Date of publication: 2017-09-03 09:15
This is just what I needed to hear. Today I 8767 ve been struggling with how many real people I should use and how many real location. I 8767 ve done loads of research, but don 8767 t want to get mired in petty details! Hurray! Now back to writing
9. Use the internet wisely, to inspire and inform. The internet can be a researcher’s best friend, especially for arm-chair time travelers. Need to know how long it would take to walk from the Louvre to the Eiffel tower? Use the walking feature on mapquest. Need to see the inside of the Hagia Sophia? Check the dozens of tourist videos on YouTube. Sometimes I’m amazed by what the internet can’t answer. Certainly, the internet is a treasure trove of interactive maps, images, videos, and historical documents, which can be both informative and inspiring.
Great article. I think that plausibility is perhaps more important than accuracy which, as you suggest, is difficult to attain and probably not much fun for the reader. I 8767 d add to this list going to the place you 8767 re writing about if at all possible. And when you 8767 re in a town look up high. Things above eye-level often have a more historical feel than things on the street.
6. Don’t fret the details let the story be told. Strive for accuracy, but when necessary, make your best informed guess and move on. And if you have to fudge something, well, that’s what the ‘historical note’ at the end of your novel is for!
Some people may prefer to write their thesis first as we have done here, or some may choose to begin writing their introduction paragraph and then figure out the thesis as they get there. Neither way is wrong!
I quite agree. Plausibility (to me) means that incontrovertible, established MATERIAL facts about the period in question are faithfully presented. Materiality is the key criterion, and historical accuracy is the critical test.
Moreover, and maybe more importantly, I realized that if I were strictly true to the time period, my characters might be a little—well—dull. My protagonist is a servant, and if I made her typical of her gender and station, she might have felt too inhibited to save her brother from being wrongfully hanged for murder—the entire premise of Rosamund’s Gate.
6. Have fun with the research, but do your homework. This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Borrow some good reference books. Become comfortable with the time period. Try to understand both the larger scope of the period, while examining aspects of daily life. This will help create an authentic backdrop for your novel.
Loved this, great sanity checks and advice for those of us working on that first historical fiction. I lucked out on the internet by finding printed versions of memoirs from the real people that inspired or informed my characters. Granted, they can 8767 t be considered factually accurate, but they 8767 ve given me leads in addition to wonderful POV!