Monday 30 September 2013

September Competition

Open to UK residents only, we're afraid.

If you read Robert Low's post yesterday about rules for writing historical fiction, you will be well primed to answer this question:

"What is your favourite rule to be followed - or broken - in writing historical fiction?"

We have five copies of Robert's latest novel The Lion Rampant to give away to those who respond with the best answers.

Closing date October 10th, as our administrator is away till then.

Leave your answers in the Comments below.

And Good Luck!


Sam said...

Never Write What You Don't Know: Now, suddenly, I realise why I am not a bestselling author!!
Trying to follow this advice, repeatedly results in really exciting novels about roadworks and legislation relating to roadworks, that no-one else ever seems to want to read!?!? Can't imagine why.

Seriously though, some of my favourite books are about things that no-one can possibly ever know again, because the knowledge has been lost from history, or Sci-fi novels where they made stuff up in the 60's which scientists are now actually turning into real science. Fair enough, not novels, but how many scientific theories would never have happened if people actually followed this rule? The sum of human knowledge would be a lot poorer if people didn't occasionally give this rule about only writing what you know, a bit of a nudge!

But, by that same token, if you really don't know something, it might be worth trying to do some cursory research first, because I can suspend my disbelief far enough that a teenage school boy on a broomstick would be allowed to fight dragons at school (HP&tGoF), but changing the gender of an actual person (who may have died 500 years ago) does my head in (won't mention the book, but I actually threw something at the telly!)

Intercostal Clavicle said...

I always try to follow a version of "write what you know" with historical fiction. Obviously I can't really KNOW what it was like to live on the streets of Victorian London and a lot of it will be my imagination, but there are some things that I can get to know, like the price of a ham sandwich and the slang and the clothing. I try to get to know as much as I can, and infer what I don't know from what I do.

Mark Burgess said...
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Mark Burgess said...
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Mark Burgess said...

I never, ever use first person, except when I do. And I like starting with dialogue too. Oops, that's two rules I'll happily break - I'd better get back to the beginning before I discover this is all a dream.