1. Beloved of Assur
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    Beloved of Assur Member

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    Writting a setting for historical fiction

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Beloved of Assur, Feb 10, 2013.

    I hope I've posted this in the right but here we go.

    EDITED: And yes, I know the title of the topic is really bad.

    As I am getting ready for what I hope, and working for to be, will be my big upcoming writing project I have run into some troubles regarding the setting. The setting of the project will be the Near East roughly between 900 and 600 BC and focused on the neo-Assyrian empire. The goal is to write historical fiction that will be as accurate as possibly to the historical facts of the period but still enjoyable for modern readers. And thus the following issues have come up that I was thinking that I could use some help with overcoming.

    1. To what degree should non-English words and terms be used in the writing, as opposed to the English translation of these terms and more modern expressions? For example to say that "his heart was/is extinguished" to mean he's got no heirs to carry on after him and sacrifice to his ghost is historically accurate but would likely confuse modern readers.

    2. Given that there are some blanks in which info regarding the period is it ok to use info from earlier times to fill the blanks? An example is this. There is Assyrian laws from the Middle Assyrian period, 1400-1100 BC, but none from the period I want to write about. Can it be considered ok to use the laws from the earlier period in the later period when there's a blank space? I have no idea how to progress if its not ok to be honest. And there are many other situations where there is a similar situation.
     
  2. Pyraeus
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    Pyraeus Member

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    Not exactly an area I have looked at a whole lot, but I'll answer as best as I can.

    1. I think it is okay for you to use some technical terms in relation to items and objects of the period. You should avoid using too many, or the reader will become confused and not know what you are talking about. If you are going to use these non-English terms you should make sure to add a glossary (I hope that is the correct term) at the back of the book which tells the reader what these words mean.

    2. Since there are a lack of laws in this time period you might have to improvise the details slightly by combining different sources. You should still do your best to try and locate pieces of information that you can use so that you book will be as accurate as it can possibly be.

    Also, your topic title is fine, in my opinion.
     
  3. Beloved of Assur
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    Beloved of Assur Member

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    Thank you for your help Pyraeus.

    A glossary sounds like a good idea and that would allow me to use words and expressions historically accurate without having my readers spend most of their time scratching their heads as long as I don't overdo it, of course.

    I agree entirely with accuracy but as facts are there is more information about some periods than about others, in particular in regards to society and social development which I think will be probably the most important area of research for me. I will of course look on but when there's a blank and nothing can seem to add something about it, I'll go with the closest possible earlier period. Still if I can get my hands on some collection of cuneiform tablets from the relevant period.

    Thanks.
     

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