A subject that my mom hated when she was in school was history. But she enjoys reading books that took place in the past. Any book that is supposed to take place during WW II makes her remember how things were when she was a girl at that time. Those who write historical fiction do at least two things if they write well. They give readers a glimpse at the past and present stories that captivate the imaginations of readers.
A popular example of historical fiction is the TV show “Outlander.” It is supposed to take place during the 18th century. A woman goes back in time to Scotland when England was at war with that nation. She falls in love with a dashing young fighter that according to history is supposed to be killed. But because she enters his life, he survives and travels to the American colonies with her where he will no doubt have to fight against the British again. It is a love story and adventure that takes place around 250 years ago.
When writing historical fiction, there are certain rules that need to be followed. But sometimes it is tough to be historically accurate. It’s not enough to mention historical figures and include actual historical events. The people need to say and do what historians expect them to say and do and the events need to remain relatively unchanged. Readers don’t expect George Washington to talk like a pornographer and no machine guns were used at Gettysburg. But that doesn’t mean the stories need to be a bit dry and boring.
I wrote some chapters in my book “Tales From Newgate” that happen in the past. I even tied in historical events in some of the chapters to make them sound slightly possible. In the future I intend on writing another Newgate book and will have time periods mentioned. I’ll have fictional characters that will do and say what they might have done or said in the past. But the book will still be a science fiction book with science fiction elements like the chapter that is going to take place during the 1950’s. It will be about the cooks and chefs of Newgate challenging the best cooks and chefs of France in various cuisine contests. The ones from Newgate have food replicators that are supposed to make food and beverages that smell, look, and taste like real foods and beverages even though they are made basically from sticks, stones, and water. If they can fool the best cooks and chefs in France, they will be able to fool anyone. When a French chef finds out about the food replicators, he approaches the people from Newgate and makes a deal with them. If they don’t tell the world they beat the French in cooking, the French won’t tell the world about food replicators. Since no one heard about the secret contest, it could have happened just like the aliens that supposedly work with our government.
A writer can’t have his characters speaking like they are living in 2020 when they are supposed to be living in 1720. Children had respect for their parents and if they were rebellious, they were not sent to their rooms for punishment. They were often beaten with a switch or belt. Smoking and drinking were rare and done by lower class people. There was no BLM or Antifa. Rioters were often shot or captured and hanged. The death penalty was enforced. There were abortions. But they were at times cruel to the woman that had one. And police officers were obeyed. Hardly anyone stayed up past midnight unless they worked at night. And going to church on Sunday was often mandatory. Public nudity was frowned upon and could get a person sent to jail for indecent exposure. No woman wore a short skirt. Men also didn’t wear clothes that revealed their muscles or chests. And going to the store wasn’t easy. It was often done early in the morning or lasted much of the day on market day. There were various shops you had to go to to buy what you needed. Sometimes women worked for hours preparing meals, washing and drying clothes, and cleaning their homes. The average lifespan 300 years ago was decades shorter than what it is today. Many men and women worked until they dropped over dead. Writers need to keep the realities of the past in mind when they write.
I plan on writing a book that is supposed to take place during the 1880’s. It will be titled “:The Phantom Of the Union Pacific.” It will be about a man from Newgate that travels out west to Denver tlo become a security agent for the Union Pacific railroad. He gets that name because someone sees him on both the silver and gold coin delivery trains since he has a transporter that allows him to teleport from one train to another. He assumes he is a phantom. I’ll have him live with his friend from Newgate who is married to a Chinese woman. In a later chapter he will be involved in bringing peace to the Chinese and white populations. The main character will meet various famous people to bring some authenticity to the book. The book might be like James West of the TV show “The Wild Wild West” meets me, a science fiction writer. The devices will be advanced but not too advanced. The adventures will be like most westerns. I can hardly wait to write it to see what happens to my characters. The characters will look, sound, and act like people from 1880. But they will have the advantage of the technology of Newgate, New York which was founded by people from an advanced dimension in 1684.
You could say that westerns are historical fiction the same as “Game of Thrones” which is supposed to be from the Dark Ages. There might have been a bit more nudity and bad language than what existed 1000 years ago. And certainly no dragons and zombies. But I would classify it as a historical fictional story.
I’ll be glad when they perfect my experiencable programs and multi-books that will allow people to experience stories. People will be able to feel like they are in the past. Maybe even people like my mom would enjoy the stories that would be possible. And she says she hates history.