R is for Revolution

Really, what better way to mess up a character’s day than to throw a violent war into his or her already complicated life? Some of my favorite fantasy books have featured some sort of grand conflict rolling around in the background that the protagonist has to dodge or, failing that, desperately try to stay alive within. Fortunately for writers, history is full of conflicts both international and domestical to pick events from for little bits of evil inspiration. Events such as The French Revolution or The English Civil Wars are full of people, battles and occurrences that are almost too grand for reality. They practically beg to be translated into fiction. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that History’s Most Insane Rulers who have given rise to the revolutions of the past, tend to also open the doors to History’s Worst Dictators. Revolution is a powerful, hopeful concept, but it doesn’t always turn out the way the revolutionaries want.

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16 thoughts on “R is for Revolution

  1. Unfortunately, I’m sure there’s no shortage of dictators and insane rulers to include! I’d love to see us have just one year of peace…even if it would be boring for fiction writing purposes. 🙂

  2. Paula Volsky wrote an excellent fantasy novel that’s basically the French Revolution with mild-to-moderate levels of magic. For me, much of the fun of reading it was matching up the fictional elements with their real historical counterparts.

  3. Having worked in far too many places suffering from the after effects of revolution, I have really strong thoughts about the vast majority of them, none of them printable on somebody else’s blog.
    The two books by Rank are poorly presented but show how bad things have been in places.

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