discounts or free giveaways to generate initial interest.
- Author Platform: If you haven’t already, establish an author platform. This could be a personal website, social media profiles, or an author page on platforms like Goodreads. An author platform helps you connect with readers and build a community around your work.
- Engage with Readers: Actively engage with readers who discover and read your myth. Respond to reviews, participate in discussions, and consider organizing virtual or local events. Building a connection with your audience can foster a loyal readership.
- Feedback and Iteration: Remain open to feedback from readers. Use constructive criticism to improve your future works and consider releasing updated editions of your myth based on valuable insights.
- Legal Considerations: Be aware of any legal considerations related to publishing, especially if you choose to use traditional publishing contracts or self-publishing platforms. Understand copyright, licensing, and any contractual agreements.
- Celebrate Your Achievement: Take a moment to celebrate the completion and publication of your myth. Whether it’s a personal accomplishment or the beginning of a larger writing career, acknowledge the effort and creativity you poured into your work.
Publishing and sharing your myth marks the end of your creative endeavour. This step transforms your narrative from a personal project to a piece of art meant to be experienced by others. Sharing your myth with the world allows you to connect with readers, receive feedback, and contribute to the rich tapestry of storytelling. Whether you aim for a wide readership or a niche audience, publishing and sharing are essential steps in the lifecycle of your myth.
Following this straightforward process on how to write a myth will have you conjuring up incredible lands and beloved characters in no time. Soon you’ll be weaving magical narratives that speak to universal truths and capture imaginations for generations to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I write my own myth?
If you want to try your hand at crafting an epic mythic tale, the good news is getting started is straightforward. While myths often deal with grand themes tied to a culture’s cosmology, at their core they relate compelling narratives about universal struggles facing heroes and gods.
The first step is to decide on the core concept or message you want to explore through allegory. Think of timeless ideas surrounding morality, the meaning of life, good vs evil. Themes of love, courage, justice, and temptation are mythic staples.
Next, build your wondrous setting and characters who will bring everything to life. Unleash your creativity when conceiving locations, magical elements, immortal beings and the hero’s adventure. Traditionally myths incorporate fantasy tropes like enchanted weapons, supernatural transformations and talking animals.
Outline the sequence of events from the Call to Adventure trigger that disrupts the known world to the climatic showdown. Follow conventions from famous myth cycles but put your unique spin to surprise audiences. Monitor the pace so stakes escalate as the tale builds to an epic showdown settling conflicts in a satisfying way.
While crafting memorable dialogue and vivid imagery, focus on imparting the moral perspective intended to guide mortals. Let symbolic motifs reinforce your themes of choice. Execute revisions until you have a tight, well-structured myth for the ages! Share printed or online and enjoy as readers lose themselves in this new compelling mini-universe.
What are the 5 elements of a myth?
Myths across cultures and time periods tend to share certain essential ingredients that capture the imagination. If you want to write a compelling mythic tale, make sure to incorporate these 5 essential elements:
- Supernatural Beings: Myths typically feature immortal gods, goddesses, magical creatures or humans with extraordinary abilities as characters. Their supernatural feats provide that sense of awe and wonder.
- Universal Themes: Fundamental, timeless concepts like love, courage, temptation, jealousy or the battle of good vs evil form the thematic backbone that gives myths appeal.
- Symbolic Elements: Metaphors and motifs like special objects, numbers, colours or seasons litter mythic narratives, representing abstract ideas related to their universal themes.
- Moral Lesson: A teaching or worldview on how mortals can live just, meaningful lives tend to be imparted. Myths establish cultural values.
- Heroic Journeys: The protagonist tends to embark on an adventurous quest or perilous journey of self-discovery that transforms them, allowing them to conquer whatever threatens their world.
By incorporating all these ingredients, you’ll craft a myth capable of enduring for generations as great iconic stories regularly do. So unleash your imagination and get writing!
What is an example of a myth?
