Author Topic: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books  (Read 83588 times)

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Offline Annie

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #270 on: April 14, 2008, 07:17:48 PM »
While I generally regard anybody who sues, especially anyone that rich, as a real jerk, I can see her point here. You put a lot of love and feeling and consideration for many aspects of personality into your character, and you really don't want someone else writing the 'encyclopedia' that is supposed to define them, give the last word on their lives, explain plots and storylines, etc. YOU want to be the only one who does that. If they were my characters, I'd feel that way even if money weren't involved. She created them, she wants the final say over what is considered 'canon.' Letting someone else use your characters to their own will is dangerous to your legacy, and can create real confusion among a devoted fan base (especially those who feel the characters are real) If you want an example of this, go to the bookstore and leaf through various Star Wars dictionaries and encyclopedias. On many subjects and character bios, you'll get a different story and a different answer every time. The contradictions are more stupid than funny. This is because Lucas never laid down the final law himself as Rowling is doing.

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #271 on: April 17, 2008, 02:33:12 AM »
This falls under the readers obligation to the author.  To not steal intellectual property for their own use.

My son, when in Middle School and High School knew a lot about the "unofficial Harry Potter sites"  the stuff that Simon says should be squished.

I wonder just how many young readers go to these sites and believe the foul stuff that lives there?

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #272 on: April 17, 2008, 08:06:40 AM »

I wonder just how many young readers go to these sites and believe the foul stuff that lives there?

Probably more than we think...

Offline Annie

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #273 on: April 17, 2008, 09:33:29 AM »
My daughter made her own Harry Potter site and message board when she was in middle school. She even bought her own domain with her own money. She had to end up shutting it down because she couldn't stop the endless postings of pornographic fanfic and photoshopped pics of the young actors (most done by young kids!) There was a woman who admitted to being in her 30's who would write long graphic posts about her fantasies of bathing (then 12 year old) Daniel Radcliffe in a bubblebath!

I don't see anything wrong with fan made sites, as long as everyone knows they're not official, and only for fun, and do not go too far. I still don't believe it's okay for another person to write and sell an official encyclopedia putting their own views into someone else's characters.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #274 on: April 17, 2008, 09:38:25 AM »
There was a woman who admitted to being in her 30's who would write long graphic posts about her fantasies of bathing (then 12 year old) Daniel Radcliffe in a bubblebath!

Ouch!

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #275 on: April 19, 2008, 09:58:24 PM »
Ouch is right!  That goes to the fact that anyone will say anything as long as they can do it anonymously.

Offline Puppylove

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #276 on: May 01, 2008, 01:50:18 PM »
Today's confirmation of Marie's and Alexei's deaths at the hands of Yurovsky increases my hope that a new and accurate accounting of the Imperial Family's last days might be in the works. Whoever that writer is, I hope he approaches his subject matter respectfully, without resorting to sensationalism and wild speculation. Whatever one might think of Nicholas II in life, in death he and his family deserve at least that much.

This news suggests to me it's time to file more than one Romanov-related book under "Curiosities" rather than "History."
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Offline halen

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #277 on: May 02, 2008, 08:32:01 AM »
Puppylove, the next major book (well major IMO) is by a SHE (we have evolved enough to have women historians). Helen Rappaport, who occasionally graces the the board will be releasing her book on the last days of the romanovs in Ekaterinburg this year in the U.K. and 2009 for us across the pond.

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Offline Puppylove

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #278 on: May 02, 2008, 12:03:06 PM »
Thanks for the information, Louise!

I look forward to reading Ms. Rappaport's work. Hopefully it will prove definitive (insofar as any history book can be definitive, of course)! Understanding that previous writers were working with the information available at the time, I feel Massie did not go far enough, while King & Wilson went too far. (And, although peripherally related only, Kurth's book lost the plot completely).

Jenn
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Offline historyfan

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #279 on: January 25, 2009, 10:54:10 PM »
Below, there is a discussion in the thread about The Tsarina's Daughter by Carolly Erickson, about how an author should treat historical characters that actually existed in life.

It was generally opined that if one is writing fiction, one should stick to fictional characters, unless they plan on keeping to a person's true personality and historical fact about their life.

Do you believe that same criteria extends to an author of books for children (ie a target audience of ages 5-7)?

Or are those types of authors given a little more freedom due to the limited amount of text in those books?

Offline Sarushka

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #280 on: January 25, 2009, 11:15:59 PM »
It was generally opined that if one is writing fiction, one should stick to fictional characters, unless they plan on keeping to a person's true personality and historical fact about their life.

Do you believe that same criteria extends to an author of books for children (ie a target audience of ages 5-7)?

Absolutely.
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Offline lostromanovfiles

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #281 on: January 25, 2009, 11:18:30 PM »
I agree with that. A historical fiction writer can use a fictional character to reveal or explain certain things about a real person. Changing a real historical person out of thier true form is questionable. I think that it would have to be done in good taste, with a specific and important goal in mind, and when no other solution is possible.

Offline Ilana

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #282 on: January 26, 2009, 10:55:06 AM »
I know that for THE ROYAL MOB, I stuck with the characters as closely as possible.  Obviously, I made up conversations and I fudged on exactly three things that I can recall.  Otherwise, I stuck to the facts... and from the feedback I got, it served me well.  Also, I feel that when you write historical fiction, you serve people better if, as I used to do when I was a child, they go to look up the facts, you aren't too off base.  I used to feel so deceived when it turned out the characters I had grown to love were totally different to what the author had represented.  That was just me, though, and I don't see that as any hard and fast rule.  It was just what I've been comfortable with over the years.
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Offline lostromanovfiles

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #283 on: January 26, 2009, 01:07:28 PM »
I did rather enjoy "The Man From St Petersberg" by Ken Follet. He did take a little liberty with it, but I thought that it helped him to take the story where it needed to go, and possibly no other way would have worked. What did you think of it?

Offline Gabriella

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Re: historical accuracy/ethics question regarding writing books
« Reply #284 on: January 26, 2009, 04:59:34 PM »
In general I agree that a historical fiction writer can use a fictional character to reveal or explain certain things about a real person. There are many good examples. I also made good expierence with authors who wrote historical fiction about real historical persons like the following.

In the 1980ies and 1990ies I had read some books written by Eleanor Alice Burford (1906-1993). She wrote historical fiction under different pen-names, the best-know are "Victoria Holt" and "Jaen Plaidy".

Under the pen-name "Jean Plaidy" she wrote many historical novels about European Royals among them  the Tudors, the Stuarts, the French Queen Catherine de Medici, Queen Victoria and many others. The ones I had read made me curious to learn more about the  historical persons and so I also read non-fiction about them and their times.

Comparing those historical novels with the non-fiction I read about the same subject from my point of view she did a good job. They were very accurate and well researched.