Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > History Book Reviews > Historical Fiction
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Historical Fiction Historical Fiction Forum - Original historical fiction by the Historum community


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old September 2nd, 2016, 07:12 AM   #11

TotalAaron's Avatar
The Greatest warrior
 
Joined: Feb 2016
From: Australia
Posts: 3,239
Blog Entries: 6

Historical fiction is by definition fiction so really who cares?
TotalAaron is offline  
Remove Ads
Old January 12th, 2017, 11:34 AM   #12

DaveK's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: Tampa, FL
Posts: 590

Quote:
Originally Posted by TotalAaron View Post
Historical fiction is by definition fiction so really who cares?
But it's also by definition historical!

Looks like I disagree with most on this thread. But it's probably just a preference of mine. IMO Historical fiction should be as accurate as is practicable. That is - as accurate as possible, but not so much that it kills the story.

For me, the fiction is about filling in the blanks that we have no way of knowing about - the individual encounters, conversations, etc.

When reading HF, I expect the author to be VERY familiar with the time period. I like to feel as if I've gotten into a time machine and I am watching the events take place. If I'm in the room with Julius Caesar I don't expect the samurai to show up with machine guns and start blowing away senators. We're into Mel Gibson movie territory at that point.

-Dave K

p.s. I see this is a slightly stale thread, but I couldn't be silent!
DaveK is offline  
Old March 17th, 2017, 07:44 PM   #13

Melisende's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2007
From: Australia
Posts: 1,537

I think accuracy comes into play when real historical figures are at the centre of the novel. If they are on the periphery then a bit of artistic license is okay. If positing an "alternate theory" or creating a fiction to suit a particular historic event then some knowledge of events / the period / the character wouldn't go astray to make the story more "credible".

Mind you, I have also read a lot of historical fiction where the story / characters just don't ring true. Some authors can do it well, others just shouldn't have tried in the first place.

Its all a matter of personal taste.
Melisende is offline  
Old March 17th, 2017, 08:05 PM   #14

Lawnmowerman's Avatar
Cutting your grass
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 9,381
Blog Entries: 1

Something that really pisses me off in Historical Fictoin is someone imposing 20th C values on their characters.

Romans being offended by slavery.

Women being allowed to conduct battle plans.

Black people not being stared at and the objects of amazement when they appear in Medieval Briton.

These really piss me off.
Lawnmowerman is offline  
Old March 17th, 2017, 08:50 PM   #15
Historian
 
Joined: Apr 2013
From: Home of Fallingwater
Posts: 3,685

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveK View Post

...When reading HF, I expect the author to be VERY familiar with the time period. I like to feel as if I've gotten into a time machine and I am watching the events take place. If I'm in the room with Julius Caesar I don't expect the samurai to show up with machine guns and start blowing away senators. We're into Mel Gibson movie territory at that point...
Awww - you're no fun at all!


OP - I think any real people should be portrayed as accurately as possible. I usually try to avoid long dialogue with real people - what if I'm totally misrepresenting them?

I like to have historical basis for approximately 90% of what my fictional characters are/do. Meaning, did I read that someone actually did such and such in a similar time period as my character - even if it was highly unusual? If yes, I feel comfortable using it, and might go out of my way to use it. However, if it's unusual, it should be used sparingly - probably only one character can be/do that unusual thing.

Ideally, the story should aim to be accurate to the point that when you ask the reader to believe something improbable, it melds together seamlessly for the reader.

Having said that, I tend to write a lot about established, but obscure, facts that aren't well known. I'm not sure if the average reader will go along with some of them or not.
R5 plus is offline  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > History Book Reviews > Historical Fiction

Tags
book, fiction



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Your favorite historical fiction book? throughthepastdarkly History Book Reviews 24 March 13th, 2015 03:27 AM
Historical Fiction Movies - Excellent History Based Fiction skizzerflake History in Films and on Television 0 March 11th, 2013 06:39 PM
What is your favorite Historical Fiction book/series? benkernow History Book Reviews 27 May 14th, 2012 12:08 PM
Suggestions for a historical-fiction book I'm writing HistoryFreak1912 History Book Reviews 0 May 4th, 2009 03:19 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.