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Date Posted: 14:31:37 11/18/09 Wed
Author: Page
Subject: Hi, Fi! Short for "stereo," right? (Sorry, just had to! *G*) Here's what I do >>>>>
In reply to: Fi 's message, "Anyone else writing a historical novel?" on 10:53:18 11/18/09 Wed

I don't suppose my WIP is actually historical fiction, being set in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but I've had to try and find out things from that time period that occurred in a country I've never visited. And for that, I've trolled the internet like a fiend. Don't be afraid to use broad search terms when you Google, and if you find a site where citations are used, find those citations to see if there's more info there. If it were me, I'd Google "Algerian clothing 17th century," "Algerian marriage practices 17th century," etc. and see what pops up. And take it from me, if you find a site you like, be sure to bookmark it! *G* I can't tell you the number of times I've forgotten to do that one basic thing, and then had to spend hours trying to find that site again.

One site I came across might give you a few good hints. It's Writer's Dreamtools: History by Decades.

Also, if you don't have access to a large library, try Google Books. It's amazing what you can find there, even if the books only have a snippet view.

As for the politically correct thing, I would suggest you not worry about that. People were what they were back then, and to change their attitudes or perspectives to avoid offending 21st Century readers wouldn't be true to your story. During one of the first Lallybroch chats with Herself, I was lucky enough to have been chosen to ask her a question, and I asked about the scene in Outlander where Jamie beats Claire. So many people lost their bloomin' minds over that, and I asked Diana if, knowing the reaction it would get, would she change it if she could go back and do it over. And she said, NO. She basically said people just needed to suck it up, and realize that's the way folks behaved in Scotland in the 1750s, and there was no way she'd try to make them something they weren't.

Have fun with your research, and your writing, and keep us updated!

Hugs,
Page

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[> Why yes, one of my works in progress is a historical fiction piece -- Fel, 16:12:45 11/18/09 Wed

Hi Fi,

Actually most of my works are historical fiction in nature. I have one set in World War II Germany in a death camp and I have another one that is a medieval fantasy.

In both of these works I do quite a bit of research online as well as using a lot of books I have at home. I'm getting my BA in medieval studies from a local college so I have tons of medieval book sources ready at hand.

The online research sites I go to are: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbooks.html ; http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/

The first one is medieval based, but the second site there features information from all sorts of time periods.

I try to be as accurate as I can be in my historical writing, but I do not try to infuse twenty-first century notions into my characters. For instance, in my medieval fantasy, I have my main character Alexandra doing all of the typical things a dutchess would do in twelfth century Britain would do, but I also have her becoming a knight and fighting in various wars.

If you make your characters believable, with real emotions and values, then you should have no problem at all. Good luck with your writing!!

I hope I didn't confuse you too much or through too much at you.

Fel

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