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Using Mythology

edited August 17 in Writing
Hi, everyone. 

I'm just wondering what the etiquette is for loosely basing ideas on mythology?  I have two ideas for two different stories based on Greek Mythology and Korean Mythology.  Obviously, it's the general scenario; however, there's a lot I want to change.  Can you do it and are there any limitations to this? 

Edited to add: Can you also have characters reference the mythology as well as the story being about it? 

Many thanks, 

Doglover

Comments

  • There's no copyright on the broad details of the mythological stories so you can use them. I had a novel published a couple of years ago based on one of the Greek myths. As for characters referring to the myths, it depends on the period. If the story is based in the time of the myths, they wouldn't yet be myths. But thereafter it wouldn't be a problem.

    Remember, however, that the point of basing a story on a myth is that it lends an extra dimension to the story you're telling. To much self-reference might spoil the effect. Subtlety is key. It's more fun if the reader gradually figures out the mythic dimension.
  • GeraldQ said:
    There's no copyright on the broad details of the mythological stories so you can use them. I had a novel published a couple of years ago based on one of the Greek myths. As for characters referring to the myths, it depends on the period. If the story is based in the time of the myths, they wouldn't yet be myths. But thereafter it wouldn't be a problem.

    Remember, however, that the point of basing a story on a myth is that it lends an extra dimension to the story you're telling. To much self-reference might spoil the effect. Subtlety is key. It's more fun if the reader gradually figures out the mythic dimension.
    GeraldQ said:
    There's no copyright on the broad details of the mythological stories so you can use them. I had a novel published a couple of years ago based on one of the Greek myths. As for characters referring to the myths, it depends on the period. If the story is based in the time of the myths, they wouldn't yet be myths. But thereafter it wouldn't be a problem.

    Remember, however, that the point of basing a story on a myth is that it lends an extra dimension to the story you're telling. To much self-reference might spoil the effect. Subtlety is key. It's more fun if the reader gradually figures out the mythic dimension.
    Thanks for this, GeraldQ.  The stories were going to be set in modern day times.  The only reason one character was going to mention one of the myths was because she becomes obsessed with trying to find her own version of it.  However, I might change that.  At the moment, it is a simple idea that I wanted to let ferment in my mind as I continue to write something else.  
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