One of the fun things about writing fantasy is the fact that it is, well, fantasy! You get to make stuff up. Anything can happen because it is your world, your people, your creatures and your mythology. I love that!
The catch, of course, is that if you are going to make stuff up and fiddle with mythology, re-shaping and moulding it to a shape you want, it has to be convincing. It has to be believable. You have to persuade your reader to BELIEVE. That's the trick.
I've managed to add a 1000 words to the MS this morning. This evening I'm doing a bit of research - researching mythology - what fun. Dryads in particular. Yes, I have dryads in my book. Sexy, mysterious and environmentally friendly. What more could you ask for?
The fun bit is creating my own kind of dryad. There are many similar though slightly different takes on what dryads are like, depending on your ethnicity and the mythological religious relevance of the creatures. Celtic, Roman, Greek or Japanese, they all have a nature or wood faerie or deity, a dryad-like quality.
This leaves the fantasy writer (int this case moi) free to take and leave what I want, shaping and sculpting my own Meliai into the creatures my story needs them to be.
What will they look like? What will they be like? What will they wear? What powers will they possess? What beliefs will they have about the human world, will they be sympathetic or indifferent?
Wikipedia refers to Dryads as nymphs of the trees.
In Greek mythology there was a definite hierarchy amongst the many Gods. Below the highest gods were a class of entities known as the demigods and unlike the gods the demigods were mortal in the extent that they could die or be killed. The dryads fall into this class in particular. The dryads were the lovely wood nymphs or forest nymphs. These were beautiful and carefree maiden spirits who lived in the wooded areas and gamboled about while protecting the trees and creatures in their domain. Dryads are very peaceful and usually known to be very shy.
(Hat tip to dryads.net)
On another interesting note they were always women (an point which I plan to exploit) and in England often referred to as the "Green Lady".
So, all in all a productive day. Now I have to get back to writing.
And so do you!