1. MistKestrel
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    MistKestrel Member

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    Is using an historical event as your story make it too plain?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by MistKestrel, Jul 31, 2012.

    I really like history, and I'm a fan of historical fiction. But using an historical event as the basis of your story, does it make it too limited in what you can write, and therefore make it boring? Is there a limit into what you can put in historical fiction?
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you read The Alienist? The author plays quite a bit with good ol' TR, although he bases his actions on TR's personality. The only "limit" is the need to make sure that historical events are accurately portrayed and you don't have any anachronisms in there (i.e. any type of tool or book a character uses has to have been invented at that time. No emails sent in 1960, for example.) But as far as characters and the things they might do, I'd say there aren't too many -- none that come to mind that differ from fiction in a contemporary setting, other than what I mentioned about historical accuracy of events and inventions.
     
  3. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    I reckon Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter proves you can do anything.
     
  4. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    It's all in how you spin it. I've read some historical romances that were heavy in the history department and thought ,
    jeepers this is boring.
    I felt like I'd stumbled into a history lesson. Others I thought , this is pretty cool. The difference; the previous books
    had info dumps that looked like they were torn out of history books , the others seemed to weave
    in the details throughout the story, making it a seamless read.
     
  5. MistKestrel
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    MistKestrel Member

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    Thank you for all your points, they were helpful. I want to write a good historical fiction, without it seeming to flat and boring.
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Use the history to provide the direction to your characters, but make the story about the characters, not the history. Best of luck.
     
  7. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    People have always taken creative liberties with history. If you focus on characters, you'll keep it from being flat, Sometimes, the account is vague enough that you can invent details or embellish on things. I don't know if you play video games, but the Assasins Creed Series does a really good job of that. It takes 15th century Italy, a large group of people who actually lived, events that are well documented, and then puts a grand conspiracy story mixed with some science fiction elements in the mix. Obviously with a story of that type, liberties are taken, but is still counts as historical fiction. As a writer, you basically can do what you want with your subject. Even history bends before the might of the pen/word processor!
     
  8. seelifein69
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    seelifein69 Active Member

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    I am currently in the process of writing a 'historical fiction' or really more of a fiction with as many accurate facts as I can fit, with my own stories in between. I actually find it giving me more possibilities. I mean, how is life boring? There have been so many great battles, love stories, and tragedies that really happened. And then winding your own story around that gives you room to play and an interesting web.
    Some of my people are real, some are not. Some could be! Some things could have happened like I said they did, or it could have been totally opposite. That's the fun.
     

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