How to Invent End of Time Myths

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Aug 072017
 

This section of chapter 2, “Creating Gods,” from Creating Life, discusses how to invent end-of-time myths and using Earth analogues to do so.

Other Stories

We can also mirror Earth mythologies of gods doing things to each other and mortals. This includes playing tricks, seducing or falling in love, fathering children, attempting murder, and overthrowing the power structure. Anything we mere mortals do is fair game, and myths are often cautionary tales designed to warn a species against certain behaviors. The myths instruct us and our children how to behave. But on our world, many of these stories will have some truth to them because the gods are real. When inventing each myth, determine what’s true about it and what isn’t. After inventing the story, revisit it, imagining other options and keeping one a secret to reveal later.

Gods have possessions, like anyone. We can create myths where an item fell into mortal hands through theft, misplacement, or even gambling, and caused havoc, possibly resulting in a physical place where strange things happen. This is a great way to invent areas of interest; I’ve devoted a chapter to it in Creating Places (The Art of World Building, #2, “Creating Places of Interest”). Our characters can recover these items, often not on purpose or even realizing it at first. What happens when the god learns someone has it?

How To Invent Creation Myths

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Aug 032017
 

A pantheon will have a mythology, whether it’s featured heavily in stories or just mentioned by characters or in narration. To avoid exposition, incorporating the myths into a tale is the best way to mention them. This is one area we can stall on inventing, but creation myths and end-of-world myths are among the most important to work out; minor myths can be invented when needed. Even if our world doesn’t have gods, these myths will exist, as our awareness of our own mortality has us contemplating the birth and death of everything, not just ourselves. Any story about incidents among the gods, or between gods and their species, can also become a myth people either believe or not.

Creation Myths

This section of chapter 2, “Creating Gods,” from Creating Life, discusses how to invent creation myths and using Earth analogues to do so.