How does one make up an entire mythology, alike to that created by J.R.R. Tolkien, or those created by the myriad of writers who came after him?
It really starts with characters, and with events.
Our own human history is made up of events in time, and tells of the people who participated in them.
When creating an entirely made-up mythological history for a series of books, it pays to pay attention to history. It’s incredibly daunting to have an entire world with numerous races and cultures, all of them different from one another, but all interconnected by way of politics, religion, and human condition.
For those who haven’t seen my content and posts regarding this project, I’ll give you a small run-down.
A mysterious light at the beginning of time creates the world, and two people–a man and a woman–to inhabit it. They are each a god–a mother and father of the world–and they are the only intelligent forms of life on Vazra. They have children, one of them disappoints his father and gets ripped apart, then his limbs are used to create the mortal races (this is very Norse-inspired). The remaining children attain magical gifts, and eventually morph into one super-being called the Triad, which grants certain mortals a shred of magic upon their birth. To shepherd these power-gifted mortals, the father of the world makes six angels with flaming swords that can enter Vazra in physical form and wreak havoc with said flaming swords. The mother of the world gets angry at her husband for dismembering her youngest son, and she traps him inside a mountain. Now the Triad, to punish her for this, turn her to dust.
That’s just the creation story.
Afterward, you have discord between the mortal races, as well as the angels and their Triad master, and various conflicts and wars erupt between Vazra and the Gilded Halls of Aikakre–which is basically Heaven.
Quite complex. As of writing this post, I am on the eighth decade of history, with many more to go. All of this has to be done up until the point where the eventual book series picks up.
This is the first of many maps that I have to illustrate. As you can see in the bottom left corner, it reads “0 to 70”. Those are years. This map is only accurate between the years 0 and 70; afterward, borders are changed, lands are discovered, and structures are erected. I plan to change the type of paper with each map to insinuate age–newer maps will have better paper and design. A small detail, but that’s only one of many small details I have to consider.
Giving it a Face
I’m currently working with an artist named Aleks (or Alex) Stoller. She lives in Ukraine, and makes beautiful pieces of art in both digital and painted mediums. My idea is to have certain scenes from the mythology illustrated in an oil-paint style, as if these images were painted onto the walls of a church. The first one is in progress, and I can’t show it until it’s done, but I’ve included a piece from her portfolio to give you an idea of what to expect.
She’s pretty incredible, and not well-known, which is a bit of a crime, in my opinion. She likes to use florals and golds, mixed with a really ominous darkness, and she manages to give her images a pseudo-religious aspect that fits perfectly with my story.
So have a look at her Instagram. There’s also a link to her Artstation page on there, along with more examples of her work.
This, as I’ve stated previously, is going to be my life’s work, and is something I will continue to work on until I’m either dead or senile. Fantasy is my favorite genre to work in, and my whole writing career started with The Plight of Steel.
My one goal as a writer is to create a fantasy world that one can get lost in. One as deep as Tolkien’s, and believable as George R.R. Martin’s. This, I truly believe, will be my Magnum Opus. I’ve never put so much thought and effort into anything in my life, and I hope you will stick around to see how it turns out.