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Picture book set in a historical period of time

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Hi! I wonder if any of you could help. I'm writing a picture book story that unfolds in the Maya Empire. How accurate do I have to be about traditions, customs and culture? Like I said it is completely fiction. My story is a she-hero, which was not very likely in the Mayan society. As a matter of fact, she will become a ruler which was also not likely. What do you think? Is it okay to fictionalize?
#1 - April 28, 2015, 03:11 PM

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If it's completely fiction, why not make the story unfold in the Maifu Empire? As in, why not just make it all fiction? The non-fiction side of it won't have much value in terms of learning/general knowledge if it's not accurate, so why not just have some fun and make it all fiction? With such a strong emphasis on non-fiction right now I would imagine teachers/librarians would be looking carefully to see if the facts regarding customs and culture were correct so it might work against you. The other option is to make it factually correct... and then you might have an easier time selling it too, but it sounds like you'd have to change your storyline.
#2 - April 28, 2015, 04:16 PM

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I'm with Franzilla. Either a) make up a fictional empire loosely based on the Mayan but not called that, or b) make it realistic so it can be called non-fiction. Sounds like a fun story! Girl power! :)
#3 - April 28, 2015, 04:30 PM
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You could write your story about people who lived in the "lost city" recently found in the Honduran jungle. Scientists know next to nothing about these people so you could invent an entire culture for them:

http://www.newsweek.com/ancient-city-discovered-remote-honduras-jungle-312124
#4 - April 28, 2015, 05:49 PM
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Oh wow. I love when they find stuff like this! So nice to know there are still things to be unearthed!
#5 - April 28, 2015, 06:31 PM

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Thanks all for your answers. That's a fantastic find Betsy! It's truly amazing that there are so many things waiting to be discovered. It's fuel for our writer's imagination, I guess!
#6 - April 28, 2015, 06:40 PM

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