Tag Archives: myths

Genres of Literature – Folklore



Folk literature is the culmination of folktales passed down through generations and then written down. It includes myths, legends, epics, fables, ballads and folktales. The authors of the traditional literature are usually unknown or unidentifiable.

These tales are largely about animals and people, of cultural myths, jokes, songs, tales, and even quotes and often take on the characteristics of the time and place in which they are set.  In short they describe a culture, which has been preserved by verbal telling. Folklore is also known as “folk literature,” or “oral traditions.”

The main purpose of folklore was to convey in an easy way a moral lesson, present useful information and everyday life lessons for common people, who were illiterate. The tales tended to sugarcoat hard life lessons giving the audience pointers about how they should behave. It is one of the best mediums to pass on living culture or traditions to future generations.

Currently, many forms of folk literature have been transformed into books and manuscripts, which we see in the forms of novels, histories, dramas, stories, lyrical poems, and sermons. Folk literature is not merely a carrier of cultural values, it is also an expression of self-reflection. It serves as a platform to hold high moral ground without any relevance to present day reality. Instead, writers use it as a commentary or satire on current political and social reality. In the modern academic world, folklore’s and folktales are studied to understand ancient literature and civilizations.

For example, Rudyard Kipling was keenly interested in folklore, he wrote many English works based on folklore such as, Rewards and Fairies and Puck of Pook’s Hill. His experiences in the Indian environment led him to create several works about Indian themes and tradition. His most popular work, The Jungle Book, consists of plenty of stories about traditional folktales.

What is your favorite folktale?

Have you written a story based on folklore?


Can You Create Your Own Myth..?

In the world of make-believe, writers have the ability to create a believable world of their own making. Research into the ‘known’ myths and legends will assist in the ‘format’ of creating their own tale. From fantastical creatures to other worldly habitats to super powers, everything is possible.mythical-creaturesTaking an idea from conception to fully developed narrative is the path every writer wants.

Whether  utilizing a known god or goddess or a creature, or using your imagination to make one from scratch, compiling a ‘life’ around them is the focus.

Asking questions, being inquisitive and ‘seeing’ alternatives will result in an idea that an author can run with.

The questions need not be deep or difficult. Maybe ask where the consciousness of the Phoenix goes when it is between egg and rising? How a unicorn cleans it horn? Do mermen serve the mermaids?

A childlike curiosity is a writer’s best friend when creating magical elements to a story. Even if the novel will be for adults. We all love to be transported into another world. That is the joy of books.

Maybe you have a favorite mythical creature that sparks your imagination. Why not share?

I coupled my love of wildlife and magical creatures into my children’s chapter book, Ockleberries to the Rescue. The woodland sprites live within their forest home to help the animals that reside there. Research into sprites, pixies, elves and the like was fun and I got to read through my gnome and fairies books too.