How to Write an Epic

Friday, September 10

At one point or another, we've all wanted to write something epic. One that encompasses the struggle between light and darkness, tells of a hero who saves the world, and makes people read them over and over again.
Luckily, there's a template for that. All epics (Lord of the Rings, The Odyssey, Les Miserables) share key elements.

The Hero
Most heroes fall into the same archetype. He/She;
  • Performs feats (Frodo gets the ring to Mordor.)
  • Is essentially noble (Frodo's unselfish.)
  • Leaves behind temptations (He leaves behind the Shire and the enticings of the ring.)
  • Is committed to heroic role (He volunteers to take the ring to Mordor.)
  • Has a difficult goal; They suffer dangers and agonies (Frodo must destroy the ring in the center of the villain's territory. He is slowly being poisoned by the ring.)
  • Acts alone/with very few people (Frodo tries to do it himself but is joined by Sam. These two hobbits are a small force in comparison to the other seven members of the fellowship.)
  • Has something in common with ordinary people (Frodo is a simple hobbit with no training.)
  • Functions as a role model (What we learn from Frodo; grit your teeth and do it.)
  • Reassures the audience of potential ("Even the smallest person can change the course of the future".)
The Hero's Journey
  • They are of obscure origin, free to move, or are detached from petty concerns (No mortgage, bills, or family)
  • They are called upon to make a journey (The calling doesn't have to be subtle. The villain holding them at gunpoint is calling enough.)
  • They realize that they are not invincible (The hero must stand to lose something.)
  • They have a goal (Epic or not, a goal should be present in the story.)
  • Their way is uncertain and unclear.
  • They meet guides (servants, friends, or oracles provide them with information or assistance.)
  • They are tempted.
  • They leave their familar world.
  • They descend into darkness.
Descent into Darkness
This is the ultimate test. This is the point when Frodo gives in to the ring, Oddyseus journeys to the underworld, and Jean Valjean must decide whether to let Marius die.
It can be either literal or figurative. In a literal sense, the character must journey somewhere hellish. Figuratively, they become evil or have inward turmoil. (Kudos to Frodo for doing both.)
Their suffering renews the vigor of society and cleanses them of their own sins.

After Descent
They change as a result. They discover something better than their original goal. In other words, they grow up.
But the hero must not escape unscathed. They sufffer a wound, such as Frodo's bitten-off finger or Jean Valjean's loss of Cosette.

7 comment(s):

Akshay Arun Friday, November 28, 2014  

Amazing post!
here's another way:http://storysnaps.blogspot.in/2014/11/how-to-write-epic-fantasy-story.html

Fernweh-Kind Saturday, December 27, 2014  

I am so glad I found this blog!
- A passionate Writer

t74droid Thursday, January 01, 2015  

Thats very interesting, try to get it to another level! Get help from the experts from essay site

uk dissertation Friday, December 16, 2016  

A writer must be very well knowledgeable when it comes in writing an epic. Just like writing an essay it needs, passion and inspiration to come up with a beautiful outcome.Epic is always a good example of a story for a reading material to believe by readers.

Neil Jakson Tuesday, March 28, 2017  

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