I am taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, and I am writing a story set in an Australian city. I don’t want to say too much about my story here (ask me on facebook or by email) and I am still hashing out the plot, but the protagonist has the Sight and keeps seeing flashes of the Otherworld. She is walks in and out of myth, and isn’t sure which is real, the city or the forest (urban or organic). It is going to be really hard to hold off on writing until the 1st of November! I am taking part because I want to give writing another go. One of the problems I have is that I never get too far into a story because I am constantly editing. I guess that is the problem of being a perfectionist. I get so caught up in the minutiae that I loose sight of my story. I have left so many stories littered in notebooks and scraps of paper. So for NaNo, I am writing and writing and writing, and I am not allowed to edit! I doubt I will reach the 50,000 word target, but I am hopping that I actually have a story forming 🙂
Where I need your help, you ask?
Say you were writing speculative fiction set in an Australian city. Just think about that for a second. Think about Western mythologies. Not the Tinkerbells and Ariels, but the Tuatha Dé Danann (elves for the plebs), and Titans. Throw in some European folklore like mountain trolls and changelings. Think about all the fables, and folklore and legends you have heard set in the “old world”. And then think of Australia, the old land. Think about how diverse the people were here for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. Think of their rich cultural lives, their stories, their folklore and legends. My question is, would the spirits and fey in modern Australia be European, Aboriginal or a mixture? Are spirits they way we see them because that is what they are or just how we interpret them? The fey aren’t meant to cross over water. But could they circumvent that rule by travelling through the Otherworld? Or is there no such thing as European or Aboriginal (or African, Asian, American etc.), but they are just the one creature with different faces? Is it stories echoing through space and time? Like how the crow myth has made it’s way around through various cultures, as has the flood myth and the Hercules figure? Is it just all one and the same, or is it a separate incidence each time? Should the sprits wear regional skins, or be a mixture? Or just be “normal”, but effect regional style (ochre markings vs woad?)?
I have actually studied Aboriginal myths when I took Anthropology at university, and with some research I could really flesh it out. But I do want to tackle Western myth as well… I am trying to work out a way of doing both. But I don’t want it to clash, but for the myths and spirits to coexist? Like maybe there is no such thing as European or Aboriginal, but they are just different faces the spirits wear? An outward expression? IDK…. 😕 What do you think?