I'm a lazy writer. Many of my writig projects appropriated a myth or a previously published work in the public domain like "A Christmas Carol." I'd like to think that I'm fond of such works. But I also realize that I'm attracted to it because I'm lazy. To me, it's so much easier to write something with existing characters than to make them up from scratch.
For years, I've been trying to write a modern take on the Greek myths, specifically the binding and escape of Prometheus. It started as an attempt to be witty. I thought, aren't the Greek gods and goddesses essentially a crime family? And Zeus the original god-father?
Well, there have been many iterations. Many. And most no longer than a chapter.
Well, I'm knee deep into Hinduism now. And one deity I have consistently called on to bring me closer to God has been Hanuman. So it follows suit that I am fond of the Ramayana. So a little while back, I thought, instead of appropriating Greek myth, why not appropriate this great Hindu work. I wouldn't be the first, or course. Not even the first westerner. But it still sounded like something fun to do. And it would also give me the opportunity to deal with such wonderful aspects as Hanuman's love and duty toward Rama.
But one thing I want to do was alter a bit so that there were a new, young character in the middle of it. Someone less than perfect who interacts with Hanuman and Ram. Someone the reader can identify with. And if it is to be a YA story, having a young protagonists is pretty much a necessity.
But as I thought a bit more, I had the idea to give myself some freedom by using the existing characters, but making the plot my own. A Percy and the Olympians version of the Ramayana. And one way I figured I could do that was to make it a sequel. And not only that, maybe use my spiritual bio as inspiration. That is, show the citizens of Rama's kingdom becoming disenchanted with him, abandon him, then search for him again.
Course, to be honest, I've been at this writing game for so long. I have such a low opinion of my talent. Plus I think I've just become so bored with it. But if I try to remember that I am not the doer, and never have been, maybe I stand a chance. If it is Mother, Thakur, Rama or Hanuman that wants me to write this, they will be the ones wrting it. So I really have nothing to worry.
Another key is that I make it a unabashed labor of love. Write not for glory, money, or to impress anybody. But to write to emphasize the aforementioned qualities of love and loyalty. To make it a puja to Hanuman and Rama. To tap my devotion at it's root and put it down on paper.
And if this doesn't go anywhere, I'll really be no worse off than I am now.