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History in fantasy writing

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#1 BagaturKhan

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 12:02 AM

History in fantasy writing. The Article.

 

Hello guys and girls.

Wanted to speak about serious fantasy works with you all.

I know we all likes fantasy and many writers in this club doing works with this theme. Nneed to say, if you`re working with novella - its will not be big problem for all. But if you`re working with full book - you have difficulties with many things. Its normal for all fantasy writers and you`re know it.

I can recommend young fantasy authors to make some interesting things and after that write full book. Novelle is novella, but full book is different thing. Just remember , History - is the main thing in fantasy work. You must know history if you`re writing fantasy. Forget about games.

To be more loudly, every serious fantasy writer must know history. In my country I many times saw works, when author wrote fantasy book or even novella, but there was hundred errors.

For example, armorer worker buying weapons in the streets of the city. So book heroes can simply buy in the street swords, axes, guns, miniguns and ...what else? Maybe he will buy a tank and go to kill city council members? No. No. No. Its impossible. If book hero want to buy weapons, he needs to take license for it. Many fantasy authors forgot about it because they didn`t read history and only played RPG games. But to write book - is not to create RPG game. RPG and fantasy book are a bit different things ;) :)

If you need to create plot for game - yeah, you can simply make many things, which are useful and good for games. But if you`re working with full book - forget about RPG and other kind of games. In Russia I saw many authors, who worked with fantasy books without historical knowledge, and I thought that I didn`t read a book, but playing something like Skyrim or Diablo. :)

So historical knowledge - is one of important literature things, if you`re fantasy writer. Also need to say, that some authors wrote that in their world (which is like Medieval), heroes can simply go from other city to another city. No, again no. In Medieval ages you was need to pay guardians, if you wants to visit city. It was normal for many states. Even if you`re Viking (or something like that) - you need to pay others, if you want to visit their settlements. In Vikings history there were several things, that (for example) one Jarl lost his fleet and have absolutely no gold. He survived only with several his warriors (hirdsmen). But he can`t visit settlements of his neighbours, because he haven`t got any documents. But about documents problem - it wasn`t problem in early Medieval, because documents appeared only in the Rennaissance. But he was need to pay gold, if he wanted to visit settlement of other Jarl. He haven`t gold and he with several warriors started to attack villages in the seaside. This moment I haven`t see in many fantasy books. Sometimes I think, that in many fantasy worlds people haven`t got any money problems or even one word "economics". If you`re working with fairy tale (its also great genre) - you can simply ignore these things. But serious fantasy works need good number of historical knowledge.

So if you want to make really popular fantasy book - you need to have historical knowledge in your head. For example, I am reading every day about one or several historical characters. Its helps me a lot with my book. But if you`re working with fairy tale - you of course can forget about many things. You can simply forget about economics, history and politics. Its also good genre.

But I recommend young authors - to make full books with serious fantasy genre. Its more cool, I think, and can give your .... more money.... But we are working not for money, yeah? we are working only for our souls! And for our soul - its will be really cool choice. To read history - is not something like learning mathematics (I really don`t understand mathematics). Its interesting! Its cool! Its wonderful!

So you of course can be disagree with me, but I think some parts of this article can be useful for you all.

 

Regards Alexander


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Alexander Konstantinovich Krokhmal


#2 Pasidon

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 01:04 AM

I do agree that a general knowledge of history helps form fantasy narrative, but I would say restricting fiction to the rules of the real world isn't entirely recommended.  The general audience tends to prefer fantasy that has few ties to the true histories.  Weird beats realism in many cases.


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#3 OmegaBolt

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 09:08 PM

Although I haven't completely read the first post, I would completely disagree with you Pasidon. Utterly, totally and to the death. Everything in fiction is more engaging when it is closer to a mirror of reality. That doesn't mean you shouldn't replace Humans with Orcs, but the Orcs are only engaging if they're experiencing incredibly truthful events that I can relate to. I could'nt give a shit about a flamboyantly told story about the aloof ideals of a fictional, charicaturish figment of some writers sheltered imagination, but if what they're going through is analagous with real events, or real experiences I've been through or shedding light on alternative ways of thinking about a relevant issue, then it's got something to work with.

 

Now the ultimate fiction is analogy without smugness. Which is why Christopher Nolan is a horrible storyteller. If you can send to people an incredibly relevent, very specific message in a way that is broad enough to capture everyones attention while still precisely conveying the meaning, you've done a man's job.

 

Harry Potter isn't popular IMO because of the goblins and all that crap, it's popular because it's about a loser kid coming-of-age, which is an archetype more people can relate to than not, escaping the drudgery of his abusive adoptive parents by fulfilling his potential, which nobody believes in. Likewise Twilight isn't the werewolves, it's the teenage angst and drama, with sexy werewolves being a 'bad boy' metaphor. Things people relate to a go through everday, but made pretty through fantasy.


Edited by OmegaBolt, 26 January 2017 - 09:14 PM.

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#4 Pasidon

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 08:51 PM

I think you're taking my words to the extreme.  I don't mean entirely purging a narrative completely of all known lessons and sense, I mean disconnecting it from the rules of history.  I'm perfectly aware that story would lack appeal if it didn't contain metaphors of Greek perverts and American scoundrels.  Things like Harry Potter and Twilight work because they don't follow logic's course, as I'm not saying they would work better if they were in an alien language that took no part in history.


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#5 BagaturKhan

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 05:55 PM

Thanks for comments in this thread. Glad to see it.

 

I think, historical knowledge for fantasy writers - is main thing. Because without it author can`t make decent story.

Also there is one rule, if you wants to write best thing - you need also to read other works. Its normal literature process ;)


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Alexander Konstantinovich Krokhmal


#6 Pasidon

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 10:21 PM

That's an interesting topic that had me thinking recently.  I used to read a lot of books, but recently, I've been working on so much writing, I found that reading novels has actually been a bit of a problem.  I found myself accidentally plagiarizing Lovecraft last year since I subconsciously took a concept from one of his stories and put it into my own without realizing it for some time.  Reading other works is essential in understanding how writing works, but one must be careful not to copy distinct styles or concepts within the narratives in doing so.  


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#7 BagaturKhan

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 12:34 AM

Plagiarism is very difficult topic in literature world. I am also working with fantasy universe, but everyone always can blame me in plagiarism. Some my concepts are really similar to many universes. Of course I haven`t got in my book Jedi or Space Marines from Imperium, but I have something similar. For example, in my book there is race Ara`Hnii, who can be almost similar to Tyranids (Warhammer) or Zergs (StarCraft), because Ara`Hnii race is race of insects, who likes to destroy other lifes.

Plagiarism - is to put full story from other author and say that its yours. Almost similar ideas are not plagiarism. Copyright don`t protect ideas and can`t do it.

 

Also I want to post there sometime my fantasy universe concepts and you can see.


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Alexander Konstantinovich Krokhmal


#8 Pasidon

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 12:57 AM

I'm aware just being similar in concept isn't plagiarizing, but some things (not just my accidents) are straight-up cream and crop stealing.  Even if the ideas don't rub up against the law, I still cringe a little when I see Tolkien elves being used like sock puppets in random works.

 

And yea, post more stuff.  I usually end up reading your work anyway.


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#9 BagaturKhan

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 10:49 AM

I already posted information about my book. Its also  in this subforum. ))


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Alexander Konstantinovich Krokhmal





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