22

Hot Water: If you are going down that rabbit hole, you need to be SUPER careful. Writing in a historical period pretty much implies you stay consistent with history, except for the most trivial of details. I agree with Zeiss Ikon (+1), that going into alternative history is your safest bet. Establish up-front (possibly on the first page) that this is NOT the ...


20

I assume you mean something along the lines of Napoleon winning at Waterloo, or the British not getting caught with their pants down at King's Mountain and Cow Pens? It's usually easier to alter your story to fit the actual historical events than to stray into the (very detail-oriented) field of Alternate History. Change historical events, and don't follow ...


20

To echo the comment from F1Krazy, you only need knowledge of quantum physics if your story depends upon quantum physics. You could write about information technology, orbital mechanics, synthetic biology, or a dozen other topics without ever mentioning (or understanding) quantum mechanics. While there are many different ways to write fiction, it would seem ...


18

Changing history is slippery because it's a complex weave of causes and consequences, and even an expert might not know the full picture. I agree with Zeiss Ikon in their answer, the devil is in the details, and some readers will have vastly different opinions about what this or that change should entail. That's why my golden rule when fundamentally changing ...


9

I cannot do better than the answer by JoeStonecash in addressing the big-picture question, and I encourage you to take that advice and in particular to not worry about quantum physics until it somehow becomes critical to your story. At the same time, I wholeheartedly agree with the comment by Patrick Stevens that "the subject is unique among the ...


7

Shakespeare changed plenty of history in his "historical" plays. He killed off Richard-II about a decade early for dramatic effect. He freely changes ages -- searching for "Shakespeare accurate" gives plenty. A search on "The Crown accurate" (a popular historical TV show) reveals similar alterations. Sadly "Hamilton ...


5

Research is how you find out what you do not know. Look at the acknowledgements in many books and see that they use experts to help when google is not enough. You use experts who do know to guide you when you need more research info than google gives you. You could try paramedics to see what they do with an accident victim after the police call for help. ...


5

It should be fine for you to skip certain chapters until you have research material as long as you: Have an outline of the chapters in which you are skipping. This way you won't have to completely rewrite the other chapters in order to fit them with the research and historical facts. Know enough about the time period so that you can at least write passably ...


4

Answer in three parts, for writers with differing desires for historical accuracy. Part One: Writers who don't care much about research and history. Anyone can write a story set in historical periods and places and change anything they want to, and the historical fiction police will not come to their home in the middle of the night and drag them away to ...


4

As I understand it, you have a story you want to tell in the fantasy genre, and that this would be your 'first serious attempt' to write a substantial work of this kind. Whatever you do will be the result of a decision you make. Just make sure that decision is made for the right reasons. To avoid research being an avoidance tactic, I recommend you put your ...


4

I suggest that you find 19th century military books in the language(s) of your characters. They can include books of tactics, books of military regulations, historical accounts by soldiers, and autobiographies. You might also want to look up actual military records in the national archives of the country in question. You might be able to find reports, ...


3

I would argue in a slightly different vein than the other (good) answers. Technically, you don't need to know how quantum physics works at all, to write hard science fiction that uses it. The only thing you need to know is what it can do. Or rather what people that understand it believe it will be able to do in the future. There is of course the engineering-...


3

Something For Nothing? You can't get energy from places where there isn't energy. Ultimately, energy in almost any form comes from stars. The forms of energy we use are all the stuff we're likely to use. So it depends on how far out you're looking for tech. I'll give options for various alternatives at different tech levels. Most of the stuff listed by Allan ...


3

Well, first you write the first draft. Then you rewrite it several times before you have a finished story. (And then you submit it, and if it gets accepted you rewrite several more times...) The first draft is not the final product, and how you write it depends on what you need to get it done. Lots of authors write their stories in another order than the ...


2

The real difference between student work and professional work — on the most abstract level, at any rate — is that students write to please the reader, while professionals write to convince the reader. This has a number of different (nuanced) manifestations: Students tend to use colloquial language when they are unsure, trying to use social familiarity to ...


