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Author Topic: Any tips on Myth Punk? [And some other questions]  (Read 1038 times)

psuppak

Any tips on Myth Punk? [And some other questions]
« on: March 02, 2012, 03:16:44 AM »
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  • Lately I have been looking into the modern genre that mix mythology with urban fantasy, such as Christopher Moore's Coyote Blues and Rick Riordan's teen books [for American folks,] and Tom Holt's Expecting Someone Taller [for you mates out there.] I am intrigued by it and want to really start a plot for a Young Adult genre book.

    There is a slight problem with it. The mythology I know best are Hindu, Buddhist, Thai, and Chinese, which might not be best mixed with the western setting that I am planning to distribute the copy to. It is easier to make people believe there's a vampire and cyclopse than to make them believe that all the Asian gods are playing roles in modern US.

    Another concern was about the main character. I have my best voice as a scrawny little foreign kid I still am somewhere inside (Even though I spent about a quarter of my life in the US). But I have not seen any YA pulls a successful job introducing a main character who is not American. Actually, it may sound personal or sensitive, but I have not read a book that have a main Asian character. Rick Riordan did a good job on Frank Zhang, but he's just only one of the seven characters, and even that, he was not exactly the main attention of the story.

    So I am wondering if any of you have an idea how to make it work? Any suggestion or discussion about it would be really appreciated!!


    If you have not, smile.

    AshKB

    Re: Any tips on Myth Punk? [And some other questions]
    « Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 11:49:25 AM »
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  • I will hopefully have more coherent thoughts after I've (fingers-crossed) slept, but for now:

    I say go for it. More non-white protagonists would be amazing, as would non-Western mythology. There isn't nearly enough of either, and combining them? Obviously, the story by itself has to be interesting and compelling, but those elements are different, interesting, and badly needed to make the genre and style more multi-cultural.

    So, yeah. I say go for it, write the story that's in your head and what you are inclined to write (I find that if I deliberately try and change something, the characters and story ring as 'false' - they need to be as true as you can make them), and good luck.  :)
    The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be lighted - Plutarch

    I not only use all the brains I have, but all that I can borrow - Woodrow Wilson

    AnneLyle

    Re: Any tips on Myth Punk? [And some other questions]
    « Reply #2 on: March 02, 2012, 12:14:52 PM »
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  • I second the advice to go for it. The lack of non-Western protagonists is I think partly down to the writers themselves being Western - it's not that they are racist, but they might feel they don't know enough about another culture to do it justice. I know I don't.

    What it comes down to is that you should write with passion, because that's the only way your voice will come through. And "voice" is generally what editors are looking for. Don't try and write to the market, because it's changing all the time.
    Elizabethan fantasy trilogy The Alchemist of SoulsThe Merchant of Dreams and The Prince of Lies out now from Angry Robot Books!

    Dan D Jones

    Re: Any tips on Myth Punk? [And some other questions]
    « Reply #3 on: March 02, 2012, 06:21:49 PM »
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  • Thirded.  Just do it.  The differences will set your work apart - make it stand out.  It all comes down to the writing and story, of course, but if done well the non-Western themes and characters could be an advantage rather than an obstacle to be overcome. 

    And most of us, even natives who still live in the house where they were born, have a "scrawny little foreign kid" inside ourselves somewhere.  Most of us relate to feelings of inadequacy, loneliness and difference.  It might not be skin color or eye shape that sets us apart but we can relate to those things as a proxy for more subtle differences and still identify with the protagonist.

    Bring something new to the genre.  Push the boundaries.  Expand the reach of fantasy and myth punk.  Don't try to fit into the pigeon hole someone else has carved out.  Write YOUR story and blow us all away.

    Francis Knight

    Re: Any tips on Myth Punk? [And some other questions]
    « Reply #4 on: March 02, 2012, 08:20:05 PM »
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  • Bring something new to the genre.  Push the boundaries.  Expand the reach of fantasy and myth punk.  Don't try to fit into the pigeon hole someone else has carved out.  Write YOUR story and blow us all away.

    Yup.

    Do it.
    My tongue has been in my cheek for so long, I've eroded a new mouth.


    The Pain Mage trilogy
    coming soon from Orbit!

    Nestat

    Re: Any tips on Myth Punk? [And some other questions]
    « Reply #5 on: March 02, 2012, 09:13:51 PM »
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  • Fifthed.

    The first thing that sprang to mind about your post was Neil Gaiman's American Gods - where he describes how the western gods migrated to the US along with their believers from the Old World. Perhaps that's an avenue worth exploring? I don't know much about it, but I'm sure many of the eastern settlers had a lot of trouble being accepted by the "natives". If you're worried about fitting the gods into roles, that shared history might offer the inspiration you need for how to do it. 

    As for having an Asian protagonist: I think it's a great idea. And if it's not been done yet, I think that's all the more incentive to go forward with it!
    In my day, television was called books! - Peter Falk in The Princess Bride

    Currently reading Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson

    Dan D Jones

    Re: Any tips on Myth Punk? [And some other questions]
    « Reply #6 on: March 02, 2012, 09:33:42 PM »
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  • As for having an Asian protagonist: I think it's a great idea. And if it's not been done yet, I think that's all the more incentive to go forward with it!

    It has been done.  Here are some examples to check out of Asian or Asian-inspired protagonist and settings:

    Guy Gavriel Kay  Under Heaven
    Chris Wooding The Braided Path series
    Curt Benjamin Seven Brothers series
    Cindy Pon Silver Phoenix
    Daniel Abrhams Long Price Quartet

    As far as stepping outside the traditional milieus of fantasy, look at what Steven Brust has done with Vlad Taltos and the Hungarian mythos. 

    professional-liar

    Re: Any tips on Myth Punk? [And some other questions]
    « Reply #7 on: March 03, 2012, 01:03:55 AM »
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  • I agree with everyone. Bring something novel to the genre, and an Asian protagonist is fine.

    Guy Gavriel Kay is a good example of a writer who has done work in multiple cultures and pulls it off splendidly.
    Check out my latest novel! Black Redneck vs. Space Zombies http://goo.gl/iJfDAi

    psuppak

    Re: Any tips on Myth Punk? [And some other questions]
    « Reply #8 on: March 03, 2012, 07:18:44 AM »
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  • Thank you for your support and example.
    I will start with reading some examples and write it out!!
    If you have not, smile.

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