19 May 2012, Development - Historical Study, Cultural Awareness Differences
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, 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 beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
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.
I'm writing about sources of historical research and how to make historical research. These apply to any novel or any subject you might wish to study. Here is a list:
1. Primary source documents or artifacts
2. Secondary source documents or artifacts
3. Tertiary source documents or artifacts
If you do get the history right--that is the details as well as the basics--there is another piece of history that needs to fill out your works. This additional part is cultural awareness. Here is the list of how to develop your target period for writing a historical novel.
1. Primary sources (secondary second)
2. Clean slate
3. Add in only what you find from primary sources (secondary next)
4. Cultural awareness
5. Historical feel
To get the culture, you must get the language. That is the beginning, but that isn't everything. Language is only the beginning. In the comparison of AmerEnglish cultures, you might imagine that moving between cultures with completely different languages might be easier than cultures with very similar languages. You would be wrong. The problem is that an English speaker can pretty easily recognise the differences between American, British, and other English speaking cultures. This is because many of the most observable difference are based in language. This also applies to different British and American cultures that are differentiated by accents. Did you notice that accents can differentiate cultures?
I hope you are getting the point. English cultures are differentiated by accents as well as other parts of speech. You can imagine how different an American Southern culture is from a Northeastern American culture or a Scottish culture. The differences between a French speaking and an English culture is at least as great. In other words, a French speaking culture can't be depicted as an English speaking culture that just happens to speak French. The culture is different. The people in a French speaking culture have different views, actions, responses, and expectations than those in an English speaking culture. That isn't to say that they will not have similar views, actions, responses, or expectations, but depending on the culture, they may be extremely different.
For example, the motivations of a Russian communist are significantly different than an English capitalist. The motivations of a German Nazi are significantly different than a Hindu swami. The motivations of a German of any blush are significantly different different than any Indian Hindu. The motivations of an Indian Hindu are much different than an Indian Muslim. That isn't to say individuals in many cultures might share some similar motivations or ideas--there are things that all humans share.
I'll write about that tomorrow.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.