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11

You need to do a lot of research if you're going to write a convincing historical novel. Part of that research ought to introduce you to common names from the period. But your question might well have been rephrased as "How do you get the details right in historical fiction?" And the answer to that as well is: research. Authors of good historical fiction ...


11

Is what you're doing working for you? Like, are you achieving your goals following this method? If so, then I'd keep doing it. If not, I'd switch. I know that's a bit vague, but I think it might be pretty accurate. I agree that there's a risk of becoming derivative if you read in your own genre, but I also agree that you're missing out, not only on ...


9

Two suggestions: Explain something in detail on Writing Excuses, they recommended that in this situation you take one thing and explain the heck out of it, then take another and don't explain it at all. For cultures, you can put in one or two things from your study of the culture, and really go into detail to the point where it looks like you know what ...


8

I think reading is important (as I said before: maybe more important than writing (as in "write, write, write, whatever and whenever, even if it's crap")). Of course, your concerns are valid. Lets take them on one at a time: Genre Blindness As other answers here have said, I think you'd mostly gain the opposite from reading genre books: you see what ...


7

Why do you not want to ask a real person directly? Most people are pleased if they can tell about their job, especially when an author says he wants to write about it in a novel. This "writing what you know" is becoming more and more dangerous, because it is widely misinterpreted. It's just an advice, that you shouldn't be too disappointed if you try to ...


7

It depends on your attitude. Juan Luis Guerra, a famous musician from my country, I've heard state he listens to his genres so he is aware of what's being used too much, and avoid it.


6

The following is based on both the content of your question, the way it was written, and your comment on your question. Your primary problem is not editing. Editing is your third biggest problem, Writing is the second, and your biggest problem by far is Organizing (and Developing) Your Thoughts. Organizing your thoughts I can tell from your writing style ...


6

Be very careful with dialect. It's difficult to do well (if it's even possible). It's easy to offend. And, most importantly in my mind, it's very annoying to read. Word choice is going to show your character just fine -- if you want ignorant or affected, rich or poor -- as opposed to actual dialect.


6

Perfection is your foe. If there is anyone out there, who thinks the stuff in historical novels is 100% percent accurate, then I pity him. Research is often a scattergun approach. Keep writing and if a detail is wrong, so what? No-one will crucify you for that. You should tell a good story and sometimes you have to tweak reality/history to do so. Don't ...


5

I am not certain if it is what you are looking for, but you can get the xml or unixref formatted citations from DOI on the CrossRef website. Also Connotea is freeware that will produce similar citation formats. If you specifically interested in LaTeX (i.e. BibTeX) formatting, you may be interested in these answers on the TeX site. And on the CrossRef ...


5

The first step is to hold back your urge to write. First do your homework, thoroughly. Learn. Learn a whole lot about the place. Start with Google StreetView and Panoramio. Proceed through Wikipedia to learn not just about the place but about landmarks, anything in the area. Find movies, amateur videos, anything to take place around there. Read blogs of ...


5

Locus Magazine has an annual poll, dating back into the 1970s. You can search Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database (http://sffrd.library.tamu.edu) using the subject term "Polls and Surveys" for other sources. The database is not full-text, so you will have to obtain the material from libraries.


4

I think the answer is rather: "as little as you can get away with". If you were to sit down to write an actual history textbook then the peers who would assess the value of your work would look for "rigor", that is evidence that you have considered all previous work on the topic and are trying to draw some conclusions that are not way out of the realms of ...


4

A all-questions-welcome resource will, almost inevitably, be less helpful than finding pertinent resources for the specific topics you're asking about. And that'll be a case-by-case process. The general workflow will be: Figure out which field your question falls into (e.g., physics; architecture; survival skills) Google "[Field Name]" together with ...


4

I would say 100% you should be well read in your genre. There are several reasons why, but the most important is because you should become familiar with conventions in your genre. Why is this important? Because you know what readers are likely expecting when they read your book. By being familiar with what those are, you are able to know when you can and ...


4

According to the third edition of How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper that I have, one should list only significant, published references. References to unpublished data, papers in press, abstracts, theses, and other secondary materials should not clutter up the References or Literature Cited section (i.e. Bibliography). If such a reference seems ...


4

If you want to write from a child's perspective, I suggest spending time with actual children. If you don't have any or aren't related to any, then you'll have to find some. You might try volunteering at (in the U.S.) a YMCA, or getting a job as a camp counselor. Just remember that if you're getting involved in other people's lives, take the relationships ...


4

Usually you include what is important and innovative about your paper. If there is a method more than half of your domain uses, and you use it too, there is no point writing about that in the title. If there are three competing methods, you may choose to include it in the title or not. If you use a method maybe 5% of your coleagues use, say, because it ...


4

A title tells the reader not only the general subject area, but also focus of your paper, the aspect of the subject that you will primarily emphasize. Each of the following titles (your two plus one I added for contrast) suggests the same general subject area: Harvest costs for private forest landowners in the Pacific Northwest USA. But each suggests a ...


4

Please check this What is the term for an accessible character that knows nothing? It's not the same question but I think it might help. Basically, I think it's an error to try to be too much specific in an expertize field you are not an expert yourself, since you won't ever be able to tell if what you think you know is the real deal or not, what extends ...


4

I often run into this problem too. I think in the end it usually sounds redundant anyways but I use phrases like "the data suggest" or "the results suggest" in the discussion and in the introduction I usually just state the claim without attributing it to myself since it's assumed it is "this study" (unless it's cited information). You don't technically have ...


4

The question is who you want to write for. I read one of the major daily newspapers of my country every day. The articles appear well researched (and are well written), and I feel I learn something reading them. But whenever an article deals with a topic in which I am an expert myself, I see many flaws: false information, central concepts not touched upon, ...


3

This will vary depending on what your objective is; do you want your stories to fit within genre conventions? Do you want your stories to buck conventions, but not totally? I find myself in the second category, so my reading regimen is about 70:30 outside versus inside the genre, and the materials in the second group tend to be the more odd specimens. In ...


3

Going off what Tom said, go to the journals. I'm currently working on an article about sleep and memory, and to get my interview sources, I just googled "sleep journal," went through a few studies in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, and searched for the authors' contact emails. Generally, the authors of studies are at least part-time professors, so ...


3

This would depend on the field, mostly, but you should be able to find references to the experts in that field through a standard Google search. I do think going to the local college is a good start as well, and chances are their library will have some good reference material. For example, if you wanted to find out more about the top astronomers, you could ...


3

Design would include things like "order the data by date" or "track each author independently". Implementation would be things like an actual database schema or a routine itself. The key difference would be that design is "what I need to make happen" and implementation is "how did I make it happen".


3

I've seen so many books and movies with similar reasons for people to lose their ability to speak that, in a mere reader point of view, I would have no reason at all to doubt that it could happen. I don't think many readers would doubt it could happen also. But I think if you really want to know for sure, research is the way. There's a nice -- and helpful ...


3

The issue is that you have your character losing the ability to speak as a young adult. There has to be some kind of trauma (physical or emotional) for that to happen. The neurological pathways for language are formed starting in infancy (they really get going around 9-10 months) and continue for several years. If your character knows how to talk at 20, he's ...


3

Trying to avoid the word "I" often leads to convoluted prose. The active voice and use of "I" result in easy-to-read, unambiguous sentences. So unless the style guide of your university forbids the use of "I", I wouldn't worry and use the active voice. Here's an example of a thesis style guide that recommends the use of active voice.



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