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How far can historical fiction be stretched?

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Fri July 27th, 2012, 11:53 pm

Misfit, I'm very much enjoying the US airspace tidbit. Holy frijoles.
I was dying at that one, although there are so many boners it's hard to pick the worst (funniest) one. Finally finished book three and can bleach my brain out. Now I'm trying to figure out how she got into a downtown bank with 1) a gun tucked into her waistband and 2) how in the hell you can park in the back entrance. My co-workers are rolling their eyes at those.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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R.W.Ware
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Post by R.W.Ware » Thu August 2nd, 2012, 4:12 am

[quote=""DianeL""]Not one of the Buffy fans I've ever known could stand Twilight - the main draw of Buffy was a strong feminine lead, which Twilight definitively and utterly lacks. Too, there was a gap of about two years between the end of Buffy and the publication of Twilight. Fans were able to fill the void with other Whedon outings and other addictive television, I've never even heard of anyone using Twilight as a successor for Buffy.
[/quote]

Admittedly, there are far better avenues for Buffy fans to explore (Anita Blake, which is actually an older vampire hunter story), but the two years of reruns which commingled with the next generation of vampire-lover vans did, in fact, have a lot to do with a preexisting audience. I'm not saying the lead characters have anything in common, nor that Twilight is in any way a sequel to Buffy, but it is naive to think that the headway Buffy the Vampire Slayer gained with paranormal romance in popular fiction had nothing to do with the success of Twilight. Just as it is naive to think that Twilight didn't pave the way for P. C. Cast's The House of Night series or Amanda Hocking's My Blood Approves trilogy. Buffy put a paranormal romance audience out there, a vast one, and Twilight tapped into that vein.

I can only assume that you hang out with a different age group than the majority of Twilight fans. All Trans Ams are Firebirds, but not all Firebirds are Trans Ams--to use a car analogy--or, all Camaros are Cheverolet, but not all Cheverolets are Camaros.
Never violate a woman, nor harm a child. Do not lie, cheat or steal. These things are for lesser men. Protect the weak against the evil strong. Never allow thoughts of gain lead you into the pursuit of evil. Never back away from an enemy. Either fight or surrender. It is not enough to say I will not be evil. Evil must be fought wherever it is found.

--David Gemmell, The First Chronicles of Druss The Legend

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DianeL
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Post by DianeL » Thu August 2nd, 2012, 10:42 pm

I would have said it was facile to draw a line from Buffy to Twilight, but refrained as it seemed to me a rude thing to say.

Clearly, you have no issues with rudeness, calling me naive and making public assumptions regarding my age and relationships. Count me out of further arguments with you.
"To be the queen, she agreed to be the widow!"

***

The pre-modern world was willing to attribute charisma to women well before it was willing to attribute sustained rationality to them.
---Medieval Kingship, Henry A. Myers

***

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R.W.Ware
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Post by R.W.Ware » Wed August 8th, 2012, 9:04 pm

[quote=""DianeL""]I would have said it was facile to draw a line from Buffy to Twilight, but refrained as it seemed to me a rude thing to say.

Clearly, you have no issues with rudeness, calling me naive and making public assumptions regarding my age and relationships. Count me out of further arguments with you.[/quote]

My apologies for your perceived insults. When I get on these boards, it amounts to 2-3am, and sometimes, though I try to be very careful in what I write, I'm still taken wrong. I did not in fact call you naive, I said: "...it is naive to think that the headway Buffy the Vampire Slayer gained with paranormal romance in popular fiction had nothing to do with the success of Twilight." I do believe it is entirely possible for a person to have a naive thought without being completely naive. (So, you made a series of assumptions yourself.) Admittedly, I made an assumption--which I thought was complimentary, another failed assumption--for which I wholeheartedly do apologize. I intended no offense, but I will not make the same mistake again.


As far as the connections between these two teen-vampire stories, this wasn't just an impromptu observation, I have it on the studies of a market analyst and bestselling writer. I understand that his findings do not concur with those of yours and your friends, however, since he has credentials which I can affirm and my common sense says he's onto something, I'll go with him on this.

All of this is digression. As to the original question: "How far can Historical Fiction be stretched?" To which I say again: Story is king. Proven time and again: If it's salable and there's a market audience, prose and detail are forgivable... There may be a contingent of writers and/or fans who disapprove of every liberty a writer takes, every Historical Fiction author I'm a fan of does, but as long as you can get advances and contracts, you're doing something right. Is the object to write a salable manuscript or to write a critically acclaimed novel? That makes a difference in the answer to your question, too. Writing for writers is much harder than writing for readers. For me, I'd just be happy to be able to write for a living, I don't need awards and accolades.
Never violate a woman, nor harm a child. Do not lie, cheat or steal. These things are for lesser men. Protect the weak against the evil strong. Never allow thoughts of gain lead you into the pursuit of evil. Never back away from an enemy. Either fight or surrender. It is not enough to say I will not be evil. Evil must be fought wherever it is found.

--David Gemmell, The First Chronicles of Druss The Legend

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Shield-of-Dardania
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Post by Shield-of-Dardania » Thu August 16th, 2012, 6:22 am

Isn't it good to find another David Gemmel fan. I trust that you've also read the great man's Troy trilogy. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that was another fine example of great storytelling riding roughshod over all those niggling rules and still succeeding nevertheless. It was what first launched me onto my present craze, spending evenings, nights and weekends, stealing a bit of office time every now and again, working on my own draft HF trilogy. And I'm thankful to David for that.

[quote=""R.W.Ware""]
Besides, now writer is perfect. You can find flaws in anyone's work.
[/quote]
Great point.

