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Is it narcassitic to write a fictional novel in 1st Person if...


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#1
Robin

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...the narration is by an IRL historical personality?

e.g.

Henry the 8th

(clarification I am not writing as Henry the 8th, purely an example)

I wrote an outline, then spurred by possibilities tweaked it five different ways and then completed those five outlines. I picked my favorite outline then wrote a complete script, but wanted more. I wrote a complete novella, a bit longer than the average young adult novels, in 3rd person and then went through a second draft (although I suppose it's the third draft by that point if the script version counts), but found I wanted more still.

I have started rewriting in 1st Person from the perspective of this irl historical personality, from five hundred years ago. From everything I have consumed about this personality, including his own words, I believe I am being fair and not drowning him in myself, but then I wonder how that can be given it's fiction and I am not him. I contemplated for awhile then jumped in just letting the story come out. The two chapters I have completed from this perspective feel good, and it is allowing me to limit the readers' viewpoint to an almost I feel romantic... not as in OMG love, boning, hearts and candy, but as in a romantic view of how this person could react in the situations I have placed him in.

Honesty, please. Whatever your instinct is.

#2
Poe Dameron

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I don't have a problem with it.  You certainly wouldn't be the first author to do so.  To use your Henry VIII example, "The Other Boleyn Girl" was written in the 1st person perspective of the real life Mary Boleyn and nothing bad happened except maybe the movie.

 

By fictionalizing a historic personality into a character, you're making them your own anyway.  So I'm not sure that it matters.  It's all a matter of degrees.


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#3
Robin

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Thanks, Poe. :-)

I am aware of works like OBG. I am also just in a bit of an emotional bind. During a political conversation with a person who's opinion I grant weight to I was not described by them well and it has made me pause. That is, of course, just an aside as only I can work through that. However I was left pondering how similar approaches were viewed by others.

#4
Kyrian

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It's not really all that different to writing in the third person, to be honest. Either way, you're still attributing feelings, actions, words, etc. to a historical figure that probably never happened. Ultimately, it's still "just" a story, albeit one that features actual historical figures and actual historical events. I personally quite enjoy reading this kind of historical fiction (I very much enjoyed the Sharpe books, which do feature real figures from the period, not just Sir Wellesley and Napoleon's generals, and the Assassin's Creed series quite often offers an interesting slant on the characters of real historical figures). So tell your story, and who knows, you might even get some of it "right".


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#5
Robin

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Thanks, Kyrian. :-)

I am attentive to historical details, heck any type of details really... just recall me ranting about Captain America's hair color lol. That said, I have hopefully fashioned a plot that should provide absurd amounts of leeway both for me and the reader. This piece is in no way intended as biographical even fictionally so.
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#6
Mara Jade Skywalker

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I don't think it's weird at all. Historical fiction novels use all different types of POV and tense choices. I personally do not enjoy writing in first, but if it works, it works.
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#7
Robin

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Thanks, Mara. :-)



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