Monday, April 2, 2012

Norse myth narrative

Writing the Asgard Saga is no less than a real treat to me. Not only do I love the stories, but working with them in a more modern narrative form is very rewarding. These stories have been handed down from generation to generation and were not written down before some time in the early 13th century after the chance from Heathen religion to Christianity. This brings a challenge differing from, say the Christian or Jewish texts.

The Jewish tradition is different from the Viking tradition, because the storytelling of the latter wasn´t a "to-the-letter" handing down. The base line was more important than telling the stories exactly in the same way, whereas the Jewish tradition demanded the handing down of myth and stories to be told word for word. This means that the stories from the Bible are very accurate. They are told in the original languages almost exactly as they were told 500, 1000 or even 5000 years ago.

The Norse myths aren´t this accurate and in time some of the stories have changed some of their meaning. For instance, there is some doubt as to weither Odin and Frey were married or not.

The most important thing, however, is that I want to make as good a balance as possible between telling the stories in such a way that the characters come alive, but still honors the original stories. This is a difficult task, mostly due to the narrative tradition of Norse Mythology, where the characters are flat, meaning that they lean towards action rather than the characters´ mindsets and characteristics behind the action.

This is their strength, but it also makes it difficult to describe who these characters really are. For instance, the stories do not reveal Odin as having a devious mind, but his actions are either devious or he is not aware of the results of his actions. Of course, the stories tell little by little that he IS devious, but you have to read quite a few of the myths to catch that.

That´s why I really enjoy writing my interpretation of these myths. It´s a challenge to bring the stories to life and give my readers a good reading experience without being unfaithful to the messages of the myths.

I am very much looking forward to getting feedback from all you people out there, just waiting for the first volume to come out and as a treat, I want to share with you the cover for the book. It´s not entirely finished yet and it may look somewhat different when I publish, but this is what I´ve got so far:

I hope, you´ve enjoyed reading my blog posts on the Norse Mythology and I can assure you, that I´m not even close to being finished with it yet. There will be more to come.

Do you like the cover?
Feel free to comment, even if you really, really hate the cover!