Myths and Fairy Tales get a Boost with Modern Research

Posted on Dec 28, 2015 by   14 Comments | Posted in Blog · Uncategorized

Fairyland-purpleby Nancy Lee Badger

How does a writer go about setting their story in a land they have never visited? What about the story you wish to set in a time hundreds of years before you were born? What if all you have to go on is mythology and fantastic tales? How can an author make their story historically true? Research…the modern way!

When plots containing dragons, witches, or time travel twisted through my brain, I knew I wanted my characters’ adventures to occur in historical Scotland. In Dragon’s Curse, I decided my hero needed to be cursed in order to turn into a dragon at inopportune times. I scouted the internet and my personal library. I didn’t want a simple shape-shifter. I love witches and the lure of witchcraft, so I made a secondary character a witch who was grieving for her daughter. She blamed her death on my hero. Conflict was easy, but I needed a kick-ass heroine and a location.

I hit the history books again.

I came across an island off the western coast of Scotland famous for a massacre of its four-hundred or so inhabitants. I checked out the date of the event and read up on the two warring clans before I made my decision. Many myths surround this event, blaming their deaths on thieves, sea monsters, dragons, or the walking dead.

Maps are a great tool when researching a place or time you have never visited.

My family has a large library of books complete with photos of tartan plaids, lists of kings, paintings of battles, and more. When I have a question, I search these books, or ask my husband. He is of Scottish decent and knows Scottish history. Myths are a big part of the history of the Scottish Highlands, so adding the paranormal or a bit of fantasy is easy, and makes my story-line pop.

This article is my way of suggesting you keep your eyes open when you wish to include myths and fairy tales in your next manuscript. I plan to!

More About Nancy Lee Badger

After growing up in Huntington, New York, award-winning author Nancy Lee Badger attended College in New Hampshire, married, and raised two sons in a small town in the shadow of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. She moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, the Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and the Triangle Association of Freelancers. Nancy and her family volunteer each fall at the New Hampshire Highland Games surrounded by…kilts! Contact Nancy Lee Badger here…

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14 Responses to "Myths and Fairy Tales get a Boost with Modern Research"

  1. Comment by Mary Roya
    December 28, 2015 12:34 pm

    Beautiful photo

  2. Comment by Paula Millhouse
    December 28, 2015 7:16 pm

    What a great article, Nancy.
    Perfect timing for me, too as I start the new year questing for a new story with a paranormal twist.
    I love when authors base their stories on historical fact, then weave in a fantasy twist. Your story sounds great.


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