Questions tagged [historical]

This tag should be used for questions about guidelines and rules in relation to historical works, such as questions about the copyright or typical styles used in the past.

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When writing for narration should I use a phrase in its native language, or translate it?

I'm writing a script in which I need to use a Spanish phrase historically used by a group of people to refer to themselves. The phrase is "Los Americanos Olvidados" or "The Forgotten ...
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2 votes
2 answers
122 views

Writing about the historical relationship between math and physics

I'm not sure if this is best suited for Writing SE, or perhaps one of the science SE's. In any case, feel free to move this if fitting. I've been tasked with writing a 20-30 page paper on the history ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What genre would a fictional eyewitness account of a real historical event fall under?

I've written a short story about a true historical incident which involves a very famous person in history. The incident is true as are the people involved in it. But the story is a fictional ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Is there a difference between historical fiction and creative non-fiction?

I have seen two similar terms, historical fiction and creative non-fiction. I'm writing some stories that are set during a real time in history, that might mention real events, real people, but that ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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In ancient writings, was it usual to address the reader?

I am writing a textbook, in where, just for fun, I would like to present the concepts as if I were telling a story. Again, just for fun, I would like for the writing to sort of emulate an ancient way ...
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3 votes
2 answers
119 views

Can I include personal experiences in nonfiction?

I am writing a book mostly about the history of my local airport. This will include the changes from the earliest airlines and airports til today. What I want to know, for example, I write about the ...
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39 votes
6 answers
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How do you make characters relatable if they exist in a completely different moral context?

Usually when I read books in ancient-like settings (settings that are either in real ancient civilizations on Earth, or fantasy settings similar to those), there are relatable characters who employ ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How should I write dialogue for a teenager, in a historic setting? [duplicate]

My story is set in ancient Sumer, and I have a teenage (side) character who has a typical temperament meant to evoke his age. Had the setting been more modern, I would have had him use slurred ...
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6 votes
2 answers
159 views

Why is the real historical value in novels rated so low in publishing?

Writing historical novels takes time and motivation to research and study if you want to write something valuable and serious. Why are so many so-called "historical novels" with very little historical ...
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1 vote
1 answer
412 views

Do I violate copyright when I write about historical figures?

I want to write a book about historical figures. Do I violate copyright when I do so?
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4 votes
4 answers
252 views

Creative license to invent a sibling to a historical figure?

I am about half-way into writing a manuscript of historical fiction depicting mostly fictional European characters in the period between the First and Second World Wars. For purposes of the storyline ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Where to find industrial schematics or blue prints for reference?

I am researching the weapons and systems that exist in the present day to better understand and extrapolate the jargon that my characters will be using. I have found many interesting pieces of ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Is nudity allowed in historical nonfiction?

I have written a historical nonfiction account of a nudist camp that I went to with my family as a teenager. The camp later hosted the Miss Nude America contest and became extremely well known. My ...
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6 votes
2 answers
420 views

How do I know what language is period-appropriate?

I write fiction set in 18th-century England and America. Obviously, they speak English, and equally obviously, they speak it very differently than we do today. For example, I need to know which ...
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8 votes
3 answers
10k views

Why do typesetters capitalize the first few words of a new chapter?

Something I've always wondered. You've probably noticed that in some newspapers or books, the first few words of a chapter/story are bolded or capitalized, similar to initials. For example: This ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Are there any legal restrictions on using the actual names of famous people in a historical novel?

I am writing a novel that contains spy elements. Although the plot is based in the near future, it alludes to recent past historical events. Specifically, it discusses the 1985 'Year of the Spy' and ...
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7 votes
6 answers
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Miles or Kilometers for historical fiction?

I am writing a novel of historical fiction about the Second World War. It is written in the POV of several German and Russian characters but is intended for English readers. Which units of measurement ...
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3 votes
1 answer
152 views

Using sources multiple times in a paper in different places--how to cite

I'm writing a paper for National History Day in my Social Studies class and am using MLA formatting. It occurred to me that I had a lot of differing information from some sources, such as a historical ...
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0 votes
7 answers
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Describing a prison

I need ideas on how to describe a prison. I don't know how to start my story that is about a guy in prison. Also, I must reflect on loneliness. Please help, thanks. I'm talking about a prison in ...
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4 votes
4 answers
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How to write negative events without laying blame in an insulting way

My current project is historical fiction, fifteenth century. There were quite a few bad things happening all over the world, and my book picks up on a few of them. With simply laying the information ...
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24 votes
10 answers
16k views

What can I do to make my writing fit the 1950s?

I'm working on a project (for a game) that needs to have a strongly 1950s feel. I, however, was born in the 1980s, so my writing has plenty of things that would sound out of place in the 1950s. For ...
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2 votes
2 answers
232 views

What kinds of legal clearances do you need to produce "fiction" that's "based on a true story?"

The "Sound of Music" comes to mind. The Captain and Maria von Trapp were real people, although names and ages of the seven children were fictionalized in the movie. One factor is that the von Trapps ...
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4 votes
2 answers
536 views

Where do you start researching something you know nothing about?

I have a character with a little back-story I'd like to dribble in here and there as we go. I have something sort of specific in mind, and it makes sense for the character, but it doesn't seem like ...
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3 votes
3 answers
267 views

Alternate universe vs. historicity: how to set the threshold/expectations?

I'm working on a novel which is set in the late 1920s, and the protagonist is a minor Lord in England. I wrote the first four chapters and handed it to an American friend, whose criticism largely ...
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22 votes
6 answers
941 views

How to use today's moral compass in fantasy?

During Roman and medieval times the use of slaves was very common in most civilizations. Crimes often carried punishments that would fall under "cruel and unusual" today. Is it possible to write a ...
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