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 Patrick O'Brian 
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timoneer wrote:
If I plan on using actual events, how do I insert my fictional characters? Maybe, create a fictional ship that magically appears in a battle. If this fictional ship acts only as an observer, would that be interesting to the readers? I could create an interesting role for my ship, but the historical accuracy would be compromised. I could replace a historical ship with my fictional ship and characters, especially if the actual ship had an interesting part in the battle. Accuracy suffers, but does readership increase? I could insert my fictional characters into an actual ship. Some readers (like Aaron and Susan) would certainly notice. Would that be offset by the number of other readers who don’t mind.

I would guess that the average reader doesn't mind or doesn't care. If they like a book, they like it. If it was entertaining and they felt they got good value for their time and money, they're happy.

Now, I'm not implying that I am above average. As I always say, the more I learn, the more I find out how much I don't know (I am but an egg). Generally, I'm happy enough with POB's books. If I hated them, I wouldn't bother.

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Last edited by susan on Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:36 pm
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Having gone on about POB's borrowing of ready made scenes, do you think he did this because he wanted to focus on character development more than the naval aspect of a particular action?

Also, I've read comments by POB fans who say they love the interaction between Maturin and Aubrey but skim through the sailing, natural history, or secret agent bits. I find that quite interesting. As readers of POB, do you like the books as a whole or do you favor certain bits? Do you consider all of the aspects (naval, social, etc.) equally interesting?

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Fri Mar 03, 2006 5:44 pm
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susan wrote:
As I always say, the more I learn, the more I find out how much I don't know (I am but an egg).

Susan, if you are an egg, I must be just the thought of an egg! :D

Don


Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:40 pm
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susan wrote:
Having gone on about POB's borrowing of ready made scenes, do you think he did this because he wanted to focus on character development more than the naval aspect of a particular action?

I read "Patrick O'Brian: The Making of the Novelist" by Nikolai Tolstoy to find answers to questions like yours. It was not in there. I wish I could talk to someone who knows or at least someone who attended some public discussions by O'Brian where such questions were asked of him.

susan wrote:
Also, I've read comments by POB fans who say they love the interaction between Maturin and Aubrey but skim through the sailing, natural history, or secret agent bits. I find that quite interesting. As readers of POB, do you like the books as a whole or do you favor certain bits? Do you consider all of the aspects (naval, social, etc.) equally interesting?

I love the technology of the period. The 1st rate sailing ship was the biggest "machine" of that era. I like the navigation tools, the weapons, the complex rigging, etc. I took a class on using a sextant. I mentioned that I recently purchased a book on rudder development and a pamphlet on Congreve rockets. Today I ordered "London Gunmakers and the English Dueling Pistol 1770-1830" by Keith R. Dill. I am waiting on a pamphlet on bilge pumps. I also like general knowledge of English history, not just AoS. I just finished a biography of William IV and have one on George III to read. But I also have ordered the biography of Lord Louis Mountbatten, one of the more interesting men of the 20th century.

The only parts of POB that I find uninteresting is the "ashore with the family" bits. If they do something interesting, I perk up, but if it is just Aubrey's relationship with his mother-in-law or the kids education, yawn city.

Don


Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:06 pm
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