I must admit to being surprised and at the same time pleased by the results of my poll on Where entertainment and historical fact mix. There was a good range of votes and definite responses to the questions. Given the comments on earlier posts: The (uneasy?) marriage between fact and fiction and Entertainment over historical accuracy, I was expecting a lean towards creative leniency. It goes to show one should not makes claims on anything. Yet I am also aware this poll is not a true representation of everyone’s opinion and only expresses those who took the time to vote. It is you I’d like to thank for spending your precious time to read and vote.
Now to the results:
Question 1: Is it important for books and films to be historically accurate?
70% answered YES
30% answered MAYBE.
This result surprised me as I expected most to answer ‘maybe’. What I can take from this is that people prefer to read and/or watch movies which depict history with large proportion of accurate detail. This seems to compliment the next question and please comment if you think otherwise.
Question 2: How much of the content in books and/or films should at least reflect the historical period?
50% of votes said 75% of the content should
37.5% of the votes would like 100%
12.5% voted for 50%.
I have to admit the latter was the one I expected greater votes, yet given peoples’ preference for accuracy, it proves readers and film audiences are alike.
Question 3: What aspects of the historical period should be portrayed as close to the era written or filmed? (This question included–Clothing, including hair styles, beards, etc., Culture, Transport: chariots, wagons, ships, etc., Food, Speech)
50% voted ALL OF THE ABOVE
50% voted SOME OF THE ABOVE
This ties in with accuracy to be depicted in books and in films. Though as you can see 50% thought it wasn’t necessary to include all the elements to reflect the historical period.
Question 4: Which creative field do you think has most responsibility to represent history, be it modern or ancient, in its truest form?
70% voted BOOKS
20% were in favour of FILM/MOVIES
10% voted THEATRE
This result at first did surprise me, then I thought about why a majority voted books. I may be wrong in saying this and I don’t mean to negate the importance of the other creative fields, but from the response to this question, it would seem most people expect authors to respect and represent history with integrity.
What can I take from this as an author of historical fiction/fantasy? There is an expectation from discerning readers that they want history-modern or ancient-to be written with as much accuracy as possible. The key to this is research. I love research and for those who’ve read my stories can attest to learning as much as being entertained.
Thank you for visiting and reading. As always, your comments are valued and welcomed.
Historical fiction fantasist Luciana Cavallaro, a secondary teacher, meanders from contemporary life to delve into the realms of mythology. Subscribe to her FREE short story http://eepurl.com/bhESs1