One famous mythic tale which contains quintessential ingredients from across cultures is the ancient Greek story of Icarus and Daedalus. It features hubris, suspense, sorrow and a moral warning.
The tale goes that skilled inventor Daedalus fashioned wings made of feathers and wax for himself and his son Icarus to escape imprisonment, warning Icarus not to fly too close to the sun. But filled with exhilaration soaring above the azure sea, Icarus ignored his father’s warning and soared higher towards the sun’s warmth. The heat soon melted the wax binding his wings, and young Icarus plunged into the sea where he drowned.
The myth of Icarus incorporates gods, as the imprisonment was by King Minos to punish Daedalus for helping Minos’ wife give birth to the minotaur. It demonstrates man’s temptation to defy the gods and overreach. Beyond just entertainment, it imparts a moral about respecting limits placed on mortals. And it serves as an allegory for hubris or excessive pride leading to downfall.
With its familial love, suspense, tragedy and ominous warning, the legend of Icarus’ doomed flight remains impactful centuries later. All key traits of an unforgettable myth!
How do myths start?
Myths take root in civilizations seeking to make sense of the mysteries of nature, life and death. So myths often originate as imaginative explanations of phenomena like storms, illness or conflict that frighten or confuse early humans lacking science.
Gods representing natural forces like thunder, the moon, fertility or the seas feature in nascent creation myths constructed to bring order through storytelling. Likewise, myths emerge accounting for the genesis of mankind and the cosmos featuring supernatural machinations. pantheons of gods, titans clashing or primordial cosmic eggs hatching all aim to elucidate existence.
Myths also arise from ancestors weaving fantastical histories that provide shared identity. Hence national epics like the Hindu Mahabharata or Anglo-Saxon legend Beowulf offer early tribes and dynasties storied lineage and famous deeds to rally around. Veritable characters gain superhuman qualities over centuries of oral retelling before being penned.
Often myths encode guidelines for living through the actions of deities, spirits, heroes and villains. Moral perspectives thus enter the collective consciousness. By dramatizing consequences for vice and virtues myths solidify proper codes of conduct around hospitality, war, infidelity etc.
So while methods differ, mythology always starts with imagination conjuring worlds that resonate enough to endure across generations. The rest is persistent retelling until myths become a tradition.
What is an example of a kids’ myth?
A delightful myth perfect for children is the story of the race between the tortoise and the hare. It’s a fable similar to Aesop’s animal tales, imparting a lesson in a child-friendly way that’s easy to grasp.
As the title suggests, a humble hard-shelled tortoise and an arrogant speedy hare have a contest to settle who’s faster. When they decide to race to a tree and back, the hare sprints ahead swiftly and then lies down napping certain she has won. But steady and determined, the tortoise passes the sleeping hare close to the tree to win while the hare awakes shocked learning a lesson in humility.
The simple story of the race incorporates fun personified animals children adore. It also has suspense – who will triumph? Children can absorb the moral of resilient perseverance defeating complacency or arrogance. And the visualization of a plodding tortoise improbably overtaking the speedy hare stays etched in memories.
So like the best children’s myths, “The Tortoise and the Hare” wraps the fundamental lesson of not underestimating others within an entertaining tale of a sporting rivalry that upset kids find uproariously satisfying. An enduring cautionary myth passed through generations.
We’ve covered the essential ingredients that go into crafting a memorable myth, from incorporating supernatural elements, symbols and heroic arcs to imparting profound themes or cultural values in imaginative ways. Now over to you aspiring myth-makers!
Whether you create a fantastical origin story for your favourite childhood toy or write a tragic saga extolling the virtues of perseverance like the tortoise fable, embrace your boundless creativity. As this guide on how to write a myth has shown, compelling mythology can emerge from any inspiring spark. Once you have brought your new addition to mythology to life through tireless writing and revision, share your remarkable tales far and wide.
Now, we want to hear from you! Have you embarked on your mythical odyssey, or are you inspired to begin one? Share your thoughts, ideas, or questions in the comments below.