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  1. Girasole
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    Girasole New Member

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    Adding "Spice" to Facts

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Girasole, Jan 2, 2012.

    Hello and Happy New Year,

    I'm new here and this is my first post. :)

    I have an idea brewing, but it involves going back into history and using real events....but adding my characters.

    I am trying to imagine someone who cares deeply about the event...reading about it in my story (ha! that's if it ever actually falls out of my head, onto paper and into someone's hands) and then becoming mislead or confused about that particular event because I have made up and added parts to it.

    ie. Thomas Edison created the light bulb, but I add characters and events that interact with him along the way. The roots of the event do not change, but the influences and circumstances may (in my story).

    This won't be one event, but small glimpses into numerous events that happened throughout earth's history.

    Is this ok to do? I am assuming it is, as world events are not copy written :), but it almost seems like I may be stealing someone's glory, or dabbling in other people's affairs?

    Hopefully my description makes sense and I hope I don't sound too ridiculous.

    Thank you for your help. It really will be much appreciated.
     
  2. forgebench
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    forgebench Member

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    Yeah historically based fiction is just that, fiction. As long as your book is clearly labelled a work of fiction you need not worry. Sounds like a fun idea :)
     
  3. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    think about the BBC series Rome - it showed important events in Roman history from the POV of a centurion [Lucius Vorenus] and a common soldier [Titus Pullo]. Their names are the only real thing about them [they were mentioned in Julius Caesar's writings], but since nothing was really known about them, the writers could graft new personalities on them, giving a sense of verisimilitude to fiction.
     
  4. hoggyboy
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    hoggyboy Senior Member

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    sounds cool man, good luck with it! (and obv its okay, all you need to worry about now is writing it)
     
  5. the1
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    the1 Active Member

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    The concept you are thinking of writing certainly sounds promising. I usually like to read things like this :)
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's done all the time... study e. l. doctorow's and caleb carr's novels for how to do it really well...
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Don Delillo's novel Libra is a good place to start.
     
  8. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    You've pretty much just described historical fiction - taking a real historical event/person and making up your own fictionalised interpretation of it. You can add minor characters and change minor events, attribute different causes or inspiration for what happened, but if you're going to radically alter the course of history you might need to label it as alternative history or fantasy - it depends how far you deviate from the reality. The less sources you have for events the more licence you can take with them, for instance ancient history provides a lot of scope for the imagination because there are so many gaps in our knowledge. But for a period or event that is very well documented you have to be a little more careful.
     
  9. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    George Macdonald Fraser's Flashman books do this fantastically (in my opinion, of course!). He wrote very well researched novels about historical events, with a fictional character slap bang in the centre of them. It's really fun to read, I'd happily read more books like this.
     
  10. Girasole
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    Girasole New Member

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    Thank You!

    THank you so much for all of your informative advice. "Historical Fiction"....of course!!!

    I will look into the authors that were mentioned. That will be a great place to start.

    Once again, thank you. It all makes a lot more sense now... :)

    Have a great day!!!!
     
  11. Immy
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    Immy Member

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    I don't know if anyone's seen it (it is a pretty horrific film) but Inglorious Basterds is a story about a team trying to assassinate Hitler... and in the end, they do just that. Now, we all know that that's not how it all ended, but it proves that there's nothing wrong with adding a bit of imagination to history. Sorry for referring to a film rather than a book.
     
  12. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I always appreciate authors who have notes in the back of the book telling what's real. I'm not a history buff so sometimes I wonder after reading historical fiction. Anyway I do enjoy the genre.
     
  13. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    [FONT=Tahoma, Calibri, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]Inglourious Basterds sprang to my mind on reading the OP too. I really got a kick out of the mischievousness of changing history like that, such a fun idea (despite the obviously grim subject matter).[/FONT]
     

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