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Creating the Myth by Linda Serger- Notes

by: Leah Notetaker

Creating the Myth by Linda Serger- Notes ENGL 150- 001 (, Blake R. Westerlund)

Leah Notetaker

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About this Document

These notes cover myths, archetypes, and how they may be included in stories.
Blake R. Westerlund
Class Notes
myths, archetype, Literature, Creative writing, stories, hero
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Leah Notetaker on Tuesday October 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 150- 001 (, Blake R. Westerlund) at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire taught by Blake R. Westerlund in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 152 views.

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Date Created: 10/04/16
Creating the Myth By Linda Serger  To be a successful writer: know your archetypes!  There are many different cultures in the world, but stories are universal and drawn from experience. o Many successful texts are based off of these.  We identify with heroes because we were once heroic, or we wish to do what the hero does.  There are two different types of stories: the search story and the hero story. o Search story- addresses desire to find something (ex. diamond, love) o Hero story- overcoming adversity o Both of these are myths- common stories at root; all cultures, literature, and stories contain these. o These myths are more than true because we live them at some level.  Some are completely true. (ex. Gandhi)  Some are make-believe. (ex. Gilgamesh) How the Hero Myth is Done  Story begins with the hero in a familiar surrounding; the hero is normal and simple  A catalyst sends a story into motion.  The hero is often reluctant to leave and needs motivation.  The hero gets help from unusual sources. Sometimes, the hero ignores the help offered.  The hero enters a new world, literal or figurative, and becomes extraordinary. Obstacles are set up here, and often features the first turning point of the story.  The hero must pass tests and overcome obstacles.  The hero hits rock bottom, often having a near death experience or a major loss.  The hero finds what he is looking for, but the final confrontation is yet to come.  The “chase scene” starts. The hero must use what he/she has learned to use here and in daily life.  The hero must have changed the world.  In the end, the task is not the real treasure. The Healing Myth  A character is “broken” and needs to become whole again.  Can be physically, emotionally, or psychologically broken. Or sometimes, all three.  Love is often portrayed as a healing force or a reward. Combination Myth  A story may have more than one genre. o (ex. Ghostbusters is a comedy, paranormal, and has a Pandora’s box situation.) Archetypes  A certain character seen in many stories; follows an original pattern o (ex. wise old man = mentor, mother= nurturing)  Shadow figure- opposite of hero, but not always the villain  Animals have archetypes as well. o (ex. fox = sly, dragon = angry, violent, greedy)  Trickster- causes chaos Mythic Problems and Solutions  The best way to write stories: naturally.  Myths bring depth to a story and make it more marketable. Application  One should always find the chance to add depth to the story’s themes. o Watch for elements and patters in fairytales. o Connect with the human experience.  Create variations of the myth, but let the myth grow naturally, as stated above.  Rewrite the myth, and the story will have added depth.


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