Guest post: ‘Magick and Lore in writing your next novel’ by TJ Perkins

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of magick and lore, is brought to you by Y.A. fantasy, mystery novelist and former interviewee TJ Perkins. You can also read TJ’s previous guest posts here and here.

Using the magick and lore of the Celtic / Norse gods / goddesses in writing your next novel

Mythology is a symbolic way of looking at the world.  Myths use storytelling to put form to the unseen, so that the human mind can expand and begin to know the unknowable.  This type of mythology operates on a different plane from that of science, history, or even fiction.  A culture’s mythology is its pathway into the mysteries.  They use symbolic language to trigger our deepest levels of connection with existence.

The same myth can operate at different levels and can be interpreted in a variety of ways – all of which may be true, all at the same time.  The meaning of a myth is not literal, not history, but is poetry.

  • It’s not the original plot of the story that’s the important part, but the essence of the character which aligns the use of bits and pieces from lore and myths and rewrites it, expands it, alters it and changes it.
  • As you write about your characters you are actually making them more real, bringing them to life and offering them individuality.
  • Think of your self as a creator and you are molding these characters, breathing life into them and making them act out a life that you have put together for them.

When you begin to create your characters ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where do the deities live – the Astral? – the Otherworld? – or do you have a place you’ve created?
  • Do they have laws?
  • How would the character react?
  • What is their true voice?  (Aggressive, haughty, shy, meek, etc.)
  • What is their true nature?
  • Do they even like each other?
  • Is there drama between many of them?
  • Is there past history that creates drama and affects how they act, how they speak, how they interact with each other and Earth characters?
  • Do different Gods and Goddesses have different degrees of power or ability?
  • Does morality vary among the deities just as it does among humans?
  • Is it true that no one deity is purely good or purely evil?

Keep in mind that the Gods and Goddesses personify forces within nature:

  • Brigit – fire
  • Manannan – the ocean
  • Anu – the air
  • Arawn – the earth
  • Artio – wildlife
  • Nechtan – water

Maybe there is conflict in what people in your story believe:

  • The Gods and Goddesses are symbolic rather than ‘real’
  • The Gods and Goddesses were originally humans whose extraordinary deeds came to be regarded as divine.

This is only the tip of what’s available to you, but hopefully it’ll be enough to get those creative juices flowing.  Think hard on what type of storyline you’re trying to build, what message you want to get across to the reader, and how best do you want to entertain them.

NEWS:  TJ Perkins will be conducting a full blown Workshop on this subject at Balticon May 26 & 27 at the Hunt Valley Marriott, Hunt Valley, Maryland USA.  She will be accompanied by award-winning author Maria Snyder.  Seating is limited so sign up early. They hope to see you there. 🙂

Thank you, TJ. Great to have you back!

Award-winning author TJ Perkins is a gifted and well-respected author in the mystery/suspense genre. Her writing style has been compared to that of Mildred Wirt Benson A.K.A. Carolyn Keen (Nancy Drew).  Mystery books for ages 8-14 are Mystery of the Attic, On Forbidden Ground, Wound Too Tight and the first 5 books in the Kim & Kelly Mystery Series. TJ has recently expanded into the world of fantasy for teens. Publisher Silver Leaf Books has contracted to release Shadow Legacy, a 5-book series of fantasy.  The first installment of this new exciting series, Art of the Ninja: Earth, is an award-winner and has been classified by readers and reviewers as a cross-genre of fantasy/manga. TJ lives in Baltimore, MD with her 2 cats and an imagination that’s bursting at the seams.

You can read sample pages of TJ’s writing (, see the book trailer (, check out TJ’s blog, follower her on Twitter, friend / like her on Facebook and find her books at GoodReads (all her books are available on Kindle, Nook, iPad – just look them up by TJ Perkins).

Wikipedia’s articles on Anime and Manga are also worth a visit (after TJ’s sites of course :)).

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with historical non-fiction author Delin Colón – the three hundred and thirty-sixth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore and Kobo. My eBooks are also now on Amazon, with more to follow. I also have a quirky second-person viewpoint story in charity anthology Telling Tales.

I have a new forum at and you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s ‘Contact me’ page or plain and simple, email me.

3 thoughts on “Guest post: ‘Magick and Lore in writing your next novel’ by TJ Perkins

    • morgenbailey says:

      Oh, do! I can’t imagine not writing fiction. I LOVE not knowing what’s going to come out, meeting new ‘people’ and doing weird and wonderful things with them. 🙂 Thanks, Cate.


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