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Thread: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

  1. #4301
    Swaeft's Avatar Drama King
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Quote Originally Posted by mad orc View Post
    Hello this is just to say that I may have moved on from TWC but I still miss being on the writer's study and writing here in general.
    Those were some great days!
    Great to hear! These libraries are vast and filled with special treasures. All the best where life takes you!

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  2. #4302
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Two weeks have passed and we have three winners in the MAARC LXXXVI! Come join me in congratulating our well deserved victors!

    MAARC LXXXVI: Winner's Circle

    Chapter XXVII: The Choice
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  3. #4303

    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Good afternoon fellow writers. Yesterday I had a meeting with my local writers' group (yes, I visit multiple writing groups; I am a tramp!), and I was talking to the other people about how one goes about making writing fit a little more into a genre. I myself am not terribly interested in "genre" writing, but I can see the value of making my stuff more palatable for people who already are interested in the general genre of what I am writing. So, for my Written in Sand stuff, that would basically be historical fiction.

    Now, my next problem was how to learn what one does to make writing fit more into a genre, specifically the historical fiction genre, and the folks in my group suggested just reading more historical fiction to see what is common and what is standard. However, I have never read historical fiction, which brings me to why I'm here.

    I would like to know if any of you read historical fiction, and if so, what authors you like. Also, if you read historical fiction and have read my stuff, any suggestions on who you think I'd like (judging from my writing style) would also be much appreciated. So yeah, just looking for suggestions for who to read for some good historical fiction.




    TL;DR: What authors would you suggest for good historical fiction?
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  4. #4304
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Hi Kilo11, do you enjoy being in a local writers' group? I've never been in one (except here in the Study), so I'm curious about what they're like.

    You asked for suggestions of historical fiction. I enjoyed Conn Iggulden's Conqueror series. It's about a tribal leader (a young Genghis Khan) who unites the tribes against his peoples' enemies (a bit like Written in Sand, at least on one level!). I like the way that Iggulden shows how his main character had to overcome challenges, from surviving infighting in his own tribe to leading warriors who are used to fighting on open plains against the walled cities of a Chinese kingdom.

  5. #4305

    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Hi Kilo11, do you enjoy being in a local writers' group? I've never been in one (except here in the Study), so I'm curious about what they're like.
    I do enjoy it! At the first meeting I went to (Nov. 2018) I was really skeptical at first, because there were a couple total weirdos/d-bags there, but then afterward the "regulars" started ranting about how insufferable those couple odd people were, and I knew the group was a grounded sort. Just folks who are interested in writing and want to improve their craft, and we meet once a month, read things we've written (or just listen), and then provide each other feedback. There's no real ego issues, or people looking for praise, and everyone puts effort into providing useful suggestions to one another. All things considered, it is a rather encouraging and helpful group to be a part of. I don't know how groups are usually, but I would definitely suggest friends to join mine!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    You asked for suggestions of historical fiction. I enjoyed Conn Iggulden's Conqueror series. It's about a tribal leader (a young Genghis Khan) who unites the tribes against his peoples' enemies (a bit like Written in Sand, at least on one level!). I like the way that Iggulden shows how his main character had to overcome challenges, from surviving infighting in his own tribe to leading warriors who are used to fighting on open plains against the walled cities of a Chinese kingdom.
    That sounds interesting. Thanks for the suggestion Alwyn. I will definitely check it out!
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  6. #4306
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    I second Alwyn's suggestion of Conn Iggulden, not only the Conqueror series though it is my favourite but Emperor is also very good (that one is about Julius Caesar and Octavian). The series on the War of the Roses is my least favourite but still pretty good.

    I would also recommend Jack Hight's trilogy on Salah ad Din (Eagle, Kingdom and Holy War). This follows the life of Salah ad Din from an early age (which is lesser known) to the Third Crusade (a period which is more commonly known).

    Chapter XXVII: The Choice
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  7. #4307
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    To add to the suggestions above (which I've made a note of for myself ) I've enjoyed those of C J Sansom's historical detective stories that I've read. If you hate detective stories, they obviously won't appeal, but I mention them because one of the things I liked about them was that the setting didn't feel modern to me. So perhaps they might offer some ideas for ways to achieve that effect in other settings...?






  8. #4308
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby of TWC
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Tremble in fear and start shaking in your boots for I have joined the grand Third Occasional Competition: Poetry-Night.

    For all brave enough to face me (and the other two who had already submitted before me) now is the time to submit or start work on something. The competition will not go to the voting phase until the end of September so you still have some time to prepare and come up with something truly amazing.

    Happy writing and most of all

    En Garde!

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  9. #4309
    Flinn's Avatar Hasta el Bunga Bunga siempre!
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    TL;DR: What authors would you suggest for good historical fiction?
    Valerio Massimo Manfredi a bit of everything, though mostly from the Classic period (Roman and Greek).
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  10. #4310

    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    Valerio Massimo Manfredi a bit of everything, though mostly from the Classic period (Roman and Greek).
    I assume you've read his stuff in Italian Flinn, but would you happen to know how the translations of his work are? I know that translated books are really only as good as the translator is, so Manfredi being a cool author is not helpful unless I know his translators know their business

    EDIT: In case I didn't say it enough, translator
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  11. #4311
    Cookiegod's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    I remember I read something from that dude when I was a kid. I don't even remember on who. I think Caesar?
    He wrote ok, but it's of the classic kind, with the protagonist being the hero through and through.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
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  12. #4312

    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Hmm. Then probably not so much my taste. But once I've finished some of Conn Iggulden's stuff (already ordered the Conqueror series!), I might have a look at Manfredi's things, just to see for myself.
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  13. #4313
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    What kinds of historical novels do you prefer? For example, have you read CS Forester's Hornblower series, or Patrick O'Brien's tales of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin?

