The Grantville Gazette Editorial Board wishes to make the following suggestions to all aspiring authors:
You have An IDEA! Great!
But you know little or nothing about the seventeenth century …
And the Barflies in 1632 Tech Manual will demand cites and sources …
So you should:
- First check this site and other 1632 interest sites
- Google and check things out. Caution: Not everything on the web is correct but this should give you some names and dates to look up.
- Head for your local library and make friends with the reference librarian.
- Contact the History Department of your local college or junior college.
- If you know a specific Barfly has special information, email them.
- Ask on the Bar if someone can suggest sources of information for a specific subject. We have many experts on a wide range of subjects who are willing to point you in the right direction.
- If you as author pick and use an unclaimed grid character with no prior mention in someone else’s story, and there are still hundreds of adults, (actually more than 2000) in that category. You can develop everything else that isn’t on the grid, such as hobbies and interests, physical appearance, personality quirks, old friends, old enemies, and bad habits. The personality appears when the character is written into a story. It is up to you as the author to ‘flesh out’ your characters. Please note, they need to seem like real people to a reader, not cardboard.
- The town of Mannington is our model and violent deviations from that town (vastly different business, different agricultural practice, different cultural practice) will not be accepted.
- If someone isn’t in the grid, they don’t exist, and if they ARE in the grid, you are constrained to what the grid tells you. (There is some flexibility on this, but less and less as time goes by. By late 2017 unless you’re a major best selling Baen author, there is no flexibility.)
- If you’d like to be published, it would be a good idea to read the core series books and stories in the Grantville Gazette. Most of the writing you’ll be doing will be for submission to the Gazette, so you should read recent issues for examples of the types of stories we’re buying now. Stories won’t be accepted if they don’t conform to canon.
Barflies are friendly and will bend over backwards to help but you should not expect them to do all your research for you. All of us have families, jobs, and other Real Life things that cut down on our research time for our own ideas. We do not have time to do your research, too.
Please do not annoy busy Barflies, especially Virginia, with repeated requests for massive data dumps.
If you do ask for information, and get it, then do not ignore it. Asking for clarification on historical points is one thing, arguing that ‘it just couldn’t be that way’ is another. We’ve been researching this for over 17 years as of the time we last edited this. If you disagree with us, be prepared to show proof, probably from primary sources.
If you find a discrepancy between things already in the books and real history, realize that as of late 2017 we have more than thirty books in print at Baen and Ring of Fire Press, and over seventy issues of the Gazette. We know we made some mistakes. Many of them are listed in the Dead Horses document, but there’s no way to go back and change what was already written now. We have to move forward from what is. As much as we try to make the series plausible, it is fiction.
If you write, everything else can be fixed.
Your Friendly Grantville Gazette Editorial Board