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  • Writer's pictureSarah "Neila" Elkins

Historical Fiction is Fiction and That's Okay.

I DO have a couple nitpicks of the Doctor Who episode featuring Nikola Tesla but they are incredibly minor & don't matter, especially regarding the story. So I decided not to post them.

It's best to enjoy things rather than let very minor details in the background overwhelm you.

When I first got into researching Nikola Tesla it was difficult for me to read fiction featuring him or referencing him because my brain would go "THAT'S NOT HOW IT HAPPENED."

The details had to be exact, which then makes it hard to inject any sort of fantasy into the story.

The thing is if you let yourself get caught up in that mindset of fiction involving a historical figure needing to be 100% accurate it not only makes it difficult to ENJOY fiction featuring historical figures but also also difficult to WRITE fiction featuring historical figures.

I worked at it and figured out why I was so nitpicky and eventually learned to relax and enjoy stories about Nikola Tesla building a robot son, or making an apartment complex in California specifically to prevent eldritch monsters from reaching Earth.

In the end one has to relax, realize that fiction is fiction. It's okay if it's not 100% true to life because if it were it'd be the same story over & over again.

Plus it's more fun to think about Nikola Tesla fighting zombies or being reincarnated as a psychic with anxiety.

It doesn't matter if a movie has the tower at Wardenclyffe integrated into the building or a show has the property closer to the city than it was in reality.

It works for the story & that's great.

Fiction based on historical figures doesn't have to be 100% accurate.

I'm glad I learned to relax because now I can enjoy all the things that reference or include various versions of Nikola Tesla and other historical figures as well as write my own many varied versions of Tesla.

However, I still don't like vampire Tesla & probably never will. lol I'll write a more in-depth blog post specifically about the Doctor Who episode "Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror" later. I have a lot of thoughts on it, particularly how much detail they used based on Nikola Tesla's life. They had some little bitty things in there that were subtle but powerful, in my opinion, in part from Goran Višnjić's performance and in part the set dressing and overall dialog. I liked the episode a LOT but don't want to spam spoilers. The Doctor Who episode was one of the most accurately depicted fictional stories featuring Tesla I've seen so far. -Sarah "Neila" Elkins

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