Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jumping Up and Down and Screaming.

Since I like to write Historical fiction, or sometimes, fiction where my characters need to "know their history," I tend to do a lot of research. It's a thing I have. I know, since I frequent History forums, that there are some academics (and some amateur historians, like myself) who literally jump up and down and scream over some writers' inattention to details, or historical inaccuracies.  I always chalk it up to laziness. Some writers just want to WRITE, and not be bogged down with the details. Unfortunately, if you're writing HISTORICAL fiction, you need to know your stuff.

Case in point, I'm having a devil of a time finding a continuously occupied castle in France, built around 13th century, that survived the French Revolution, invasions, occupations, all the wars, etc. and has remained intact, privately owned, and NOT BEEN COMMERCIALIZED. I've found several very small Chateaux, but not anything on a grand scale. The only alternative seems to be a FICTITIOUS castle. I thought I'd found the perfect place to build one, but unfortunately, the land would have been under English control (due to Eleanor of Aquitaine's marriage to Henry II) during that century. So, the French king certainly wouldn't have built a French fortress on English-controlled soil. ARGH. Back to the drawing board. See? Historians know crap like this. They would wrinkle up their little foreheads in disdain and say "Well, that's not historically accurate, or plausible."

So? I am going to take one of the smaller chateaus I found and make it "bigger." I am going to MAKE ONE UP. It will be a fortress that has withstood the test of Time and no one really bothers with. Highly unlikely in this day and age, and I don't want any jumping/screaming/protesting, so I'm trying to be as faithful to the landscape as possible. Very tricky, seeing as I've never stepped even one toe in France.

Enter Google Earth, and Google, ad nauseum. Love it. My castle lies in the heavily wooded hills of Perche, near the Loire Valley. Very private. Easy to have an 800-year old medieval fortress with lots of underground tunnels and vaults.

I even love my castle name: Chateaux Rocher Noir: a.k.a. The Black Rock! oooohhhhh.....writing is SO FUN!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment