This summer I have been reading some classics. It has to be good for every author’s writing style, as you subconsciously take in those techniques which have stood the test of time. At the moment I’m reading Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’.

Near the beginning  is a scene in which the demons newly arrived in Hell build a palace from the untapped minerals and jewels there, and the palace arises magically in the space of a few minutes.

It always excites me to find an archetype. This is just like the ice palace arising in the film ‘Frozen’, in the most famous scene of the film.  The film may have been influenced by ‘Paradise Lost’, but whether or not it was it is still an archetype, and so is the main character, Elsa. I’ve always been interested in the Snow Queen who appears in numerous fairy stories, usually as the evil stepmother, and in the Narnia stories as Queen Jadis who was a favourite character from my childhood.

I put this character into one of my short stories ‘Glass’, along with motifs from Batman, alchemy and the chaos magic group DKMU who are another big influence on me. The beginning of the story is a hypersigil (a magic spell in story form), and it was my most successful one. It can be found in my short story collection ‘Chaos dreams Part 2: Astral Tales’ which is free to read here:

I’m finding lots of phrases in ‘Paradise Lost’ which people say without knowing where they come from, and I’m sure I will also recognise many more archetypes, like old friends.

The photo shows a cake I once saw in a baker’s shop window, with ‘Frozen’ characters on the top.