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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Publication - Problems Writing History

26 January 2012, Publication - Problems Writing

Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.

I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.

Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, go to my writing website and select "production schedule," you will be sent to

Here is the list of ideas for advertising--there are more and I'll add to the list as we go along.  I'm certainly not an expert in all these, but I've dabbled in all of them.  I'll try to relate my experience and the degree of that experience to you.

1.  Have a website for your novel.
2.  Write a blog.
3.  Advertise.
4.  Literary awards.
5.  Book cards.
6.  Contests.
7.  Interviews.
8.  Blog tours.
9.  Press releases.
10.  Speaking and teaching.
11.  e-mailing.
12.  Gifts.
13.  Book signings.
14.  Book trailers
15.  ...

I see some of the worst writing in historical fiction because many historical fiction writers have absolutely no knowledge or expertise in the topic of their writing.  They have learned everything they used to write their novels from movies or other badly written historical fiction.  This, in my mind, is the ultimate hubris.  Such writers don't deserve any success because they haven't put in the level of study worthy of writing their novels.  Plus, anyone who reads their novels might mistakenly imagine their record of history could be possibly true.  The falsification of history through gross ignorance is unforgivable.

Examples of bad history in historical fiction: money in novels set before 600 BC or even in some cultures as late as 200 BC, ubiquitous money, ubiquitous furniture (few had any furniture at all), chairs (only royalty or the very high had chairs), not reclining to eat (in almost every west oriental or early Western culture people reclined to eat. Only slaves didn't recline), dishes, plates, or pots (early cultures didn't use such things), ubiquitous metal (metal was equal to money), ubiquitous weapons or other metal objects (same as metal), cooking (very little cooking could be done), ubiquitous meat (the average person ate meat once a month), lack of beer (almost every culture and person drank barley beer), ubiquitous wine (relatively rare compared to beer), horses for war with armored troops prior to about 600 AD, no use of chariots in ancient warfare, lack of understanding of ancient warfare and military organization, marriage as an institution in the ancient world, and many many many more.  Generally, the use of inappropriate technology in ancient cultures.

If you want to write about history, make sure you understand the history you are writing about--that's the bottom line.
I'll write more about ancient history and expertise tomorrow.

I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples:, and the individual novel websites:,,,,, and

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