Friday, 21 February 2014

Writing Historical Fiction. (Mainly Short Stories.) Part Three.

So last time, for the Writer's Conference , I talked about getting started writing HF, and this time I'm going to talk about some hard things that come with writing HF.

One thing that is VERY difficult, and I have struggled with it and am still struggling with, is language barriers. Let's face it. Not everyone speaks English. Though many countries today may teach their children to speak English, back in the 1800's, they weren't really doing that.

So what can you do when one of your characters is a Native American and one is American? They may want to communicate, but their language barrier is in the way. Now, in my story, which I just used as an example, Kolaki knows some English. But still, she wouldn't know how to properly phrase things like Joseph would.

Also, another thing that gets into the way and adds to the problem of language barriers is that I don't want to sound racial. I don't want to sound like I;m looking down on other people, and it may look that way sometimes with language barriers.

So what can you do? My answer is, I don't know. I'm a pretty inexperienced writer, and I don't know all the answers. All I can say is: #1. Try to find a good way for your characters to communicate without using English too extensively. (Who knows, you could learn another language, type in the language, and then stick a glossary in the back of the book. JK :D) #2. Have the language bared character know some English. This is plausible in some cases... others it isn't.

Another hard thing about writing HF is making your story true. When writing HF, YOU DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE HISTORY. Somethings happen in history that we may not like. The Titanic sank, around 250,000 people died in the Irish Potato Famine, thousands of men died in WWI. But though we may not like all these sad things that happened, they still happened. So my advice is, don't change history in your stories. Instead, take something that happened, whether a tragedy, triumph or anything, and make it work for you. Don;t change it, but use it to your advantage and make your story memorable.

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