Derived Myths: Making It Original

Panelists: Sandra Kasturi, Nick DiChario (M), S. P. Hendrick, Melissa Marr, Rick Wilber

Description: There is no denying that the influence of various mythologies on fantasy has been inspiration for Lord Dunsay, Elizabeth Hand, Barry Hughart, and many others. With a wealth of examples, the discussion will range from when the myth inspiration is the center of the work to when it has led to a whole new mythos.

Derived Myth panelists

S. P. Hendrick, Sandra Kasturi, Melissa Marr, Rick Wilber, Nick DiChario (M)

Wherein the mythologies of Peyton Manning and library cards received just and thorough examination.

Top Moments:

  • MM: discussion of Hero’s Journey & Heroine’s Journey. Though adult fantasy has started to even out, still a strong trend of male heroes in best-selling YA & MG (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, etc.)
  • SK: added that it’s important to watch how we “code” our heroes, as writers. Female hero give-aways: “feisty,” “gasped,” “clumsy,” “whispered,” “spunky,” “bitten lip.” When did we last hear of a “feisty” male hero?
  • MM: When making up our own myths, start with the landscape. Landscape contains the reasons your mythology evolved
  • SK & MM: be cautious of cultural appropriation. Always as the question: “Why are you the right person to tell this story?”
  • Interesting question: with the rise of Google and the ability to fact check, are we still able to create new myths and embellish growing legends?
  • RW: “Fact never gets in the way of good sports myth.”
  • SPH: Human psyche is drawn to myth. We need something bigger than ourselves to put faith in, whether gods or superheroes
  • SK: TV has started weaving incredibly complex myths, from True Detective to Grimm
  • RW: TV in its second golden age. It’s swirling round with mythologies that are so different from preliterate, yet myth endures through generations and media
  • SPH: TV shows are the new troubadours
  • SPH: Can the group mind grant creation to myths (i.e., is Darth Vader now “real”?
  • SPH: Different cultures overly their own merits and needs on myths
  • SK: Myth speaks to a collective consciousness, of tapping into the same well
  • RW: Often stories are told to recover what has been lost (from a “golden age”)
  • RW: When integrating research, it should be deeply enmeshed in your story, but “you can’t give the whole iceberg”
  • SK: Good myths should destroy you

Favourite Line: “Writers should approach myths the same way as commas. You have to know the rules before you break them.” — Melissa Marr