Using History as Inspiration
Many of the best sci-fi and fantasy writers find a way to work history into their works. J.R.R. Tolkien used his experiences in World War I to write The Lord of the Rings, George RR Martin has used the War of the Roses as inspiration for Game of Thrones, and the list goes on.
As someone with a lifelong passion for the American Civil War and the resulting drive to minor in History alongside my English major, I find a great amount of satisfaction in using history to inform my writing. Sometimes it’s a very obvious inspiration and often more of a feel or sense of history.
Such is the impact of the American Civil War, and to a lesser degree the American Revolution, on my Gunpowder Fantasy. One of the first major conflicts with muskets and rifles, the first ironclad battle and one of the first major conflicts where railroads played a part, the American Civil War has had an obvious impact.
The world of Zaria is in a similar position to our own in the 19th Century. Railroads and rifles are a recent innovation and no major wars have been fought since their development. But all of that changes throughout the different series ilve been working on.
The rapid redeployment of troops swings battles, as it did in the battle of First Bull Run/Manassas, rifling and the accuracy and distance that it imparts result in casualties unimaginable before and maybe ever the first clash of ironclads are all events in Zaria that draw heavily from my research and knowledge of history.
With so many wars and technological innovations in our world, if your story involved conflict there is likely some historical event or battle that you can draw inspiration from. So read up on your history and you might just find something useful!