2

This is where research comes in. (And Google, Duckduckgo, etc are your best friends!) For example, the ship terms I'd say would be best defined by a dictionary of ships terms: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_nautical_terms Or even ask the question directly: "list of ships parts", and the first hit is https://shipfever.com/ship-parts-...


2

Absolutely nothing wrong with it. If Bernard Cornwell can do it with Sharpe and The Last Kingdom, you can do it with your book. It's worth including an appendix where you discuss the differences though for those of your readers who care.


2

From my experience, what seems to help is getting into the mindset of the character you are trying to write. Really think about what you would do in that scenario, and the emotions you would feel if you were your character. If you're character has a mental health condition, research it to get a better understanding. It can be really hard to write about ...


2

Well, depending on your compromise, you could go the easy way and just take what you known about the job, movies and other stories stereotypes surrounding it, and do your best. From there, you could actually investigate about the job more, maybe looking some doccumentary about hows actually that job. Those can be really helpful. And finally, you could simply ...


2

Just try to be logically consistent Consider the following premises: there is almost no social mobility; protagonist, who is a member of a lower-ranking caste and hates the aristocracy, ends up leading a band of quirky misfits to save the supernatural aristocrats from an assassination plot And two proposed conclusions: protagonist's "reward" for ...


1

If you want to write a worldview, it helps to encounter it first-hand If you've only heard about a historical period, or read second- and third-hand accounts of the attitudes in a period and place, you're unlikely to be able "get into the heads" of people with the attitudes of those times. You may not even, really, understand the attitudes and ...


1

Because, dear author, the leader is a politician and must play politics. While he may realize society is erroneously backwards, he cannot right the ship of state on his own and he realizes his sudden understanding is very much in the minority opinion among those who can make change. If he were to be more vocal about his stance, than the politicos would end ...


1

There are three approaches you could take: First, and a good choice for minor characters, is not to flesh them out much. Don't describe their clothes. Don't give them a distinct way of speaking or a notable hobby that the text spends time on. In this way, no reader will think "what prosecutor would wear that?" (or say that or do that etc.) ...


1

Yes and then again no. Getting ideas on paper is often the most important and challenging part of writing; don't let anything stop you from doing as much of it as possible. You will find that research informs new ideas and alters the ideas you had when you started the work and that's not a bad thing. Absolutely do make sure to put in the effort to ...


1

Here's how I do it: I use the Snowflake Method of Writing and whenever I get stuck, for instance describing a character's background or figuring out something on setting or a worldbuilding detail, I do research. Then, of course, I can get sidetracked by research or think I need more than I really do, and start building a whole dynasty with a family tree 58 ...


1

You should prioritize writing. If you're making a list of books to read before you start writing, then what you need is not simply read the books, but to go to school for these books/subjects. That way you can truly focus on the subject at hand. Professors can point you things you otherwise wouldn't have known about, plus you and your colleagues can discuss ...


1

Put in the simplest terms: A thesis statement is a broad, theoretical assertion about underlying causation, something that (as a rule) can only be demonstrated through inference. A research question is an empirically verifiable claim that (if it pans out) will serve to infer the validity of the thesis statement. To give the simple physics example, Isaac ...


1

You'd be very surprised what things people will tell you when you ask a question and say "it's for a book." As a general rule, a polite phone call to your local police office to ask about the procedure they would use in this scenario. Heck, read them the story you wrote up to and including the crash and have them walk through the scenario (I was ...


1

(I had this in comments but I decided to move it to answer form.) All of the info and examples in this answer are taken directly from this link My answer: If you are citing a whole website (the whole website means not a specific page, but the general information on a website), your citation should look like this: MLA whole website citation Format: Website ...


1

I would think it would be okay to reference previous paragraphs, but if you can try to put the information close to the point where you reference it to minimize paper flipping. You could probably also just reference the idea, like 'this is possible thanks to X, which blahblahblah'. Not really linking back to another paragraph, but bringing that information ...


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