I spoke to you recently about creating your own mythos or adding to a mythos if you must. A large part of the C’thulhu Mythos (or Lovecraft mythos) is of course the texts, most famously the Necronomicon. All translated from translations, which were made from old forgotten languages. One thing that these books often have in common is that there is a price to pay for their knowledge in most cases it is insanity or a knowledge that does not allow a person to rest easily within the world. That brings me to the subject I’d like to discuss: there should be consequences for characters.
Any and every action has consequences to it, for Lovecraft characters it is normally coming face to face with eldritch horrors and losing your sanity. For the characters you create, it will depend on the mechanics of your world and what you decide they should be. However consequences are what drive a story they essentially form the unseen hand of fate for your characters. To start let’s say that one of your characters decides to walk to work because it is sunny outside and he skips his normal routine of sitting down and reading the paper. While he’s on his walk a thunderstorm opens up with a downpour, because he didn’t read the paper and see the weather section he is caught in the rain. It’s raining so he starts to run, he slips in a puddle because he is running and bruises his knee. Now he gets to work soaking wet, a rip in his slacks and a bruised knee. He goes right to his desk and starts working, he goes home still damp but the rain has stopped however it is cool and breezy. The next morning he has the flu. All this started because he skipped his normal routine of reading the paper, then he ran in unsafe conditions, and finally he walked home still probably a little damp in a cold breeze. Had he seen the weather and wore a hat and coat or carried an umbrella or drove to work then all his problems would have been avoided. However there were consequences to his actions.
This helps your characters and the world they inhabit be more realistic. Once a hero has gone on a quest and left the village, he is not the same person that returns. He has witnessed and done new things and as a consequence of them he has changed. It is obvious to us that he would change given the situation how could he not. Frodo from Lord of the Rings is a prime example. The Shire held little joy for him after his adventure to Mount Doom, after everything he’d seen and done everything had changed for him. The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler (found here http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Journey-Mythic-Structure-3rd/dp/193290736X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1299610878&sr=8-1) has a great chapter on this, detailing the hero’s return to the village.
I realize that this seems like an easy concept but you need to have good consequences for the actions your characters take if for no other reason than it assists the reader in suspending disbelief. So make sure that you think about the consequences that befall your character and like the invisible hand of fate use them to shape the hero’s journey.