March 20, 2019 at 7:28 pm #83207
Aw, shucks! Your so sweet and encouraging! You seriously made my day. 🤗
"But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor DostoyevskyMarch 26, 2019 at 10:20 am #84141
I’m so glad! 🙂
This is pretty random and a little embarrassing, but…can you (or anyone) tell me how to make all those emoji’s show on here? I only know 🙂 😀 and 😉
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart."
-Jane Austen, "Emma"March 26, 2019 at 11:35 am #84159
*equally sheepish grin*
I actually have no idea…I just copy and paste from Emojipedia. (Lame, I know. 🙃)
"But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor DostoyevskyMarch 26, 2019 at 12:17 pm #84169
@valtmy. . . if you don’t care for historical accuracy, why are you writing things set in a different time, in the first place? Why not write fantasy instead? If you claim to tell a story about a particular era but don’t portray it as it was, readers who don’t know better will walk away from your book with a false picture of the era in mind. That doesn’t do anyone any good. Characters are key to a lot of things, but it’s not an either-or question: you can absolutely have historical accuracy, right down to people thinking about things differently from us, and excellent characters, both at the same time.March 26, 2019 at 12:20 pm #84171March 26, 2019 at 8:09 pm #84284
… I am writing fantasy. Historical fantasy, that is. I have never claimed to be an honourable historical fictioner 😛 In my stories I have never used the names of the real societies or even referenced the real names of the religions or philosophies practised during those times. I do get your point though. I have started and then stopped reading a particular book because all the characters have inexplicably modern mindsets regarding sexuality which stood out like a sore thumb against the rest of the setting and greatly irked me.
Reading about historical societies is one of my main sources of inspiration. When doing my research, I try to think of what potential conflicts would be interesting to write about and that’s how I come up with the ideas for my plots. When I say that I do not care about historical accuracy, I mean that I will do things like merge elements from different societies or eras of that same society if I think it will make things more interesting. (e.g. there are many different eras in ancient Chinese history but the societal beliefs have remained largely similar due to the common influence of Confucianism so I am comfortable with borrowing elements between them).
Though we research as much as we can I do not think it is possible to 100% depict every detail accurately and I know some imagination is required so I am open to creative liberties when it comes to stories set in/inspired by history. If not, why not read something actually written by someone who lived in that era instead? That is bound to be more accurate than whatever we modern folks can come up with.
Regarding characters, I believe that they are the main vehicles through which we can depict the mindsets of that time. The societies that I write in tend to be in the Far East and so were unreached for much of history. While some Asian values hold true (e.g. respecting parents), I encounter difficulty in portraying moral dilemmas at times since the people, if one wants to be accurate, really do not know God. Therefore I place importance on writing characters and their arcs well to show the truth/lie in the historical beliefs.March 27, 2019 at 1:29 pm #84353
@valtmy Ahh. In that case, never mind. Historical fantasy is a different animal — sort of a chimera. But since you hadn’t previously claimed that genre, and popped into a historical fiction thread to express a conflicting set of principles, I was confused. In context it makes sense.
Yes, the difficulty with accurately telling a story about people who aren’t Christians is how to avoid uniformly unhappy endings without being false about what actually brings about flourishing.
By the way, today I read a good historical fantasy, name of The Castle Behind the Thorns, by Merrie Haskell.March 27, 2019 at 7:23 pm #84378
Sorry for causing the misunderstanding. I could have made myself clearer. Since my stories are so deliberately historically inaccurate, I had to ask for permission to be here. 😛
I searched out the book. It sounds interesting! 😀March 28, 2019 at 5:51 pm #84420
*sneaks in* hi there! I’ve been stalking this thread for a while as I really want to start writing historical fiction! I used to write fantasy but I haven’t actually read a fantasy book in months (probably even years, I’m not even sure). I do read a lot of historical fiction! Some of my favorite writers are Bodie Thoene (her husband is a historian so her books are super historically accurate!), Lynn Austin, Francine Rivers, C.S.Lewis and more 😊
Some of the time periods I find most interesting include: The Dutch golden age. Which was the 17th century, Rembrandt’s time. But mostly because we ruled the seas back then and I like stories that have a pirates of the caribbean esque setting. Also Napoleon’s time and basically anything in the Netherlands as it’s the history of my own country.
I also like anythings that’s set in biblical times, the victorian era, the middle ages, the ‘wild west’ (I still love watching Doctor Quinn, how inaccurate it may be) and I’d love to learn more about Russian, Chinese, Irish, Scottish and Scandinavian history.
I also find world war 2 interesting to read about. But I think writing about it would make me too sad.
Anyhow, I feel a little scared to start. Do you first read about a part of history you like and invent a story that would fit in or would you first think of a story and then find a setting to match it? How do you research?
“I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”March 29, 2019 at 11:01 am #84467
Oh, it is so awesome to have you on this topic! I’m so grateful for your straightforwardness and honesty. I really admire that in you! I want to write like a super long reply, but I don’t have a ton of time right now, so I will just say that one of the best his-fic (like, very historically accurate, amazing) authors I know of is G A Henty. His books are absolutely awesome, and they span hundreds of years, from ancient to the end of the 19th century. Multiple of them are set in places/time eras that you mentioned, and I especially enjoyed his books set in your country. 🙂
I have read all of his books at least 2-3 times thus far, and every time I read back through, I learn SO much more. If you want to read them online or print them off, you can go to http://www.gutenburg.org and they have them for free. There is a wealth of literature and history on that site you can browse if you want, as well. It is non-profit, and you have full access to thousands of books. I have found it to be a tremendous blessing. There is a place to start anyways. 😀
Praying God blesses you on this journey, Linda!
~ 'Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.' C.H. Spurgeon ~March 29, 2019 at 2:24 pm #84481
@selah-chelyah and everyone: G. A. Henty is good at plotting. Admittedly, he put a lot of work into making one plot, which he then used for every single book of his, but he wouldn’t be the only writer to do that. Once in a while he’s not terribly bad at characterization. However, his historical accuracy is conspicuous by its absence, as a professor of mine says of students who don’t show up to class. His books are not good references for historical accuracy and have no place in that kind of bibliography.
In any case, it is always best to use primary sources for any period, and a work of historical fiction, however well-done, will only be a secondary source at the very best. If it has a good bibliography you can certainly use it as a starting point for further reading, but that’s not quite the same.
Do your own research and don’t believe the English of the 11th century (however good their textiles actually were — and they are amazing) had access to velvet, that delightfully anachronistic material.
(It wouldn’t be invented for another few hundred years.)March 29, 2019 at 4:57 pm #84494
@linMarch 29, 2019 at 11:00 pm #84516March 30, 2019 at 12:47 pm #84544March 30, 2019 at 11:27 pm #84665
😀 Multiple, depending on the book. He wrote his books from accounts written by people who lived in the era he wrote about. Can I ask what made you say his work was historically inacurate, or is it some specific book(s)? I have always found it to be incredibly reliable as he wrote it from first-hand accounts.
I must say, I write almost all my books in another era. 🙂
~ 'Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.' C.H. Spurgeon ~
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