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Morwen Edhelwen
01-25-2012, 05:12 AM
Anyone (speculative fiction writers) have a significant character inspired by a historical figure (or two or more) in a story? In one story, two characters are inspired by historical figures who never even met each other. Anyone else done this? How much does the character differ from the historical figure?

Filigree
01-25-2012, 05:29 AM
I just submitted a Lovecraft pastiche set in 1930's Arizona with renamed versions of the famous artist Maynard Dixon and the pulp fantasy writer A. Merritt. As far as I know, they never met, but I have them saving the world in northeastern Arizona.

For really great historical-inspired fiction, I'd say check out Tim Powers and Naomi Novik. Real people, in very strange but believable situations.

Morwen Edhelwen
01-25-2012, 05:34 AM
Thanks. Actually the characters in my WIP have very different backgrounds than the figures they were inspired by, who likely wouldn't have had the relationship the characters have with each other if they had met. One has known the other person personally for their whole life- the other person, who is older, helped raise them. They were inspired by Eva Peron or "Evita" and Che Guevara. Eva/Evita helps raise Che.

thebloodfiend
01-25-2012, 09:17 AM
...historical figures, no. Characters from other mediums (television, movies, etc...), yes. I used to be a fan fiction writer.

I've combined characters and put characters from different universes into the same one.

The characters are nothing like the ones they were based off of, except for two or three similarities. I can't create characters off the top of my head. They have to be based off of archetypes.

I have used real characters/people in my stories. I've used Vlad Dracul, a character based off of Claude Monet, and Elizabeth Bathory in a story with Viktor Frankenstien along with my own original characters. Don't know if that counts, though.

Morwen Edhelwen
01-25-2012, 11:19 AM
wow. seems like a lot of people do this.

Libbie
01-25-2012, 12:36 PM
I wrote a short story that's kind of an alternate-history type thing. It's got strong sci-fi elements, but it features John Muir and his robot friend. Does that count?

It's currently made one round of slush pile cuts at a pro sci-fi market, so I'm taking that as a good sign. :)

Morwen Edhelwen
01-25-2012, 01:03 PM
I wrote a short story that's kind of an alternate-history type thing. It's got strong sci-fi elements, but it features John Muir and his robot friend. Does that count?

It's currently made one round of slush pile cuts at a pro sci-fi market, so I'm taking that as a good sign. :)

Yeah that counts.

aruna
01-25-2012, 01:18 PM
I've done Jim Jones. ;)

Zelenka
01-25-2012, 05:04 PM
My NaNo novel this year was a 'Game of Thrones' style fantasy, sort of epic political type thing where lots of people were nasty to each other, based pretty heavily on historical characters and incidents / legends from Bohemian history. Main character was pretty much based on Vilem of Rozmberk and the prince based on Rudolf II, and a subplot very loosely based on the relationship between Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. But it was fantasy and also had zombie nuns.

Currently I'm working on a short story for an alternate history-with-horror anthology and that features Oliver Cromwell and Charles I, though not in the regular historical context. ;)

Morwen Edhelwen
01-26-2012, 04:00 AM
Zombie nuns- sound interesting!

Eli Hinze
01-26-2012, 04:09 AM
I've had a character based partly off of Samson from the Bible, but depending on your beliefs you may or may not believe he was an actual person. Either way, the guy has an interesting story.

KalenO
01-26-2012, 05:09 AM
I have a futuristic sci-fi YA about the scattered remnants of humanity who nickname themselves after famous historical figures in a coming of age/rite of passage type thing...it's a kind of oral tradition to keep human history alive, and so I have characters named Houdini and DaVinci and Cleopatra and Picasso, etc.

backslashbaby
01-26-2012, 05:56 AM
I bet you didn't expect two Countess Bathorys in this thread!

Mine's not much like the real Elizabeth probably was. She's mainly a satirical character, and she's a ghost in my novel. My MC is dead, mostly.

Toothpaste
01-26-2012, 06:15 AM
I cited this already elsewhere, but because it makes me smile and the movie is coming out soon, I introduce to you: ABRAHAM LINCOLN - VAMPIRE HUNTER (http://www.amazon.com/Abraham-Lincoln-Vampire-Seth-Grahame-Smith/dp/0446563080)

(here's the imdb page for the film, I love the poster: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1611224/)


As for me personally, my latest work has a character inspired by a real person from that era. But I decided to change his name because I had no other real figures from that time.

Morwen Edhelwen
01-26-2012, 07:18 AM
I bet you didn't expect two Countess Bathorys in this thread!

Mine's not much like the real Elizabeth probably was. She's mainly a satirical character, and she's a ghost in my novel. My MC is dead, mostly.
Wait-- who had the other Countess Bathory? ETA: Or are you saying that you use Elizabeth Bathory twice in the same story?

backslashbaby
01-26-2012, 10:43 PM
Wait-- who had the other Countess Bathory? ETA: Or are you saying that you use Elizabeth Bathory twice in the same story?

I meant thebloodfiend. Unless he meant a different Elizabeth Bathory :D ;)



...
I have used real characters/people in my stories. I've used Vlad Dracul, a character based off of Claude Monet, and Elizabeth Bathory in a story with Viktor Frankenstien along with my own original characters. Don't know if that counts, though.

thebloodfiend
01-26-2012, 11:32 PM
I meant thebloodfiend. Unless he meant a different Elizabeth Bathory :D ;)

She.

backslashbaby
01-27-2012, 01:55 AM
I'm sorry! I guessed randomly, really.

Kitty27
01-27-2012, 02:08 AM
Queen Nzingha Of Angola and Shaka Zulu. I use both of them in my steam punk novel.

I based a queen in one of my fantasy novels on Erzabeth Bathory.

I SO want to write Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman as kick ass vampire slayers and Frederick Douglass as a powerful necromancer. One day,perhaps. Sigh.

Morwen Edhelwen
01-27-2012, 06:28 AM
that would be cool

Dave Hardy
01-28-2012, 02:57 AM
The book I have coming out in March has Christopher Marlowe as a major supporting character.

blacbird
01-28-2012, 07:42 AM
I'm toying around with someone based on Brigham Young, in a story set in the mid-19th Century frontier America, involving wagon-train travel to the West, but not really sure if I want to go there.

Lots of major writers have done this, however. I think of William Goldman, in The Princess Bride. There was an actual "dread pirate Roberts", you know, who was something of a dandy and dressed to the nines for what he knew would be a suicidal battle against Royal Navy forces.

caw

Morwen Edhelwen
01-28-2012, 08:24 AM
I'm toying around with someone based on Brigham Young, in a story set in the mid-19th Century frontier America, involving wagon-train travel to the West, but not really sure if I want to go there.

Lots of major writers have done this, however. I think of William Goldman, in The Princess Bride. There was an actual "dread pirate Roberts", you know, who was something of a dandy and dressed to the nines for what he knew would be a suicidal battle against Royal Navy forces.

caw

What? There was? Did Goldman change his name, or was that his actual name? ETA: Looked him up. His name was Bartholomew Roberts, apparently.