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> Historical Fiction, A little help please
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Diarmuid 
Posted: 23-Jun-2005, 06:36 PM
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I'm currently doing research for writing my own historical fiction novel. If anyone has seen Kingdom of Heaven they'll have a leg up on my premise:

1187 AD: Saladin has nearly destroyed the Christian army. He has taken Juresulem and many prisoners with only a couple thousand being able to buy the freedom from slavery. Saladin's brother upon the sight of seeing so many destined for slavery requested that 1000 people be set free for his part in the crusade which they are. The Knights Templar who once thought of themselves as the major force for the protection of Jerusalem could do little now. (That is all true) My novel will follow the story of a fictious second brother of Saladin chasing a small unit of Celtic Knights Templar to a small country near the coast of Italy. There they will bring war to a sleepy country who just want to continue being farmers. Among them will rise a hero. A hero who has lost his faith in God. A man in which all religious affliliations fade in the light of his melancholic quest to find a noble and peaceful purpose in life.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Anyone else out there writing?


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I am currently working on and doing research for the writing of a fictional novel in which the country being invaded is a celtic one. Any suggestions on content or research would be welcome.

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Aaediwen 
Posted: 24-Jun-2005, 05:31 PM
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Looks like you have the basic idea of what kind of story you want to tell, now perhaps you should interrogate yourself.

Where, within the historical story do you want this to fit? How would this whole deal get kicked off? Perhaps start asking yourself What happens, and why does it happen? Then write down your answers.


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Diarmuid 
Posted: 24-Jun-2005, 10:49 PM
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Great suggestions. Thanks a bunch. I tend to just sit down and start writing with no particular purpose. I think this will help a bunch. Any other suggestions are welcome.
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Madadh 
Posted: 25-Jun-2005, 06:49 AM
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Keep an eye towards the weaponry and equipment of the time. If you can go someplace and pick up a sword, lance, and/or bow. Don't get carried away with mythical feats of arms that may not be possible.

Probably one of the best sword fights in a movie was between Arnold and Bridget in "Red Sonya". Not for its acting, but for the fact that they got tired swining those large swords around. You will understand if you get to hold and swing one.


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Haldur 
Posted: 19-Jul-2005, 07:43 AM
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I say go for it! Just as in any other work of fiction, but particularly historical fiction, it would be good to know everything you're dealing with: settings, weapons, dress, etc.

Good luck!


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 20-Jul-2005, 06:23 PM
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I know it sounds bizarre, but if Alice Walker and Isabel Allende both swear by it, it's worth a try (I've done it and been startled by the results):

Conjure your two main protagonists mentally. I mean really get them dead to rights physically, faces, body set, the sound of their voices, their walk, their manner. Do their horses/wives/children love them or fear them? Get them across the table from you over wine and see if you can get them fighting about the stuff that is coming down. And don't think about a single bit of it getting into the book. It's not for that.

I think what I like about this is there's no reason to get writer's block over it. You aren't writing. In fact you musn't write. All that detail about arms, dress, country, routes, maps is crucial, but these guys are going to carry the action through all that, so they have to be solid and real.

Er -- good luck getting them to leave after you do this, though. biggrin.gif
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greenldydragon 
Posted: 30-Mar-2006, 05:25 PM
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That's a good idea stoirmeil. As long as you know your characters and they're real to you, then they should be real to your reader. Historical research is very important and you should know the clothing, weapons, food, etc. but don't get to stressed over it as you are writing a historical FICTION and your audience will usually give you leway if you get some detail wrong (as long as it isn't as big as giving them AK-47s or something like that back in the 1187s)


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Elspeth 
Posted: 03-May-2006, 07:02 AM
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Yep, out here writing historical fiction too.

Suggestions. Read up on the times, as posted before,clothing weaponry, what they eat, how they sleep, who they marry, etc... Immerse yourself in the culture and history of the times. And it looks like you've got a few cultures to master.

A suggestion I got from a writing site was to look in children's books about the times. Children aren't supposed to know anything so books for children are often more descriptive.
Check out this thread. Lots of good advice here. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30811

Then, once you can think like a person of the times, start writing. For me, I go one step beyond being able to see and know characters. When I'm writing my best, I become the character. Can be kinda freaky sometimes, but it gives me greater insight. Being very visual, I have to 'see' the scene in my mind, as if it were a movie. Then I write what I see.

Advice from Stephen King - Once you start writing, don't stop to keep looking things up. Mark what you're not sure of some way and keep going. That way, the flow of the story doesn't get halted everytime you aren't sure of something.

The premise sounds quite interesting. Best of luck with it. Oops, just noticed this was posted a while ago. Might have already finished the book by now. smile.gif



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