[quote=""R.W.Ware""]
There may be a contingent of writers and/or fans who disapprove of every liberty a writer takes, every Historical Fiction author I'm a fan of does, but as long as you can get advances and contracts, you're doing something right. [/quote]
In business, one says the customer is king. In writing, the reader is king.

[quote=""R.W.Ware""]
Is the object to write a salable manuscript or to write a critically acclaimed novel?
[/quote]
That would depend on how well off, or how poorly off, the writer is. Only the rich one can afford the luxury of time to produce a critically acclaimed piece that makes hardly any headway at all at the cashier's till.

[quote=""R.W.Ware""]
For me, I'd just be happy to be able to write for a living, I don't need awards and accolades.
[/quote]
Me too. If my WIP ever gets published.
Last edited by Shield-of-Dardania on Thu August 16th, 2012, 6:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Gordopolis
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Post by Gordopolis » Thu August 16th, 2012, 7:56 am

Aye, Gemmell is my inspiration too. The Troy trilogy is wonderful, bringing a wealth of characters into being, tacking and gybing deftly through the Great Green and around some pivotal moments in history along the way.

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Shield-of-Dardania
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Post by Shield-of-Dardania » Thu August 16th, 2012, 9:25 am

Now then, perhaps we should consider forming a club within a club.

Oh yes. David had Hector leading a Trojan contingent to Kadesh, fighting on the side of the Hittites against the Egyptians at the Battle of Kadesh. David's deftest touch, I think, was bringing on Gershom the young Egyptian to become Aeneas' ship captain and close confidante, before slowly and subtly revealing, to our eventual surprise, that this Gershom was none other than Moses on the run from his adoptive grandfather, the pharaoh of Egypt.

And who can forget Banokles and Kalliades, that unlikely pair of best-friend Mykene-warriors-turned-Trojan-loyalists, among the most delightful supporting characters in the entire cast.

That's why I gave David as a prime example of story tussling with historical fact and winning, as far as the readers are concerned. If David had been hung up on historical accuracy per se, we would not have had Hector going to Kadesh to fight in his Troy story, let alone young Moses having his sojourn in Troy as an adventurer.
Last edited by Shield-of-Dardania on Thu August 16th, 2012, 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Gordopolis
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Post by Gordopolis » Thu August 16th, 2012, 9:36 am

[quote=""Shield-of-Dardania""]Now then, perhaps we should consider forming a club within a club.

Oh yes. David had Hector leading a Trojan contingent to Kadesh, fighting on the side of the Hittites against the Egyptians at the Battle of Kadesh. David's deftest touch, I think, was bringing on Gershom the young Egyptian to become Aeneas' ship captain and close confidante, before slowly and subtly revealing, to our eventual surprise, that this Gershom was none other than Moses on the run from his adoptive grandfather, the pharaoh of Egypt.

And who can forget Banokles and Kalliades, that unlikely pair of best-friend Mykene-warriors-turned-Trojan-loyalists, among the most delightful supporting characters in the entire cast.

That's why I gave David as a prime example of story tussling with historical fact and winning, as far as the readers are concerned. If David had been hung up on historical accuracy per se, we would not have had Hector going to Kadesh to fight in his Troy story, let alone young Moses having his sojourn in Troy as an adventurer.[/quote]


Funny you should mention Banokles and Kalliades. Even though they were, in effect, supporting cast, it is this pair's adventures and misadventures that linger in my memories of the trilogy. Still brings a tear to the eye to remember Banokles' heartbreak with Big Red and then his final scene.

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Shield-of-Dardania
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Post by Shield-of-Dardania » Thu August 16th, 2012, 3:21 pm

That's what I often notice with Gemmel's characters. The intensity, freshness, pain and frequently darkness that he brings to them just feels so raw and real.

The scene involving Banokles and Kalliades that sticks the most to my mind is the one on the small island, when they both risked their lives to defend poor plain Piria, whom they had only met a day or two previously, from her vengeful Mykene captors.

The stark contrast between the two men is the one other thing that I find fascinating. Banokles was the impulsive brawler, living on animal instinct, powerfully built, always game for a bruising bustup. While Kalliades was the thinking warrior, tall and lean, always seeing something well beyond the here and now.

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Thu August 16th, 2012, 3:50 pm

[quote=""DianeL""]Not one of the Buffy fans I've ever known could stand Twilight - the main draw of Buffy was a strong feminine lead, which Twilight definitively and utterly lacks. Too, there was a gap of about two years between the end of Buffy and the publication of Twilight. Fans were able to fill the void with other Whedon outings and other addictive television, I've never even heard of anyone using Twilight as a successor for Buffy.
[/quote]

I have to agree with this. Different horse between Buffy and Twilight.

My patrons who liked Twilight didn't know jack about Buffy nor did the ever mention it. Not once.

Buffy is a character my comic con geek friends love. Twilight is a story that all of my comic con geek friends HATE. In fact there was a news article that stated in SDCC that there was tension between Twilight freaks and the average con goer. There was resentment between the two groups. Does this apply to everyone? No but it is interesting.

Twilight is for love struck teenage girls.

The author made vampires sexy with a love triangle and a sappy story. Not sure how that plays into Buffy other than both deal with vampires. Personally, I think it was the romance that the teens loved.


As for changing history to suit your needs. I think sometimes its okay. I dont mind a little wiggle room, but I just started Rebel Princess about Louise which is Queen Victoria's daughter. The author makes sure to let everyone know that its fiction, false and a made up story. So she pretty much did whatever the hell she wanted and while I dont mind some speculation the whole story is made up which doesnt fly with me. Why not make a fantasy novel then.
Last edited by Divia on Thu August 16th, 2012, 3:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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