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Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Historical Fiction 101- Make It Real
I won't do it. You can't make me. Nope, nuh-uh, not on your life. Not even if you promised me an all-expense paid trip to Egypt.
There is one rule for writing historical fiction.
Don't mess with history.
I can't make Hatshepsut eat with a fork (they weren't invented yet) or ride a camel through the desert (no camels in Egypt in 1500BC). On a bigger scale, I can't ignore events that really happened, but instead have to work them into the story and make them believable.
Sometimes this is a royal pain in the arse, but it makes the story real. That's what matters in historical fiction- a good story that really could have happened.
What's the #1 rule for your genre?
Calvin & Hobbes comic from Bill Waterson.