Ok so this is a picture of my hand after the operation, and whilst you are wondering why I am using it here I will explain.
Writing about events that happened centuries ago and are well documented is one thing. However, weaving a story around them whilst remaining within the bounds of that era is either a writers dream or nightmare. You see it all depends on what you are writing about and whether you have done your research.
So how does that relate to my hand? well it all happened a few weeks ago which in theory means it’s already history. So if say at a later date I wanted to write something about a guy who had an operation I can recall my small operation. I can with writers licence, remember the agony, pain, feelings of uselessness and frustration, then work on them until I have a really soul-searching, gut wrenching story of guy who is in so much pain he takes it out on the very people who are there for him. And that’s how its done! Embellish things exaggerate a bit but stay within the bounds of what is.
So when I wrote A Bengal Poppy I took a look at the opium trade between The East India Company and China. Now the Chinese would only trade silver bullion for Opium often dealing with pirates and other small suppliers until the East India Company took over organized things and it became big business. Over time there were several Opium Wars and the Victorian ‘high moral standards’ decreed that there would be more.
This went on into the mid 20th century when there were still foreign gun boats and warships on the Chinese rivers up till 1948 when the Chinese revolution happened. Nothing is new really, Opium is still traded today only this time its heavily across the Mexican border.
(c) M.D.Bosc Author