Anything can be the basis of a story from a simple event in your day to a major historical conspiracy. Legends are great for this as there can be many variations and can be used creatively to give readers the story you want. You can take any number of angles with them and make them real or remain as legends. They have so much potential.
Before you take a legend and create a story, read the entire legend. Read all variations of it and how it developed over the years passed down from person to person. You’ll find a lot more information than you ever dreamed of. Read books on the legend you are interested in as well as various websites. You don’t have to have official information as you are not writing a piece of non-fiction on the topic. You are looking for material for your creative spirit. That means anything can be useful even if the info is suspect. It is after all, fiction you are writing.
With my Mythological Adventures series, I take legends and put them in the real world. What if that creature was real? What if people tried to reconcile with reality? Yes, we laugh at the idea of a creature from the stars lurking in the stairwell looking for the perfect soul. But what if it was true? What would we do? How would it effect you? Suddenly a legend we dismiss becomes something very plausible in a world where anything can happen.
Many legends have a basis on truth. For years, the panda was a myth that was said to be that of ignorant farmers. Funny how that legend is now in international zoos and giving pleasure to the public. Bigfoot has been a legend for hundreds of years. Is there one? Maybe not the way we have depicted it, but who’s to say that there isn’t something out there that one day will make the scientists look foolish. Until then, it is a wealth of information for writers.
We can take these legends and give them a life that only an imagination can create. It is also what makes reading about them so much fun as we dive in to see what the author can come up with that is new and original. Vampires are legends. They have been talked about for centuries. The stores are so familiar yet Stephanie Meyer took a different path and created a new dimension of vampire legends. That is the writer’s job. Take a legend and give it new depth.
What legend can you dive into and explore?