Monday, May 15, 2017

Does historical fiction need to be accurate? (Especially if I am the writer)

One of the things that I have been kicking around is a story set in Ancient Egypt. Now I will probably never write it because I have now mentioned it on my blog which usually kills off any project that I discuss...because of...I am not sure--it may simply be that my brain says "You have told that story already--move on."

Of course, it may also be my perfectionist nature, or maybe there is a voodoo doll out there of me with lots of pins in it, or the fact that I worry about how other people will react to my work--who knows.

The big question that I am asking about this project is "How much actual historical accuracy do people expect?"

If readers expect a hundred percent accuracy, then let's be honest, they will be sadly disappointed in my work--because I have never allowed the truth to get in the way of a good story. That is a nasty habit that I picked up from my father, who used to tell jokes about the Polish (including the famous short runway pilot joke).

There is also the little fact that my degree is in general history, and not a deep degree focused on any particular time period.

Plus to use the best research and knowledge available on Ancient Egypt costs an arm and a leg. Doing research, I learned that many of the books that would be particularly useful to me, have price tags in the hundred of dollars (and one topped a thousand dollars).

And then there is the other side of the question, which is "Do Golden Dawn members expect fiction written by an Order member to reflect the teachings of the Golden Dawn tradition, even when the current academic research says that the Golden Dawn lore is completely and utterly wrong?"

For the one person who just said, "What? Golden Dawn is not historically accurate? That can't be true--the Imperator of Golden Dawn insists that the teachings of Golden Dawn are one hundred percent true to the Ancient Egyptian mysteries because our Order lineage goes all the way back to Ancient Egypt and beyond."--Sorry, someone has lied to you.

But none of these questions matter because I am probably not going to do any more work on the project--because that is the curse of mentioning it--which I am quite sure will make my favorite critic happy.

One of my favorite scenes from Stargate: "Why do they keep reprinting Budge?"

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