Hey guys! Welcome back to Too Many Books to Count! I’m glad you stopped by for the continuation in our series on myths, legends, and themes we writers should never stop using. This week, I have two really fun topics—and I hope you enjoy them as much (or more!) as I do.
As you know, this month we’ve been discussing some of the most popular myths, legends, and themes which authors have readily available for our use. Readily available because everyone knows what these things are, and we have far less to go through in order to suspend people's disbelief in what’s going on in our story. Of course, as you probably know, most of these work better in sci-fi/fantasy genres—but this week, I have two that could go either way.
I love the legends of Atlantis. I love all the ways Hollywood and authors both big and small try to take this legend and make it into something new. Sure, sometimes it gets overdone, but a lot of that is because people are trying to remake what’s already been done. And that, of course, is never what I’m suggesting.
See, everyone knows Atlantis. Say the name, and literally everyone in the room knows you’re talking about the lost city that supposedly sunk to the bottom of the ocean and disappeared. And that’s what makes it one of those legends, those themes, that’s easily moldable into a completely new story.
Not even on Earth, perhaps? ;-)
But really, there are a plethora of things you can do with the idea of Atlantis, even if you never refer to the city as Atlantis. Just the idea of a city being lowered into the bottom of the ocean creates all kinds of story ideas.
So maybe your protagonist is a scientist, one who’s been obsessed with Atlantis since he was a little kid. And maybe he's now found something, some secret buried in the Norse myths (which, as you know, aren’t related to Atlantis), and discovers its location. Say, when he gets there, he uncovers a disease that could wipe out humanity. Now this scientist has what he's always wanted, but now he also has a problem he’ll have to solve before he can go home.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen that story before, have you?
That right there is evidence that there are still millions of things available for us to do with the legend of Atlantis. There are millions of possibilities, of storylines, just waiting for us to write them down and go on the adventure.
And because everyone already knows the legend of Atlantis, because the legend has a following of fairly large proportions, you’ll already have a good start when it comes to finding a fan base.
We all know how nice that is.
But it’s not just Earth fiction where we can write stories based on Atlantis. Ever see Stargate? They had a whole spinoff dedicated to the idea that Atlantis was a spaceship, a flying city, and that it was now in the Pegasus galaxy.
You could take the idea of Atlantis and make it into something new, something no one’s ever heard before, and renew a love of this legend in people who may have given it up. In fact, I believe that you should.
Somebody has to.