Historical Fiction – pitfalls

Arrrghhhhhh, Ruth Livingstone does an impression ofBurn Out Do you know the feeling when you suddenly realise you have made a horrible mistake? And does this sometimes hit you in the middle of the night? Well, that happened to me during the early hours of this morning.

I am working through the second draft of my novel, The Reluctant Scribe, set in 7th century China and the Tang Dynasty. There is a scene where I write “eight of us stood in our line on the marble step”, and another line goes “I followed the Dean who led me across the marble“, and another -“I shuffled from foot to foot, sliding my toes across the marble tiles”. I am sure there are other mentions of marble if I continue looking…

But here is the problem:


The Tang used mud brick and wood in their buildings.
They did not use stone or marble.
Arrrrhhhh.

And here is the solution:

I am going to have to run a word search for every reference to ‘marble’ in my novel, and find a more appropriate replacement.
Thank goodness for technology.

That is, I am sure, only one mistake among many.


Author: Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, Doctor, woman, etc.

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