For whatever reason, I love picking projects that require a lot of research. One is set in so many time periods that I might as well get a degree in history.
So this is my break from that. Since it’s an action/adventure serial similar to Indiana Jones and the Mummy (and all the wonderful novels and radio show that inspired movies like those), I get to play a little fast and loose with history.
It’s the same way that movies like “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” succeed. They give you just enough indication of the time period that it seems like it could be realistic without making it a true historical piece. Contrast the first Pirates movie with the third. In the first, it was established that pirates were hunted and the penalty was death. It was established that some groups branded pirates. However, it was just enough to establish some of the stakes that the pirates faced, but didn’t focus on them. It focused solely on the treasure and the Black Pearl. The third movie, on the other hand, became bogged down by details. While there were elements of the fantastic- Davy Jones and Calypso, the majority of the plot was about pirates being squeezed off the seas, trade agreements controlling governments. The series went from being a supernatural movie set in a historical time period to a period piece with supernatural elements. One was successful, the other… not so much. (And for the record, I did love the third one, but I’m a history nut. I don’t think it was as well written as the first.)
This story has a couple things that are tricky. There’s my MacGuffin, which is rooted in a historical time period (go artifacts!). So I have to make it fit without giving so many details that it seems fake- since too many details makes me feel like someone thinks I won’t believe it otherwise. Then there’s the timeline that the story is set in.
I want the location to feel believable, but at the same time, I’m not writing a travelogue.
Things I’m researching:
Alexander the Great
South East Asia in the 1930s
The picture for this post is of Amice Mary Calverley, who I discovered while looking for inspiration in pictures from the 1930s. If it weren’t for real women like her, fictional characters from Marian Ravenwood to Evelyn O’Connell (nee Carnahan) wouldn’t have been plausible. I’d never heard of her until this week, but honestly- what an amazing woman!