1. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Historical fiction

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Gallowglass, Aug 7, 2009.

    What do you think of it and why, and what do you think authors should include in it? Oh, and any general comments you have.

    I know I made a similar thread to this in General Writing, but that was about writing, this is about personal taste and allows me to see more opinions about it ;)
     
  2. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think historical fiction is a very underused genre. Some amazing things have taken place throughout history and it leaves the door open for a large number of possible stories. Though I'm a bit of a history nerd, so my opinion is likely a little bias.

    Though I do ask that they have a general understand of the time period and what group of people were where during that time; so you don't end up writing about a group of Huns in Northern Africa along side the Berbers, or a battle between the Vandals and India.
     
  3. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    This.
    A lot of authors are inspired by past or even current events and transform it into something beautiful, but not enough authors take an actual time period or event and use it to both entertain and educate.

    It's also my opinion that fiction sometimes more real, more accurate than nonfiction over the same topic, because the author is able to make the point more clearly and artistically, in a way that resonates with the audience. Historical fiction is one of the genres where the world of make-believe and reality can connect.

    What do I think authors should include in their historical fiction novels? It's not really for me to say. Accuracy, I suppose, but I think most authors do a good job of it. :)
     
  4. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Besides Mel Gibson, but he didn't write a book ;)

    Thanks so far.
     
  5. wordwizard
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    wordwizard Contributing Member

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    Historical fiction is my favorite type of book to read.
    I have tried writing historical fiction....but wow was it hard. Immense research. You really are going to have to want to write the story.

    I think it should include clothing, speech,and mannerisms from the selected time period.
    Also some significant happenings to validate the time period and authenticity of it.

    A few good historical fiction books: Memoirs of Cleopatra, and The Outlander series.....so good.
     
  6. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I enjoy historical fiction because for me it makes something I have a hard time relating to more accessible. I can read a history book and go "huh. That was interesting." but not really make a personal connection with it. Then I can read historical fiction about the same time period, get to know the characters in the story and the situation they were in, and feel much more connected with that history. Does that make sense?
     
  7. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    Absolutely! I feel the same way. (Though at the same time, I fully understand that the characters weren't necessarily this this)
     
  8. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I do think historical fiction is underused, and I love reading it. I've read a lot of WWII historical fiction, usually pertaining to the Holocaust (school requirement to read at least 5 books on it during the subject) and besides that I love historical fiction. It's got enough history to fascinate me, yet enough fiction to make it entertaining.
     
  9. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    I like historical fiction, although I'm often much too picky about it- I hate historical inaccuracies in movies and in books I have absolutely no patience for them. That said, if anyone has found any good historical fiction on Gaius Marius, let me know :)
     
  10. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Gaius Marius, he was one of the major Roman generals during the first of the three generations of the Roman civil war, correct? Yeah, that time period would be a very interesting.
     
  11. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I don't have any patience when people take something in history and run with it, including stuff that didn't happen. You can make up characters, but if you're doing a historical fiction book about the Titanic don't write that the ship survived. That kind of stuff. It's just the inaccuracies that annoy me--I like it when characters and backstories and stuff like that are made to go with it.
     
  12. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    Yeah, he was part of the generation before the first Triumvirate. He's become most famous for his military reforms, but was a fascinating character in his own right. Even ignoring his rise to prominence, I think his feud with Sulla would make an excellent novel or movie.
     
  13. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    Somewhat related to that, while I can understand the appeal of it, I'm not all that interested in alternate timeline stories, like 'What would have happened if Marius had Sulla assassinated before he could have turned his armies against Rome :eek:'
     
  14. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Then write it :p
     
  15. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, that's right the first generation of the Roman civil war was centered around the battles between Gaius Marius and Sulla. It tends to get overshadowed by the second and third generation of the Roman civil war (Julius Caesar vs Pompey, and Octavius (Augustas) Caesar vs Marc Antony).

    Oh and I tend to be ok with alternate timelines as long as the stuff does actually make sense. So the writer still needs to do their research to make it believable, and hopefully they won't take the easy way out by doing some like "What if Alexander the Great had never been born?!?" :rolleyes:
     
  16. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then we wouldn't have to suffer through Colin Farrell's sh***y acting?
     
  17. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    But we would never have seen Colin Farrell and Jared Leto being foxy together :O
     
  18. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, that part was kind of funny. Especially the corny line delivery and the "steamy" looks they gave each other. :D
     
  19. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Haha yeah, not at all convincing, but its not like I was watching that movie for the Oscar-winning performances ;)
     
  20. Lydia
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    Lydia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yuk, if there's one movie I hate it would definitely be that one.
     
  21. Sabreur
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    Sabreur Contributing Member Contributor

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    I enjoy historical fiction. Especially when the Gaels (Irish or Scottish flavors) kick some Viking/Norman/English arse. It makes me feel cozy.
     
  22. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I expect the same thing from historical fiction that I do from every other book I read, regardless of whether it is set around the time it was written, takes place in the future, or in a different dimention.
     
  23. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    The only problem with ever having to write historical fiction is that you really, REALLY need to know your stuff, otherwise you come out sounding stupid.
     
  24. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I guess after being beaten around by Rome for so long, they just snapped when newer powers came along and tried to do the same thing. :p
     
  25. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is true no matter what. Someone once told me about a book he read with a diabetic character who injected insulin directly into the vein, which would put anyone into a coma. Usually, those kinds of medications are injection into the muscle and get absorbed into the blood. As soon as he read that part, the story lost all credibility.
     

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