This is the question for the day. Say you have a novel about mythological creatures who journeys from the mythological world into our regular work-a-day world. When these creatures arrive, they assume a human form, and assimilate over a short period of time. They fully experience human emotion. They ultimately see the world through their human eyes. However, they also carry with them a few of their mythical characteristics.
Consider this. Zydeco Cashcan is my protagonist in Mythos. He was a griffin. In our world, he is a teenager. He feels and act like a teenager. A griffin is half lion, and he carries with him the strength and hearing of such a beast. These are his unnatural powers, and that's all well and good. He's also unafraid of anyone or anything in our world, but that's not unique to being a griffin. Humans can be that way as well. He remembers his life as a griffin, and specific events from that life directly impact his human behavior.
I had also added what I thought was an interesting detail, where Zydeco was a 112 year-old griffin, which translated to a 16 year-old human. It's the whole "dog years" deal. A 112 year-old griffin is a teenager! But the good folks helping me out reading Mythos have all asked why he's not acting old, or at least seeing things through an 116 year-old POV. This was a tad frustrating until I realized the solution was right there. Drop it. The age-as-a-griffin thing was just a minor point, one I thought was a nice, but unimportant detail. I'm removing it.
Here's the question, though, and it's the one I'm pondering based on some really helpful feedback from some writer friends of mine. Because Zydeco lived as a mythical creature in a very different world, how would this general experience color his view of our world?
As a human, he lives and attends high school in a city with all its trappings: lights, buses, cabs, subways, noise, roads, tall buildings, school, books, coffee shops, tourists, televisions, people - loads and loads of people, etc. None of this applied to him as a griffin. He lived outdoors, and certainly not with millions of people crammed into a small area. He didn't get his food from a refrigerator in his apartment or at the school cafeteria. He didn't drink coffee, take the subway, spend money or go to the library.
Of course, he has assimilated so now all of the above is "somewhat" normal to him. But, still... The fact that he was a griffin has to color how he sees the world now, otherwise he would be a one-dimensional super-hero. Doesn't it? Or, does it. Hmm. I'm trying to wrap my muddled brain around this. The stinkin' Jets game kept me up very late last night and left me disappointed and completely without sleep.
I look to my maternal grandmother as an example. She traveled alone to the United States as a young teenager, escaping certain death in a Polish concentration camp. She assimilated, but it certainly gave her a unique perspective. I need to find my inner griffin and then jump ahead a few years to life as a teen.