    Both are tales of British naval officers during the Napoleonic era and I enjoy both. Hornblower is more about a naval officer having to solve problems, such as how to defeat a stone fort when you're on wooden warships or what to do when you're a junior officer on a warship where the captain's paranoia (and unquestionable authority) is endangering your survival. The Aubrey and Maturin stories have more historical realism, which can be a good thing (the language, behaviour and conduct of the characters seems authentic for their country, class and period) but can also potential downsides (less action, more talk.)
    Last edited by Alwyn; July 31, 2020 at 05:30 AM.

  14. #4314

    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    What kinds of historical novels do you prefer? For example, have you read CS Forester's Hornblower series, or Patrick O'Brien's tales of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin?
    My problem is that I actually have no preference over historical fiction, because I never read it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Both are tales of British naval officers during the Napoleonic era and I enjoy both. Hornblower is more about a naval officer having to solve problems, such as how to defeat a stone fort when you're on wooden warships or what to do when you're a junior officer on a warship where the captain's paranoia (and unquestionable authority) is endangering your survival. The Aubrey and Maturin stories have more historical realism, which can be a good thing (the language, behaviour and conduct of the characters seems authentic for their country, class and period) but can also potential downsides (less action, more talk.)
    But these suggestions sound like interesting books. I will add them to my list!
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  15. #4315
    Flinn's Avatar Hasta el Bunga Bunga siempre!
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    I assume you've read his stuff in Italian Flinn, but would you happen to know how the translations of his work are? I know that translated books are really only as good as the translator is, so Manfredi being a cool author is not helpful unless I know his translators know their business

    EDIT: In case I didn't say it enough, translator
    My first Uni degree is in Translation, so I get you perfectly believe me. His style isn't anything special, so it shouldn't be that hard to translate him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    I remember I read something from that dude when I was a kid. I don't even remember on who. I think Caesar?
    He wrote ok, but it's of the classic kind, with the protagonist being the hero through and through.
    true, he's becoming writing novels to find a way to appeal people into learning history, a different way of teaching it so to say, so he isn't anything special as a novelist.. certainly the quality of his sources is guaranteed
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  16. #4316
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    If anyone is writing (or thinking of writing) an After Action Report using Empire Total War, the latest Content publication may interest you. Our latest publication is a review of Dan Snow's book Death or Victory: The Battle for Quebec and the Birth of Empire, and it was written with AAR writers (as well as players and modders) in mind.

  17. #4317
    Welsh Dragon's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    What kinds of historical novels do you prefer? For example, have you read CS Forester's Hornblower series, or Patrick O'Brien's tales of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin?
    To those names I would add a lesser known gem, the Bolitho series by Alexander Kent (aka Douglas Reeman.) I was fortunate enough to be friends with Douglas for many years till he passed away a few years back, and his series is what really got me into Historical Fiction in the first place. It tells the story of Richard Bolitho (and later his nephew,) from his early days as a Midshipman all the way through to the end of his career, and in my view it often blows the more well known authors out of the water.

    All the Best,

    Welsh Dragon.

  18. #4318
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Our Total War Saga AARs section is ready for the first Troy AAR, I look forward to that. Of course, this won't be the first bronze age AAR, if you're looking for bronze age goodness, there are already AARs in this era in the Total War Eras section, such as Fahnat's Phoenicia AAR.

    I'm planning to watch the Troy movie again soon, I wonder if anyone else is planning to mark the release of the new Saga game this way, too. I've enjoyed the discussion of historical novels above (Welsh Dragon's recommendation of the Bolitho series looks good) and I wonder if people would like to recommend films or books with a bronze age setting - they might be useful for AAR writers considering a Troy AAR.

  19. #4319
    Basileos Leandros I's Avatar Writing is an art
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    I assume you've read his stuff in Italian Flinn, but would you happen to know how the translations of his work are? I know that translated books are really only as good as the translator is, so Manfredi being a cool author is not helpful unless I know his translators know their business

    EDIT: In case I didn't say it enough, translator
    I've read them as well 10-12 years ago, one of his novels about the Nova Invicta legion got made into a movie.

    I particularly liked the novel about Syracuse and Dionysius the Tyrant.
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  20. #4320
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Writers' Study Chat and Feedback - Ask all your questions here!

    If you'd like to take part in a writing competition, there are several options - the MAARC LXXXVII for After Action Reports, the MCWC XX and Tale of the Week 296: Hero of the Hour for creative writing and Poetry Night for the bards among us.

    Meanwhile, nominations will open for the 2019/20 Writers' Study Yearly Awards in a few weeks' time, so you may want to start thinking about your nominations for AAR of the Year, Creative Writing of the Year and Newcomer of the Year.

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