Today’s my day to celebrate the sequels in four awesome mythological trilogies! I’m excited to tell you a little about DESOLATE, book two in the Desolation series, and to give you a little bit of advice I think is important to remember when writing a story that has roots in mythology.

First, meet DESOLATE . . .

Where darkness lives, all becomes desolate.

It’s been two months since sixteen-year-old Desolation Black chose Earth over Hell and her friend Miri over her eternal love, Michael.  

Desi goes through the motions of life: school, training, remaining vigilant against the forces of darkness, but her dreams are full of the choices she wishes she could change. When she’s injured by a strange demon, old temptations arise, and the lines between good and evil blur. Desi discovers those choices aren’t so final after all.

And this time, the power of love—for a friend, for a lover—may not be enough to save her from the darkness that lurks within.

To buy DESOLATE, visit Amazon, B&N or Smashwords ~
or order an autographed copy from my sidebar!
Desolation’s story began with the question, “What if the devil’s daughter only wanted to be good?”. A spin on the whole teenage angst where the parents’ goals do not align with the teen’s. Hey, I’ve been there. Have you?
I thought I’d have a lot of fun with the story, you know, make it a little tongue-in-cheek . . . yeah, that didn’t exactly turn out. As you can probably guess from the cover, DESOLATE is, well, pretty darn bleak. And there was pretty much nothing fun or lighthearted about book one, BECOME. 
In addition to discovering my book wasn’t going to be a happy-go-lucky adventure, I realized I didn’t want to write about the traditional Christian idioms of Heaven and Hell, God and the Devil. I wanted some leeway, room to put my own spin on the theology. And that’s when my story became less theologic-based and more mythologic. 
I’ve always loved Norse mythology, so bits of what I knew abegan to find their way into my story, and my mind was officially blown. Did you realize how many similarities there are between Lucifer and Loki? Thor and Jesus? God and Odin? I could regale you for ages on all that I found. 
But when it came right down to putting words on the page, I still didn’t want to be tied to the norm, to tradition. And I think that’s precisely where the joy in writing, or the wonder in reading, comes in–when we write/read something that startles us, shakes us out of what we expected and opens our mind to the possibility of . . . everything.
So when you’re writing, do your research, sure, but then set yourself free of all that you’ve learned. Make the story your own, the mythology something unique to you. And when you’re reading, open your heart and mind to all the possibilities the writer gives you in their story.
I guarantee that when we can all, writers and readers alike, free ourselves of the expected, we’ll have a grand time!
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11 Comments on the trick to writing a tale based on a known mythology

  1. Tyrean Martinson
    September 26, 2012 at 7:29 am (4 years ago)

    Love this post! I especially liked “So when you’re writing, do your research, sure, but then set yourself free of all that you’ve learned. Make the story your own, the mythology something unique to you.”

    I think having a story grounded in mythology, theology or even fairy tales and then giving it a twist is awesome!

  2. Carolyn V
    September 26, 2012 at 8:01 am (4 years ago)

    I love the premise of this story Ali! I think you have to let yourself free when you write to get the story out.

  3. Johanna Garth
    September 26, 2012 at 9:07 am (4 years ago)

    Ali, I feel like we’d have so much to talk about in real life. The series I’m working on (Book 2 out in late October) is based on Greek Mythology and I agree with all your helpful hints.

  4. Meredith
    September 26, 2012 at 9:12 am (4 years ago)

    Um, how did I not know DESOLATION was out??? I must have been living under a rock! Yay! I know what I’m reading this weekend!

  5. Alex J. Cavanaugh
    September 26, 2012 at 9:49 am (4 years ago)

    You got to do what we do best – be creative!

  6. Krispy
    September 26, 2012 at 11:00 am (4 years ago)

    I’m still fascinated by the blend of theology and mythology you decided to go with and would actually love to hear more of what you found out!

    But yes, I agree that both research and then the ability to change it up are key! Yay for your sequel being out!

  7. Angie
    September 26, 2012 at 11:26 am (4 years ago)

    You did such a great job of it! I love that feeling of freedom and possibility.

  8. Jeigh
    September 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm (4 years ago)

    Yes! I loved the Norse mythology you had in BECOME. I love it when authors take something well known and add their own twist to it.

  9. The Golden Eagle
    September 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm (4 years ago)

    Great advice. Knowing about established mythology certainly helps, but it doesn’t have to completely rule a story.

  10. Angela Brown
    September 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm (4 years ago)

    To some, the stories of Christ, God, heaven and hell are mythology. To me, personally, it is something so much deeper. Probably why, when it came to writing a novel that reached into some of what I learned of heaven and hell, I was driven to add layers of fiction and to have fun with it. I love your advice of being open to the possibilities.

  11. Nicole
    September 30, 2012 at 11:53 am (4 years ago)

    Excellent post! This is why I love writing fantasy – it allows me to pull from established norms, but gives me flexbility to put a whole new spin on them.


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