Thursday, September 04, 2008

How accurate does historical fiction need to be?

1 comment:

Dr Zen said...

If it doesn't wish to be taken for fantasy (which is not to say there is anything wrong with fantasy), very.

If a book is very good, you are probably willing to ignore a few mistakes. But if you are a bit ho-hum about it, even a single error may come to be the deciding factor for you. You might find that all you can think about is why the author got that particular thing wrong.

Authors have in any work to distinguish between what is common between them and the reader, and what is new (the new things are what the author is entirely entrusted with, entirely in control of, at least in theory). The details of character and, usually, plot are in the author's control, but the context, the history and the detail of the past world, is not.