1. Rafael Blotta

    Rafael Blotta New Member

    Dec 16, 2020
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    Is there any advice about writing a chapter set in ancient times?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rafael Blotta, Dec 16, 2020.

    I feel I should clarify since many people misunderstand what I'm aiming for. I do not mean conducting research and making it authentic to the time period. I've done that. What I mean is that I want the prose, narration, and style of the chapter to *feel* and *read* as if were written back in the ancient Middle East.

    For example, in the novel I'm writing one of the chapters takes place in New York in the 1910s and I tried to emulate Fitzgerald's writing style when describing the characters, actions, and dialogue.

    Is there any advice (or any reading suggestions) to help me emulate Ancient Sumer without losing authenticity? I've written a version of the chapter in prose and another in heroic couplets (which I feel are more authentic), however, editors repeatedly tell me that the poetry will never sell and that the prose will make it more publishable.

    I don't know what else to do. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

    Jan 8, 2017
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    Rhode Island
    Their opinion is the only one that matters if you're endeavoring to publish. Unfortunately. It's as extreme a buyer's market as you'll find in the business world.

    Well, unless you're actually writing in Ancient Sumer, you're going to lose quite a bit of authenticity. I assume you're writing in English--but maybe not--so the only way to emulate that, I would think, would be to read English translations of Ancient Sumer and see what works for you and what doesn't.
  3. montecarlo

    montecarlo Contributor Contributor

    Sep 29, 2020
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    America's Heartland
    Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield may provide some inspiration. It's Greek, not Sumer, and probably not at all authentic. But it has a certain stilted style that makes it feel contemporary to a know-nothing like me.



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