Monday, March 23, 2009

Historical Novels - Question!


So, I have been doing research on my new historical novel about the poet John Keats. It's going to be in first person POV, from the perspective of Fanny Brawne. Just recently I came across a website where I read that there is a new movie called Bright Star in production about Keats and Fanny Brawne. I believe it is being shot in England and I am not sure at all if it will even play over here. ARGHHHH!!! Is this something I should be concerned about? I mean, how many books and movies are out there about Henry VIII and his six wives? A trillion! I have also read HFs about Richard III from various different authors.

Does anyone know anything about this type of situation? I would be so disappointed if I had to abandon this project. I did research to see if there are any other novels about Keats and Fanny...and there doesn't seem to be.

14 comments:

T. Anne said...

In that respect I think your novel is timely. I wouldn't worry too much. What could be the worse that can happen? Your a movie tie in!

DebraLSchubert said...

Most likely, by the time your book is finished and published, this movie will have already seen it's day. I say, go for it!

scott g.f. bailey said...

I really really would not worry about it. Really. That's three instances of "really" so you know I'm serious!

The book my agent is about to start submitting to publishers is a retelling of "Hamlet." There have been lots of versions of "Hamlet" (though none quite like mine, I hastily add!). The Legend of Edgar Sawtelle is a retelling of "Hamlet." What an agent is going to think is, "Hey, there's interest for this story!" Which is a good thing. You want the agent to think that. So just concentrate on writing a compelling story in beautiful language, and don't worry about what other media are doing with your subject matter.

Cindy said...

I agree, I don't think there will be a problem. The very worse that can happen is that the movie might inspire people's interest and they look for more on the topic--not back at all! If someone gets led to your book in the process then that works to your advantage.

Tara Maya said...

This is called the Curse of Synchronicity. It happens to the best of us. If your book can appear right about the time as the movie, it can work for you. If your book doesn't get submitted until after the movie has inspired a bunch of other copy cat knockoffs, you could be screwed.

Still, Keats is far, far from "overdone." So... don't worry about it. :)

lotusgirl said...

It seems pretty well unanimous that you're ok. It seems timely to me.

Lady Glamis said...

Sounds like you won't have a problem. By the time you published the thing, a bigger fan base would be out there. What's to lose?

Write what you love and the rest will follow. :)

Litgirl01 said...

Thanks! I didn't think about the movie arousing interest...and of course it does.

Writing HF is a TON of work! The research alone is going to take a ton of time, then organizing, then trying not to make stupid mistakes in the writing. This is going to be QUITE the challenge, but I really want to meet it head on.

schultpe said...

I would not worry about other artists (writers or film-makers) dealing with the same subject matter. As long as your work retains your unique "voice", it will remain your story, and no-one else's. For example, my novel is a fictional spy/conspiracy story set in World War II! How many thousands of such tales have been written or filmed? Still, it is a unique narrative that (hopefully) takes a fresh look at a well-worn genre. It is called The Fuhrer Virus and can be found at www.eloquentbooks.com/TheFuhrerVirus.html, www.amazon.com, and www.barnesandnoble.com.

Best of luck with your writing project! I'll keep my eye out for it!

Paul Schultz

Litgirl01 said...

Thanks for stopping by Paul! I will check out your book for sure.
:-)

Pen Pen said...

I actually read something about that concern earlier today. They said that if there is a significant EVENT that is newsworthy, you need to strike when the iron is hot or you'll miss out on the buzz. But- they said that when ur doing a piece that references a historical figure, you need to LOOK at and READ and WATCH everything you can that has been made about them so u get a NEW take on it. They said that it's not about the fact that there are lots of things about that person out--it's that you need to offer a fresh and exciting perspective! I can't remember where I hear that...I'll have to try to remember. --But do what an agent would do first thing--google the literature on Keats and see if your book will be a fresh take compared to what's out there:)

mywriterself said...

Historical fiction... I don't envy you. That said, I think the best writing comes from things that inspire us. Write what inspires you.

schultpe said...

To Litgirl01:

Thank you for your kind response! Once again, best of luck, and stick with it!

Paul Schultz

Litgirl01 said...

Thank you!!!