So. You’re reading one of our lovely Fear Mythos works when you find mention of a Fear that doesn’t seem to be mentioned on this site. Maybe it seems like a Fear on the site but with a few different abilities and a different name, maybe it’s an entirely new Fear? Well, thanks to the magic of an open-source mythos, you’ve just witnessed alternate interpretations and whatnot!
The thing is, the list of Fears on this site is only a template, not a requirement. Not even the way they’re described is “official” or anything. We’ll call them vanilla Fears. When writers make their own stories, many find it easier to tell the tale they want if they twist and expand the established motifs and descriptions of vanilla Fears. For instance, in Foolamancer’s In the Shuffling Madness, vanilla Fears The Blind Man and The Quiet are combined entirely into one being known as Aqualung. Why? Because the story that Foolamancer wants to tell works better when both are one entity.
Another example is in TheSomnambulist’s The World Through These Eyeholes, wherein a Fear named The Brute appears that isn’t quite like established Fears. This is because you can make new Fears if it fits your story. Maybe your Wooden Girl represents sunshine or something and you need an opposing Fear to parallel her. Feel free to make one! We can’t tell you how to write your own story, after all.
Telling a good story comes before sticking to someone else’s canon, remember that.
Things you do need to ask for
Now, while the Fear Mythos is public domain, there are some complications you’re gonna want to know about.
– The Slender Man isn’t exactly public domain. The entity is copyrighted by its creator, Victor Surge. But you can still write as much as you want with the creature, as long as you don’t try to commercialize it (read: don’t make money off it). If you are to commercialize any story involving this creature, try to change it so it’s different enough from the vanilla Slender Man.
– Non-Fear characters in individual stories are dodgy territory. Really, few characters in the Fear Mythos are copyrighted, but it’s considered good taste to ask the author of the story if you can write your own story/interpretation/fan sequel with their characters.
– In fact, I’d definitely recommend checking out the List of Open-Source Characters. These are things you will never have to ask for. Of course, the list is not complete, so not everything that isn’t on the list is strict.
– Art and photographs in the Fear Mythos follow the same rule: It’s best to ask for permission from the artist.
If you can’t get into contact with the creators necessary, come ask about them on our forum!
Note that The Wooden Girl is often portrayed as being associated with Candle Cove, the TV show from the creepypasta of the same name. This creepypasta was created by Kris Straub, and his permission was not asked when the association was made (We’re sorry, Kris Straub!). But in the meantime, users recommend using the more public domain Playtime With Mikey fictional TV show created by proxiehunter, or creating your own.
Something you don’t need to ask to use are the Fear leitmotifs by Bound by the Moon (essentially theme songs). Right-click the theme you want and “Save as” to download, and feel free to use them where you see fit! I recommend crediting him somewhere if you can.
A canon in literature is an order of events as has been confirmed to be official. In the Sherlock Holmes universe, the original sixty stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are said to be canonical, with fanfiction by other authors not a part of “what really happened,” not a part of the canon. They could be said to have their own canon separate from the main Doyle stories.
When you consider writing a story for the Fear Mythos, remember that there is no one canon. The Fear Mythos is not a fictional universe where you have to follow every rule; it is a guideline, a groundwork for creating imaginative stories for a community of writers. Individual stories often have their specific canons and “cans” and “cannots” in terms of writing, but the mythos as a collective is made up of dozens of canons. In other words, while you are certainly allowed to follow a pre-set canon, you are encouraged to create your own.
Your Fear Mythos story (Fearblog) does not even have to be horror. There have been examples of comedy Fearblogs, thriller Fearblogs, mystery Fearblogs, and even a porn Fearblog somewhere down the line. The only requisite for writing in the Fear Mythos is to involve an interpretation of one or more Fears somewhere in your story.
Do note that, in most stories, the Fears are not referred to as “Fears.” Some stories call them “Hands,” “Others,” “Fossils,” “Endless,” “PREs (Phobic Representational Entities),” “Boojums,” “Senior Partners,” “Them,” and many more titles. Essentially everything within the Fear Mythos is open-source and open to interpretation. We are, again, more of a groundwork for crafting your own narrative to be read by a community of writers.
If you should choose to write a story within our Fear Mythos, or if you would simply like to learn more about the Fears, the mythos as a whole, or individual stories within, feel free to explore our many websites, fora, and Wikis. Alternatively, if you subscribe to this blog, I will be posting updates regarding details on writing Fearblogs.
Thank you for reading this far. I hope I was able to answer some questions.