Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Do you prefer real or imagined characters?

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
User avatar
EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 11:08 pm

As a reader it doesn't matter to me one bit. It's the journey that counts. As a writer, then these days it's real people although it didn't used to be. If it's real people (back in reader mode now), then they need to be believable and as close to the real person as possible. I realise that perhaps we'll never know the absolute truth about the real person, but I like the author to try and to have integrity.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

User avatar
JaneConsumer
Reader
Location: U.S.
Contact:

Postby JaneConsumer » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 12:14 am

Give me good story and credible historical background and I'm happy.

User avatar
Barbara Passaris
Scribbler
Location: I live in Richmond, Virginia, USA
Contact:

REal or Imagined

Postby Barbara Passaris » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 12:31 am

For me, it's a toss. But I honestly think that in historical fiction you can't have one without the other. The trick when having fictitional characters is to make them so real that your readers actually believe in them so much that they become real.

But I have to say that it depends on my mood whether or not I want to have a historical fiction (which can often be historical biography) book with a true person from history or a made up person/group. Either way, the author had better make it worth my time by being accurate about the life and times, to the best of his/her ability. Let's face it, as authors we often make up a little snitch here and there to make the story fit right. But I wouldn't put any credence to the work of someone who made up a lot about, say, Queen Elizabeth I and put the defeat of the Spanish armada in 1592 in order to make their own story jibe....that is very UNcool, IMO...

~Barb

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 12:34 am

I can go either way, as long as it's a good story I'm a happy camper.

User avatar
Spitfire
Reader
Location: Canada

Postby Spitfire » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 4:21 pm

I actually prefer to read about real historical people. But the writer has to really make the person real to me, otherwise it just doesn't cut it. On the other hand a really good writer can make a fictional character come to life, for example Gabbaldon's "Jaimy and Claire" then I am OK with that too.
Only the pure of heart can make good soup. - Beethoven

User avatar
nona
Bibliophile
Location: Oklahoma

Postby nona » Fri September 5th, 2008, 3:21 pm

I would have to agree with EC on this, I like both real and fictional characters but the author needs to make them come across as close to anyone at that time for me to believe in it.

User avatar
donroc
Compulsive Reader
Location: Winter Haven, Florida
Contact:

Postby donroc » Fri September 5th, 2008, 4:56 pm

Real but not very well documented like our typical Tudors and such. That allows much leeway in telling the story without changing history (too much).
User signature picture

Bodo the Apostate, a novel set during the reign of Louis the Pious and end of the Carolingian Empire.

http://www.donaldmichaelplatt.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6OtI&feature=channel_page

User avatar
LoveHistory
Bibliomaniac
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Contact:

Postby LoveHistory » Fri September 5th, 2008, 7:49 pm

I'll take either as long as the story is good. Can't say I really prefer one over the other.

User avatar
Carine
Compulsive Reader
Currently reading: Jonkvrouw - Jean-Claude Van Ryckeghem
Interest in HF: I love history
Favorite HF book: Can't pin that down to only 1 :-)
Preferred HF: Medieval, Tudor and Ancient Egyptian
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Contact:

Postby Carine » Wed September 10th, 2008, 11:24 am

"JaneConsumer" wrote:Give me good story and credible historical background and I'm happy.


That goes for me too.

User avatar
Amanda
Compulsive Reader
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby Amanda » Wed September 10th, 2008, 11:34 am

I like either too. Though if the main character is imagined, I do like real characters to come into the story too.


Return to “General Discussion”