Nightscapes: Your Elder Sign Is In My Eye: Advice for Mythos Writers

A sign of true cultural phenomenon seems to be that many people want to copy its masters endlessly. Conan the Cimmerian. Sherlock Holmes. Dracula. The Cthulhu Mythos is no exception. The original body of work by H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard and others remains the patterns on which hundreds of poor imitations have been created. Sometimes this leads to better things — take for example the amazing Ramsey Campbell — and sometimes it is merely a creative dead end.

Why should anyone want to write a Cthulhu Mythos story? Why not create something new and original? I’m speaking of the more mature crowd who have moved on beyond the early imitative years. I’m not sure what the answer is but this article will offer some advice to those writers who do want to write in the Mythos. It is my hope that these few simple thoughts will lead new writers (and old) to writing more creatively within that Myth structure which we all adore (or in some cases not!).

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