1. Amadeas

    Amadeas New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1

    Thoughts on Napoleonic Era vs Medieval?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Amadeas, Oct 10, 2019.

    I realize this a very broad question. I've been slowly writing/thinking of writing a non magical Medieval setting YA novel. But, in trying to make it somewhat unique/different, I suddenly had the idea to take everything and move it to a more Napoleonic era setting (Count of Monte Cristo like)

    This would make it more unique I guess, but would I lose 80% of my audience?

    I know the story comes first, and a good story will work whatever setting it's in, but does anyone have any helpful advice on this, like: "Those books never sell, go back to Medieval"

    I'm at work and have accomplished nothing but stare at the ceiling. My characters and plot would work in either setting, though I'd lose some things while gaining others.

    My fear for each is:
    Medieval - hard to make the setting unique enough to stand out from the rest.
    Napoleonic - Not many people will care enough to read it.

    Any help it all would be awesome.

    Thanks!
     
    The Dapper Hooligan likes this.
  2. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    Messages:
    5,864
    Likes Received:
    10,730
    Location:
    The great white north.
    I'm personally kind of sick of medieval fantasy. It's fun, but there's just all of it out there. So, yeah, I'd like to see more Napoleonic~ish fantasy. Last I read was The Shades of Magic series that I figured was that era, and it's got a fairly large fan base, so I don't think you'll be alienating anyone.
     
    The_Joker, Baeraad and The Bishop like this.
  3. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    Messages:
    5,864
    Likes Received:
    10,730
    Location:
    The great white north.
    Accidental double.
     
  4. Mary Elise

    Mary Elise Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2019
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    535
    Location:
    (ℓ,b)=(0∘,0∘)
    My first thought after reading your post was, Magic Kingdom for Sale–Sold! I haven't read all of The Magic Kingdom of Landover series but MKfSS was a lot of fun because of the irregular setting and all the intricacies that setting brought to the story.

    I think you can make it work in any era provided your characters are engaging and the plot sufficiently original.

    Instead of thinking about it, start writing. You might be surprised where your characters take you.
     
    EFMingo likes this.
  5. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    737
    Location:
    Seattle
    I wouldn't worry about audience too much. There's also more competition where there are more readers. It can be just as good, if not much better, to stand out rather than making a derivative of something else in hopes of getting the same readers.

    Ultimately, let the creative process drive. Write whatever feels the most compelling to you.
     
    The_Joker likes this.
  6. KiraAnn

    KiraAnn Active Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2019
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    149
    Location:
    Texas
    When I read the OP, I immediately thought of Jonathon Strange and Mr Norell. So, it has been done...
     
    Baeraad likes this.
  7. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Ex-Patriot Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    18,114
    Likes Received:
    34,463
    Location:
    Face down in the dirt
    Currently Reading::
    Telemachus Sneezed
     
  8. The Bishop

    The Bishop Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2018
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    135
    Medieval settings are done to death, and in my opinion, have been for some time. So I think making it more Napoleanic Era esque, would add a uniqueness to your story that might lack in other peoples. It would set you apart and in that sense, at least in my mind, you'd actually gain audience.
     
  9. Uberwatch

    Uberwatch Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    I'd like to see a napoleonic-era style fantasy epic. The medieval setting has been done to death. Heck, why not the Victorian era? Perhaps you could explore fantasy steampunk?
     
    The_Joker and The Bishop like this.
  10. Baeraad

    Baeraad Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2019
    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    738
    I'd love to see more post-medieval fantasy. I recently read A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie, and that one takes the previously medieval setting and moves it forward to the early stages of the industrial revolution. While pinning it down to an exact point in history is tricky, it did feel sort of Napoleon-esque.
     
    jannert likes this.
  11. ElConesaToLoco

    ElConesaToLoco Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Alicante
    I'm myself writing a early modern period inspired fantasy, with the protagonist being a former hussar. Firearms are the norm. Some magic, not too much; it's low fantasy. I'm a big fan of the modern age.
     
  12. halisme

    halisme Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Messages:
    1,772
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His_Majesty's_Dragon is Napoleonic fantasy.

    However, I think people are less tired of medieval fantasy and more of the ahistorical fantasy mush that is "medieval fantasy". A lot of very specific things had to happen for the medieval times to be shaped the way it was, specifically the collapse of the Roman Empire. Beyond that, I think a lot of stories don't quite understand that the transition between Renaissance from Medieval was not so much one of technology, (though that was part of it, new tools and methods allowing faster generation of wealth,) but one of ideology as well, with early Humanism and The Enlightenment beginning. I think if more people focused on the shifting ideologies that came with the time period, it would probably be a more interesting read. However, I am writing early renaissance fantasy and all of this may just be a defence mechanism to justify my work. Please no bully.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    Baeraad likes this.
  13. Catrin Lewis

    Catrin Lewis Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    4,076
    Likes Received:
    4,438
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Check out Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamourist Histories series. Very much Napoleanic Era fantasies.
     
  14. Amadeas

    Amadeas New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for all of the responses!

    I've been thinking about this story for about a year, straight up Medieval. A period that I love, but yes, it is hard to make it stand out from all of the others. Probably switching to 1800's ish. Just strange letting the other time period go. I originally 'borrowed' ideas from the 1800 time frame, real life events, tweaked them and was going to use them in the medieval setting. Which would've worked, but now going back to the 1800s, I'm running into some "oh crap, can't use that now" moments.

    The question for me now is what level of realism vs fantasy. Realistic non-magical in a made up world, full on Fantasy, or 100% historical.

    Thanks again for the responses, you probably have me pointed in the right direction.

    Still can't bring myself to delete all of the medieval battle pictures riddled throughout my work computer.
     
  15. The_Joker

    The_Joker Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2019
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    USA
    You're writing for yourself first and foremost, my guy. Assume no one outside your inner circle is going to read it until you're proven otherwise.

    Also, it's fantasy. You can play with tech levels. The Witcher has magic teleports and projections on the level of Star Trek, while firearms aren't a thing due to destruction of the necessary resources. Just come up with ideas for what's cool first and think of reasons for why later.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice