Tips For Writing Historical Fiction [#1]

The Twelve Caesars

Today I feel like giving away some of my tips for writing historical fiction. Note, my views on the matter are subjective. I have always had an interest in history and historical fiction, but I was always hard-pressed to find good pieces of work. Although, to be honest, I have many librarian friends and they have a hard time finding me any book I will like. I am rather picky. Anyways, onward to the main course.

  1. Historical Fiction does not have to a difficult read. – You can write it in a semi-modern day voice. It also helps the reader who wants to know about the time era and does not want to decipher every word. The author can write in a few era appropriate phrases and such to immerse the reader. But I find some books with a glossary may just want to lean into a more immersive experience.

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Female Figurines and a Shipwreck: Two Poems from “Bone Antler Stone”

word and silence

Here are two of my favorite poems from Bone Antler Stone: one on the famous ice age “Venus” figurines from 20-30,000 years ago, and another on a shipwreck from 1300 BC. You can order the entire collection here, or find more poems from the book here.

5a97d40daae60530008b461d-960-720Female Figurines

for Evie

Hum the words with me and you might understand:
mammoth ivory, hematite, limestone,
black jet, soapstone, antler and fired clay –
all of these become our bodies because
our bodies are the place of becoming.
They would not emphasize our hips and breasts
or underline the low triangled cleft,
and would not know to rhyme the bison horn
with the horned moon and our monthly flesh
without the genius our nine months gives them
in our seething, essential, swelling dark.
Feast and wear and build with bone, skin and sinew,
but by taking the time to…

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The Eleventh Film – Horror/Science Fiction Flash Fiction Series

Barnaby Taylor

The Eleventh Film Part V

The world’s first public film screening was held in Paris on December 28th 1895.
Eleven short films were on the bill that night.
Only ten films are listed for posterity.
The eleventh film had no name.
It was the night sky.
There was a meteor shower.
The film ran for five eighths of a second.
The audience didn’t notice.
There are no explanations.
No knowing how it happened.
What went wrong.
How it was made?
It is simply the case that this was the moment when the terrible truth got told to the world.
And what was this truth?
That everything will end.

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YAY!!! It imported!!!

The Twelve Caesars

My tumblr imported! We’re all up to-date now!!! I am so happy. If you see a post that needs credit to it, please let me know and I will put it on there. I know the last time I did a Tumblr import on here, some of the creation credit was a bit messy. But I don’t have time to go through 1710 posts. So, just message me on Twitter or WordPress if you see anything I need to fix.

Thanks,

TTC

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Humble Tiberius is a Myth [Commentary #3]

The Twelve Caesars

I am about 1 ½ pages into Tacitus’ Annals and I think this is a myth that needs to be talked about. Not just here on Tumblr, but one that many believe to be true from what I have heard.

It’s the myth that Tiberius never wanted power and was a humble guy to start with. Or in general, during his time in power until he became old and paranoid.


While reading Tacitus’ Annals, Tacitus speaks about Tiberius’ relation to the senate and general relation to the power he obtained after Augustus’ death.

“For Tiberius would inaugurate everything with the consuls, as though the ancient constitution remained, and he hesitated about being emperor. Even the proclamation by which he summoned the senators to their chamber, he issued merely with the title of Tribune, which he had received under Augustus.  The wording of the proclamation was brief, and in a very modest tone. “He would,” it…

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The Death of Posthumus Agrippa [Commentary #2]

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“The first crime of the new reign was the murder of Postumus Agrippa. Though he was surprised and unarmed, a centurion of the firmest resolution despatched [sic] him with difficulty. Tiberius gave no explanation of the matter to the Senate; he pretended that there were directions from his father ordering the tribune in charge of the prisoner not to delay the slaughter of Agrippa, whenever he should himself have breathed his last…It was more probable that Tiberius and Livia, the one from fear, the other from a stepmother’s enmity, hurried on the destruction of a youth whom they suspected and hated” (Tactius, Annals, Book 1)

Tacitus is trying so hard to blame Livia for everything, however, it seems far more reasonable to believe Tiberius murdered Postumus to test his new power. His mother, Livia, even if she was ‘evil’ wouldn’t have any reason to kill Postumus. Tiberius was already in power and Livia wouldn’t want to upset…

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Claudius Wasn’t Perfect (Really).

The Twelve Caesars

image

There is another interesting thing that I would care to address that is rather amusing. I feel that media and books like I, Claudius tend to portray Claudius as someone who ‘saved’ the empire after Gaius (Caligula) died or ‘perfect’ or ‘pitied’ because everyone looked down on him. Many seem to feel that he’s just an innocent cinnamon bun that needs protection, etc. Yes, Claudius was forced to step into the role of emperor. People also looked down on him and his wives were horrible to him, but it’s important to note that Claudius wasn’t perfect.

1. He once had people executed in the ‘old-fashion’ style and had it all set up, but then had no executioner. So, waited until dusk for the man to arrive from Rome. (Suetonius. Claudius, 34)

2.  Demanded that all people who fell by mistake at the Games should have their throat slit and so he could…

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How did I miss this? [Commentary #1]

The Twelve Caesars

Okay, so in Tacitus, he states:

“ Whatever the fact was, Tiberius as he was just entering Illyria was summoned home by an urgent letter from his mother, and it has not been thoroughly ascertained whether at the city of Nola he found Augustus still breathing or quite lifeless. For Livia had surrounded the house and its approaches with a strict watch, and favourable bulletins were published from time to time, till, provision having been made for the demands of the crisis, one and the same report told men that Augustus was dead and that Tiberius Nero was master of the State” (Book 1). 

The angle many seem to take from this is that Livia was being secretive and ‘deceiving’ to the public so that Tiberius could return in time to become Emperor. Or that she had some kind of motive to surround the house- like not wanting people to find out she harmed Augustus.

However, I read this…

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