fun things about reading the silmarillion

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Dear imindhowwelayinjune, the fact that you’re such a great person and writer and are there somewhere, that I can read your blog and your stories and chat with your about things, including such things of utmost importance as elfdicks, makes up a huge chunk of fun I’m having in this fandom. Please accept some Finrod and a creepy Ulmo having a Michaelangelo moment. Happy Birthday, my dear fren, and I hope it was a good one. Love you and you, there’s someone in your corner all the way across the sea ))

likesummerrainn  asked:

Hi there, the story I was wondering what were your guys' thoughts on creating your own kind of mythology for a story? The one I'm working relies on a concept completely fictional and I need a way to back it up, so I was considering creating my own form of mythology to explain my concept.

It could be argued that every well-realized fictional setting creates its own mythology, but what you want to do is take a few large steps beyond that, which as a fan of all things fantasy, I greatly admire. What you’re asking about is Mythopoeia, the process of creating a fictional mythology. 

Myths underpin any society, no matter how hard they try to deny it. But maybe your created society accepts it. So think about where your characters in your story are going, and that should help you see where they, and their culture(s), might have been. Then again, once you start creating these myths, you might find surprising new twists for your story.

I’m a big fan of creation myths, even if they are never mentioned in your text. It’s always helpful to start at the beginning – the ultimate beginning – of your world. 

Other myths seek to explain natural phenomena with stories. These are known as “etiological” myths, myths about why things are. They can be as simple as “Thunder is God snoring.” Or as complex as you like. Google a few from existing Earth cultures. 

Speaking of Earth, we have a lot of good mythological systems here with plenty of inspirational material. There’s nothing wrong with the good old Greco-Roman system, but you might want to research something entirely different, such as Native Alaskan or Finnish. 

I would be remiss not to mention the king of myth-makers, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Silmarillion. It’s hard to slog through, I admit. It’s more fun to talk about, or to read informed articles about, than to actually read. Just my little nerd confession there. Fun Tolkien fact: He wrote a poem called Mythopoeia

It’s also entirely valid if your myths are, within the context of your world, entirely FALSE! Or in conflict with others your characters might hold dear. Or if they exist to support superstitions or bad behavior. These things lead to obstacles and complications for your characters, which are ultimately a good thing! 

Have fun creating myths for your world, but remember when and if you include them in your writing, avoid the Dreaded Infodump! 

Here are some links. I highly recommend nosing around fantasy-faction.com, a place where you can lose large blocks of your life, trust me on this!

Creating Your Own Mythology

Five Rules of Building Believable Mythology

Using the Creation Story to Help Design a Belief System

Worldbuilding a Religion, Part One: Religion vs. Cult  – First of three parts. Do check out all three, and search for other religion-creating files on their site. Religion isn’t necessarily mythology, but there’s plenty of helpful information here. 

Create Your Own Mythology – Some good thoughts about the process of myth-making.