3 June 2012, Development - Historical Study, still more Methods of Language and Cultural Feel
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
I used the Anglo-Saxon culture to define the culture in the universe of The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox. You might ask--why Anglo-Saxon? First, I knew a lot about it. It was one of the first languages and cultures that I studied. I also knew a lot about German and British culture because of my experience and language studies. I like the culture. It is an early warrior culture based on the early English (preEnglish) nobility. It's feudal system is called a cometatus which is an inherited nobility not necessarily based in blood. In it a council advises the king.
I took all the aspects of the Anglo-Saxon culture and wrote them into the universe of The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox. Ultimately, in those novels, a group of nobles advises the Emperor. There are stringent rules about succession and inheritance. I gave a women a role higher than in the basic Anglo-Saxon culture--equal to men but acknowledging that both were different. All in all, I tried to capture the feel of the culture in a set of science fiction novels. Because the Anglo-Saxon culture was all about honor, the novels all share the word "honor" in their titles: The End of Honor, The Fox's Honor, and A Season of Honor. And Honor is the abiding theme in the novels. I explore honor in all its varieties and perversions.
These novels are fun because they are all about space warfare, nobility, honor, and love in a setting that can appreciate all of those characteristics. In other words, I wrote a culture into these novels that would perfectly support the theme of the novels.
I'll write more about this 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/.