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 New Member Introductions 
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:25 am
Posts: 111
Location: Ventura, California
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Alison wrote:
Research hijacks writing. I've learned a lot of interesting things, but the search for realistic detail can be very frustrating!


How true that is. My wife once made fun of me for spending all afternoon figuring out exactly where the moon was in the sky on a particular fall evening south of St. Croix in 1800, but I just had to know. I hope to get hijacked again soon, hopefully to the Caribbean or the Med. Tasmania would be nice, too. :lol:

Broos

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Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:32 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 5:47 pm
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Location: Connecticut within sight of two lighthouses
Post Research Hijacks Writing
"...research hijacks writing..."

Don't I know it. Yet when you write historical fiction, you are in effect selling is your research (with a few other things.)

I think most readers of historical fiction want to be emersed in the period and the subject matter. Our problem is avoiding the feel of a lecture and subtly generating the sensation of "sense-around."

Melville, Forester, O'Brian, Biggins, and others have done that for me.

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"Many’s the long night I’ve dreamed of cheese—toasted, mostly” (Ch. XV, p. 142). -Ben Gunn speaking to Jim Hawkins.

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the Maxim gun, and they have not."
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Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:27 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:27 am
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Location: East of everywhere, Canada
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Which brings up something I frequently wonder... how far do you go with the research, how much hijacked time do you spend hunting down little details, before you decide that if it's this hard for you to find, maybe no one else will know either, & it's safe to "assume" or make something up??
There are things I have no qualms about fudging, but some of the little details I do want are annoying & make me focus that much more on them, just because of the difficulty in finding them. So when do you say, enough already? :roll:

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Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:50 am
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Location: Connecticut within sight of two lighthouses
Post Details, details, details
As the descendant of seven generations of Nova Scotian and one who has also trod the decks of HMS Rose, I feel conpelled to respond.

In the sport of Orienteering, they suggest in attempting to hit the various stations that instead of attempting to forge across country, you "stick to the handrails." By handrails they mean conspicuous terrain features. If you have a known mountain on your right shoulder, you are relatively sure of your location.

In writing historical fiction, there are going to be accounts and reference books that are solid on the period and locale. You don't set out to write a story cold, you fashion a story outline whose important points within reasonable reach of the historical handrails. You adapt your plot to what is known history rather than attempt to adapt history to your plot.

Sometimes you must extrapolate details. Could the captain have had a fondness for camomile tea? You should not however take educated guess about details upon which the plot hinges, i.e., the cloud cover during the Battle of Trafalgar. That fact is somewhere.

Readers who read historical fiction want to learn as well as be entertained. They do not however want to be lectured. Often it becomes clear the author is showing off, and this is a distraction. This last element is the hardest to control.

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"Many’s the long night I’ve dreamed of cheese—toasted, mostly” (Ch. XV, p. 142). -Ben Gunn speaking to Jim Hawkins.

"What happens we have got
the Maxim gun, and they have not."
-Hillaire Belloc


Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:43 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:44 pm
Posts: 1
Post Re: New Member Introductions
Hi all,

I am a retired Aussie who collects flare pistols and a few antique firearms, including an East India Company 1911 military flintlock pistol in extremely good condition.

I am also building a non-working, half-scale Gatling Gun.

In my flare pistol collection I have a very nice condition 1861 US Naval, designed to burn Martha Coston's "Coston Signal Lights." Probably quite a rarity in Australia. My question is, after reading an earlier thread on chemical compositions of various colours of flare/signal lights, has anyone considered making, or actually made, replica "Coston Lights?"

I'd like to give it a go, but am asking here in the hope that I don't have to reinvent the wheel! I have also thought that it may be safer, if not quite authentic, to rig up something electronically for re-enactment purposes.

Cheers,

Pete.


Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:26 pm
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Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:04 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: New Member Introductions
Hi All, My name is Keith, I'm from North East UK and am interested primarily in British Naval History from around 1750-1820. I have a forum myself which I have only set up in the last week or so and would be glad of some new content from anyone here who feels the urge to help me get up and running, currently I have 10 members :D
I'll post the details somewhere else!


Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:32 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:56 pm
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Location: Chesapeake, VA, USA
Post New Member Introduction
Good Evening,
Allen M. here; retired (30-year) US Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer, and one of the "Plankowners" (founders) of the Tidewater Maritime Living History Assn. (TMLHA) based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia. Been in the hobby of Naval/nautical Living History for over 14 years now. Our Assn. is the default US Navy American Civil War group in this area, and is the LH group of choice to provide presentations as crew of the USS Monitor for the Mariner's Museum in Newport News. Ours is also the only one of it's kind to interpret the history of the Revenue Cutter Service (early name for the US Coast Guard). We have also begun interpreting as 1812 US Navy sailors and Revenue Cuttermen this year as well. It is good to find out about this forum, and I look forward to learning a great deal of information from you all.
Regards...

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Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:36 am
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