1. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Historical Fiction

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by colorthemap, Nov 19, 2010.

    What are the boundries of the genre do you think. I am planning a piece and I need to describe a mystery that really happend. I am wondering can I use fantasy elements or does it have to be something that could of happend? (theam is early colonization see if you can guess the mystery)
     
  2. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I was told by this guy name Lagacy, that if you want to write a fantasy (were you can grow wings, or turn into a monster and so forth), you have to make it realistic. Make the characters respond to what happen in a realistic matter. For instance, if you see someone turning into a bug, what would your first reaction be? You wouldn't say, Yay! My brother turned into a bug! You'll probably freak out. Anyway, from my understanding, you can write fantasy in an unrealistic matter, but be sure that if something happens that you respond in a way that people in reality would. I don't know exactly, but I'm trying to write my novel in a mystery, and some things in my novel is a true story, but the flying and stuff isn't.
     
  3. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    thanks
     
  4. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    Historical fiction is NOT the same as fantasy. Careful - which one do you want to write?

    Historical fiction takes real periods or events and dramatises them. You are still bound to the natural laws of physics and obligated to include historically relevant data, i.e. what the characters would have worn and which technologies were available.

    Fantasy, on the other hand, CAN be based on a real period or event, but does not stay true to historical facts. You have slightly more free reign with fantasy, but it must stay realistic. For example, you could have a witch-type character who uses magic; this is a fantasy device because real people people did believe in witches, BUT magic was never actually used because it operates outside of the laws of physics. Fantasy allows you to circumvent that limitation, provided the reader believes it is possible.
     
  5. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Okay well I'm planning A YA historic fiction(or fantasy) based upon colonization. So I have a second question do you think that has a market? It seems Historic fiction has little presence in YA books
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    From what I have read they are in the UK at least looking for YA/Junior historical fiction.

    Historical fiction is about exploiting gaps in history. My favourite historical fiction writer is Robert Neill and actually his witches may use magic it is interesting how he does it.

    My current story I am exploiting the ten year gap in Lewis Carroll's diaries to create a time travel story.
     
  7. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Well I plan on explaining what happened to one of England's first attempt of a colony,Roanoke. I just think it may be too bland for the 12 -15 range? What do you think?
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not if you take a character and make it about them. Maybe add an angle like a detective story etc.

    Think about the likes of Heidi, Tom Sawyer, Little Women etc Not much happens but the characters make for a great captivating story.
     
  9. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Well I plan on making it about the town, the only historic character Sir Walter Raleigh did not, I believe, even stay with the colony. I just have to have one character die to fit in with history.:mad::mad::mad::mad: Portuguese writer? Now I fear I will have too many characters. Even though I am going to describe a whole colony. Now I just need an excuse. Is any one even familiar with Roanoke?

    How many is too many characters? I can't say the colony only had 10 people
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can make one up. It was the town that disappeared right ? Kind of like the missing Roman Legion, Marie Celeste etc

    There were other characters associated it with it. For a younger audience it is usually better to be character based - even if you take a wolf or something watching it from a hill.

    Although you have a host of characters it is more important for the age group to take a child/pre teen/early teen that they can identify with. Even an older teen may be appropriate.

    I have tons of characters but they interact with my main characters.
     
  11. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Your a well of info thanks.

    One more question(Sorry!:D)

    Most YAs have child main characters is this nessicary?

    Thanks agian.

    -colorthemap
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pretty much they at least have to have a lot of them.

    The only ones I can think of with adult MCs are Dr Who and Sarah Jane Adventures based off the TV shows. The Sarah Jane Adventures has teenagers working with the middle aged lady.

    There maybe others.
     
  13. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Thanks agian I have another question(which I'm sorry to bother so you don't have to answer it!) Recently I read/ reading a book called The Alchemist it jhas historical characters but takes place in the current present day. What genre is this considered?
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Alchemist is considered an allegory - it is classed as fantasy/adventure.

    My book is fantasy because of the time travel and taking some of the characters out of their time. I have about twenty historical characters in mine most are minor parts.
     
  15. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Ahhh so you are familiar with the book.

    Well thanks for answering ALL of my questions.

    SOrry to be a nuisance.
     
  16. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't be daft lol It is a forum - that is what it is here for. Others may have even better answers for you.

    My background is archaeology/history and there is a knack to telling stories based in history. A lot of the groundwork is done for you. I find looking at my historical characters as caricatures helps using and magnifying what we do know about them .
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course there's a YA market for it... especially since the mystery surrounding roanoke has to do with the disappearance of a child, virginia dare...
     
  18. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Really? Is there a website I can go to to get further information? Thanks!
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. Google.
     
  20. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Of course I should of expected that. I have already tried but must try agian. It is such a nusiance with this ad virus on my computer alas.
     

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