marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

research first, inspiration second

Aspiring writers ought to read widely and heavily in history before they find a story idea that needs a particular era's background.

Beside giving a good sense of what societies are like so you get a built-in detector for need to research, it can also provide facts along the way.  Like, say, succession.

Wrestling with the political implications of having the monsters attack -- at the command of an intriguer, though that's not yet revealed.  Toyed with the possibility that a nobleman will revolt on the grounds that the law requires that the king be a paladin, in which case he would have their legendary powers to deal with the monsters.  Of course, that raises the question of whether he's a paladin himself. . . .

Then I remember the Russian Imperial succession, which is semi-Salic.  Women were not absolutely barred from the throne, but one would only on the extinction of all male dynasts.  Yet, at the moment, some claim the rightful heir is a woman.  This is because the laws also required that the heir be born of an equal match, to a bride (or bridegroom) of a sovereign or royal house, a difficult condition to fulfill while not actually occupying the throne.

The order of "paladins" having grown so lax that only one man proved to have the powers at need, a woman could easily claim the throne.  Well, put in a claim.  I may even let her win.  (And the nobleman will revolve, too.  Perhaps two:  one who's ready to brazen the claim out, and another who thinks the only virtue they failed in was courage, so he would succeed.)

Useful thing to have handy.
Tags: research, world-building: inheritance, world-building: law, world-building: royalty

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