Mixing and twisting mythology(s) to suit your cunning fantasy novel plot plan. Is it okay for an author to do this? I say, yes (because I have)

I’m about halfway through the second draft of the first book in my young adult, urban-fantasy novel, and filling the plot holes is actually going well. The only problem is, I’ve had to twist the traditional myths to help me….

Quite a lot.

And I’ve borrowed creatures from other ‘related’ mythologies because they’re cool…. Selkies and Krakens deserve a place in my novel. They’re amazingly evocative creatures that just fit in perfectly with my plot…..but they’re not Irish Celtic like my other characters (Selkies have a Scottish islands celtix/nordic background; Krakens I believe were Nordic?)

Photo of Selkie woman statue from wikimedia commons courtesy of Siegfried Rabanser on flickr, but I have to go here, this place looks amazing…..

I figure this is okay because my novel is fictional, so there’s got to be some creative license.

I have also described the trilogy as ‘based on’, and in my blurb, I emphasise that it is ‘loosely’ based on Celtic mythology…..

But is this okay?

Because I have two main problems that I can’t seem to get around otherwise:

1) Celtic mythology is a bit all over the place. Maybe there are sources that link the stories and genealogies better than good old Lady Gregory back in the Victorian era managed, but there’s overlap and ambiguity. I figure that makes if okay to fill in the gaps myself…

2) To make my plot work, some of my characters need a slightly different background to the ones they have in the myths. For example, Domnu, Balor’s (the Lord of Darkness’) mother is Brigid’s sister in the myths recorded by Lady Gregory and others …. I need her to be a very disgruntled Earth Goddess to make my ‘environmental catastrophe’ plot work. So, that’s what she is in my trilogy. An angry, put-upon, taken for granted Earth Goddess. And her ‘son’, Balor? He needs to be head of a destructive petroleum business.

My Sun God, Lugh (Louis), is a perpetually reincarnated twelve-year-old boy (who ages in the land of dawn and dusk ‘netherworlds’ to become around fifteen), chasing his love-interest, Deirdre through the Nothingland of death…. That’s not in the mythology either.

But are there rules about this kind of thing?

No plans to change it because I’m loving writing this story of mine currently. I wish I could be there helping Louis to save the planet from itself.

Just wondering.

The Seagull is available on wattpad free. I am currently halfway through draft 2. I have also started book 2- The Host and the Oak Tree on there too. Currently working on chapter 7.

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