We will be examining pages 225-227 of Maeves Raid. If your familiar with historical fiction, Maeve is a very good example for how to create a novel based on a real time period. Writers who focus on historical fiction such as Stephan and Warwick have to spend a great deal of time in researching the time period, finding key figures to build off of and more. The level of dedication and love for history is a must for people who write in this genre.
“When Cú Chulainn, then known as Setanta, was almost seven, Culann of Muirtheimne gave a feast. Culann’s hound was better than any in Ulster, so fierce three chains were needed to hold it, and when it was loosed, no man nor wolf dared assail Culann’s herds. Setanta was to come to that feast, but he forgot the time while playing, and came late. Conchobar was asked if there were any other guests following him, but forgot that Setanta was coming. So Culann loosed his hound.”—“
‘I will rear you a pup from that same pack. And until that hound grows up to do his work, I will be your hound, and guard all Muirtheimne Plain. No herd and flock will leave my care without my knowing it.’ Thus Setanta gained the name Cú Chulainn, the Hound of Culann.””
Historical writers focus on using the landscape, language, slang and descriptors to build the world around them. You can see how Stephan uses his knowledge on this history to use original language and slang.
“The store of replacement shafts, already badly depleted by the rough passage through the drumlin-land before Cul Sibrille, was near-gone; every evening now, the sound of metal hammering on metal rang out through the harpers’ songs as the smiths beat wheel-rims and chariot fittings back into shape. ‘If I asked my mother, she would let me ride in a wagon, Finnabair thought more than once. But, though I am no warrior, I am no coward either. If I do not dare to face edged weapons, I shall not quail from what I can do!’”
Knowing what time period your writing in, and making sure your dialouge matches, allows for your reader to be not only convinced about the world in which you are placing them but it also pushes people to research the proper usage of said culture. Often through fiction, people are spurred to know about cultures. If you provide a good solid foundation of the culture, history and language, you could inspire someone to find their interest to begin researching the culture you presented.