Do you write Historical Fiction? Writing historically accurate fiction starts with RESEARCH.
Well, duh! I know that.
What most writers forget is that they take for granted a great many aspects which can lend more credence to their works, as well as a better experience of the story they want to put forward to readers. Additionally, if you want to be considered historically accurate, you must behave as a historian–do you due diligence. Can it always be done? Some things might slip past you. No human is perfect. Try your best. This series is going to help by presenting articles of interest from around the internet and get you started on the research necessary to complete an amazing manuscript.
So you have this great plan to write about a hunter in the 1750s. Where is he going to be hunting? Is he in the wilds of Siberia? Perhaps he’s an intrepid explorer delving into the depths of unseen Africa! Whatever you chose, you’ll want to be sure not only that hunters/explorers were going to the place, unless you mean to write about the first guy/gal who did, but you’ll want to make sure that the animals present were actually present. This doesn’t just apply to hundreds of years ago. It applies to modern times and it applies to multiple scenarios.
Say, for instance, you have sequence in which the fair damsel is being courted by fair knight among a menagerie. Depending on the dates of this scene, what might be included in that menagerie is really quite different to say, ten years prior, a hundred years prior, and so on.
Unless you’re writing a science fiction in which these animals have been raised from the dead, Mr. Dodo won’t be sitting there. That’s another interesting point. How about those who want to write a Jules Verne style steampunk who deals with a scientist that does raise extinct specimens from the dead? Or, perhaps, you’re highlighting a breeding program to prevent the extinction of species.
There are lots of reasons why you’d need to delve into the scientific realm for your work. Check out this article on extinct animals up to this year. Sadly, my Eastern Cougar tops the list for 2015. Rest in peace, Kitty. We tried. I am so so sorry.
Fish, birds, mammals, reptiles — they all made this list, sadly, of extinct animals we’ve lost in the last 100 years.
Have a topic you’d like discussed on writing historical fiction? Leave me a message and I will do my best to get to it.