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What do folks in England eat for breakfast? How do you milk a giraffe? What types of cases go to the Supreme Court? Can you break a car window with a thermos? Use this Q & A forum to help supply your characters, plots, and settings with a dose of reality. Someone, somewhere, has the answer.
Posted: 8/24/2010 9:02 PM PDT
The "Readers' Digest" did a series of 'coffee-table' books with guides to various mythologies.
For a less detailed but more comprehensive overview, try "Oxford Companion to World Religions".
As to how to get villains without giving offence, I suggest using obsolete mythologies; however, with the current resurgence of paganism, this may prove quite difficult! One thought - the Romans had a habit of deifying their emperors, so how about taking one of those, like Caligula, as your villain (megalomaniac in life, unlikely to become more modest in eternal life!)? Or the evil principal from dualist faiths like Manichaeism? (Try Ahriman?)
I notice you have also left out the South American and Native American religions, as well as the Slavic & Mongol deities, the pre-Judaio-Christian Middle Eastern pantheons, and all the African deities. I really think you shouldn't be eurocentric on this one!
Please message me if you want to discuss this further (this is a field I am qualified in).
Posted: 8/24/2010 3:08 PM PDT
I have put a lot of thought into this (almost a year's worth, it would seem) and here is where I need the most help: I have no problem researching, and I will check out what everyone mentioned above. However, I have an issue with picking out bad guys. I don't want to offend any religion by suggesting something that's not true. So - if anyone knows good bad guys I could use that are from some religious something or other, please pass on that info.
I also plan on using other creatures in this book to make it more interesting. Right now all I have is a vampire that acts as a double agent. (I know, I know, don't get upset about vampires. They will not sparkle, I promise.) I want to use other creatures without making the story sound too insane. I want it to be as realistic as possible. I want the reader to believe that the story happens in a realistic setting with realistic people in an unusual plot. Any suggestions in this area would be appreciated as well.
This will be posted soon. I started writing recently. I just haven't posted it yet. ;)
Posted: 10/20/2009 9:13 PM PDT
I will most definitely be contacting you two soon. Thanks everyone for all of your help!
Posted: 10/15/2009 1:27 PM PDT
Well, I am a Celtic Pagan, if that is any help. For Proto-celtic, and Indo-European deities I can give you the background, and for Irish Deities I can give you pretty much all there is to know.
To talk about the European pagans, you really have to have abit of background knowledge of the ethnic movements that took place in the great immigration waves of prehistoic Europe too, which I can tell you a bit about.
Posted: 10/9/2009 1:34 PM PDT
I know a bit. I'm still just a kid, so I can understand you not wanting my help. That's fine =)
But I am offering it. I am only sixteen, but I attend a very religious school, and my religion teacher is brilliant; she knows a lot about every religion. I can always ask her. Also, we kind of focus on other religions, not just Christianity, so I know a little about the five main religions, because foe three and 3/4 we've been focusing on those religions.
I'm also a Christian, so I can help with that.
Also, I have my book. It is kind of expensive, and I'm not sure if you can get it where you are. So if you need someone to look up something, there is a chance it may be in my massive book.
So, to sum all this up (;p), I would be willing to help.
Posted: 10/8/2009 2:32 PM PDT
Clarification: when I say that I can't give them all equal time, I mean that I can't give every single religious figure equal time. I plan on giving all of the religions as a whole equal time.
Posted: 10/8/2009 1:31 PM PDT
1) I plan to include as many dieties as I can from all over the world, including Eastern, Western, and some from old religions (i.e. ancient Egypt and the like). Evidently I can't give all of them equal time, but I would like to have a few from each major religious group represented at some point.
2) I haven't decided how to organize them. I think I will have them all working together to solve this big bad something that is attacking the world. The problem is finding a big bad something. So, in other words, I will treat them all equally and use their traits to help my main character solve said big bad problem.
3) I do enjoy mythology, and I love to research either way. :)
If anyone knows a whole lot about any religion, let me know because I might need to contact you when I start to write. I want to make sure that, if I'm going to write about religion, I'm going to do it correctly. I know I will be attacked if I don't. (I might not start for a while, like I said. This college thing keeps getting in my way. I'm just trying to collect facts now.)
I will definitely check out the resources that were already mentioned. Thanks for your time! (You know, I always consider giving a commission to people who really help me out!)
Posted: 10/4/2009 7:51 PM PDT
There is no simple answer to that, and if you want to treat it intelligently, you've got a good deal of research ahead of you. Fortunately, it's a fascinating field of study. Try http:www.sacred-texts.com/ for a wide sampling of theologies.
Posted: 10/2/2009 4:54 PM PDT
Are you also including the eastern culture religions? You have only listen modern-day Western culture religions, so I was wondering about the Eastern ones, such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, Judaism. Also, are you dividing the gods? I hope not, but if you are, I suggest dividing in terms of Semitism; the Semetic religions and the non-Semetic religions. I probably wouldn't include the non-Semetic religions such as Buddhism, because they don't have a God, per say, rather they believe in higher powers. They do have 'gods', I think, but no central god like we do.
I have a book called Mythology; it is blue and massive. That would be incredibly helpful. It has a ton about different deities and religions, an it also includes the natives gods and beliefs such as Native American and Australian Aboriginal.
Posted: 10/2/2009 8:21 AM PDT
Try www.godchecker.com. They list and describe numerous gods and saints in different mythologies, including Christian mythology.
Posted: 10/2/2009 1:57 AM PDT
Two weeks back I found this excellent book by the National Geographic Society entitled "Essential Visual History of World Mythology". It covers the world, including, of course, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman mythology. It should help.
Posted: 9/29/2009 5:36 PM PDT
The other night an idea for a new story struck me. It's still very fuzzy, but here's the main concept: there's some big something that's going to happen, and all of the gods that have ever been believed in have to come together to prevent it. That's all I've got right now, and this probably won't be written for a while. I want to get some facts gathered before I decide on which direction to take this.
So, here's what I need help with. I know about Egyptian, Greek/Roman, and Christian religions. I would like to be as inclusive as possible, but I know that not all of the information out there is reliable. If you have any information, or you know a good source for me to check out, please let me know. I will take anything that was ever believed in (in a religious sense) from any period in time. Seriously, anything and everything.
By the way, I plan on making this a series of books, so I will have lots of space to work with. I will try my best to include everything that is passed on to me. I always appreciate help. Thanks in advance!