1. miss sunhine
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    miss sunhine Member

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    What are your thoughts on Mixing History and Fantasy?

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by miss sunhine, Mar 5, 2012.

    Well, I had an idea for a Fantasy book that mixes Mythology, History and my own ideas. It's set in Ancient Greece and centres around a tribe of Amazons, when Caesar and Pompey brought their Civil War to Greece (Battle of Pharsalus). Caesar and Pompey are minor characters in the story but the battle is quite major in my story.
    I would try and keep things as Historical accurate as I could (most of it works in) but some things might have to change. It's not a book about Caesar or Pompey and it is Fiction.
    I just wondered whether people would want to read it as it's not totally true, but then how many Non-Fiction books on Caesar are totally accurate, I've read ones that contradict each other.
    What do you think?
    Thanks
     
  2. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    As someone with a Masters degree in Classics, I don't like it when people mix ancient Greek/Roman history with fantasy. I think you can bring out themes and explore tropes from mythology, but I don't like it when there are blatant anachronisms or fantastical elements - like magic, unequivocal involvement of the gods, historical events being changed. That's why I could not get on with David Gemmell's Lion of Macedon series. It just struck me as sacrilege.

    But I'm a classics geek, and therefore probably not your typical reader :D
     
  3. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    I quite like when people mix history and fantasy...it's refreshing. If you are planning on writing one then you have a lot of research ahead of you! You definitely need to have some historical accuracy in the story. I quite like when author's stay true to the main events in history but add/change little bits such as characters and minor events leading up to the main one.
     
  4. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    I've been working on a history/fantasy blend for the past 5 years. So I hope it's a good idea.
     
  5. miss sunhine
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    miss sunhine Member

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    Well, it seems people are split on the Idea and you can't please everyone, so I guess I'll have to see what happens.
     
  6. Erato
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    Erato Contributing Member

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    That's write. Right to please yourself, and take your audience with you. Trying to write something your heart isn't in will lose every reader.
     
  7. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Contributing Member

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    I would imagine it would depend on how it was done and how well it was done. There's a lot of difference between a little poetic license and parallel worlds with little in common, between pure reality and extreme fantasy.
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I'd recommend that you use allusions and deliberate similarities rather than the exact names/places/etc. Let readers who are historically aware connect the dots on their own without having it shoved in their face. But that's just me.
     
  9. Blue Night
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    Blue Night Active Member

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    Did you like the movie, Titanic?
    It was based on a real event, but most of the sayings and goings-ons were fictitious.
    The same applies for the movie, Gladiator.
    Both movies won Academy awards. 'The whole truth - nothing but the truth' did not apply to either one.
     
  10. RageAgainst
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    RageAgainst Member

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    I also like it. quite interesting
     
  11. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    [QUOTEWhat do you think?[/QUOTE]

    I think it is a worrying concept. Fact and fiction meld into one, the fiction becomes fact. Fact is ficticious enough without adding to it.
    When a fictionalised history book is made into a film, it becomes cast in stone and becomes the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Go ahead with your book anyway, and when the time comes to sign that film contract worry about it then.
     
  12. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I don't really understand the concept of historical fantasy. You mean like warping history? Like 'what if Napoleon had modern-day equipment during the Napoleonic Wars?' or something like that?
     
  13. Late Starter
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    I'd consider Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell to be an excellent example of historical fantasy and I think the reason it works so well is down to the accuracy and detail of the non-fantasy elements. Mixing the fantasy into such a realistic setting makes it much more believable than standard fantasy novel.

    If the "real" part of the story isn't believable then I can't see how the fantasy can be.
     
  14. Cosmic Latte
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    Read more in the genre, such as Harry Turtledove's Roman Legionnaires series. It incorporates history with a fantastical twist that sets the story in an alternate realm.
     

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