November 18, 2017, 08:22:51 AM

Author Topic: How to write a royal proclamation  (Read 260 times)

Offline Bradley Darewood

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How to write a royal proclamation
« on: November 15, 2017, 05:07:00 AM »

Someone suggested that I switch a dinner-party chapter with a royal proclamation scene, unfortunately I have no idea how to write one of those or what it would look like.

Are there any scenes from movies/TV series with a royal proclamation (that isn't campy) that I could look at? or an excerpt from a book? I can't think of any off the top of my head.

Offline Nora

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Re: How to write a royal proclamation
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 08:57:11 AM »
Why not read a historical one?
Why not seek a few more opinions and potentially dismiss the idea of replacing that chapter with something you're so unfamiliar with, you have to read some to know what it's like?
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Offline RobertS

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Re: How to write a royal proclamation
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2017, 03:45:09 PM »

Someone suggested that I switch a dinner-party chapter with a royal proclamation scene, unfortunately I have no idea how to write one of those or what it would look like.

Are there any scenes from movies/TV series with a royal proclamation (that isn't campy) that I could look at? or an excerpt from a book? I can't think of any off the top of my head.

As often as not, proclamations where written and often discussed and edited strongly before being announced. A lot of them had illustrations and tables. Without radio, these works were normally succinct and often posted in public places for reading.

In movies, these proclamations are posted, and read while the folk listening react. This gives the feel of public opinion of the rules and of the leadership making decisions. It also give the chance for the audience to see public agitators trying to influence the reaction of those present.

Old Robin hood movies and that sort will often have royal decrees or proclamations.

Here is an example of a proclamation that would effect quite a few people and still be a work that would still need to be read for full understanding.

https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/proclamation-against-excess-of-apparel-by-queen-elizabeth-i

Here is an example of an announced proclamation. It is more modern but these things follow ancient patterns.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proclamation_of_accession_of_Queen_Elizabeth_II

While heraldry appears to have had a certain level of consistency, few other practices hold for all nations and all times.

Here is the Royal Proclamation, By King George, of October 7, 1763. It strongly effected the Americas, but it was given in court at St. James. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/proc1763.asp

My memory is shaky on old movies with proclamations, but as I recall a man would ring a bell or horns blare as a crier walked with guards to a square or raise pavilion in the market. He would shout something like, "Oyez!" as he got peoples attention while marching. A large sheet would be posted and then the crier would read from a large document held like a scroll. Crowd reaction or the reaction of the hero would be seen.
Often this would be followed by a montage of shorter and harsher documents being put up and carts in the market being turned over by guards.

If you watch a few good historic Kdramas you will get to see kings give proclamations. The setting is typically a long closed hall with a group of seated scholar/leaders. The setting could also be in a huge court with men seated on the stone courtyard while he sits up at the top of stairs, or by a large gong on a high stone platform in a large open courtyard.

A lot of the form in fantasy will depend on how large the kingdom is, how close the king is to the people and how scared of an assassin the king might be. A powerful king might be remote from the reading. A really weak one might have people gossiping in front of him while he read his own words.

I love an ironic twist of humor and I like to bash the powerful when I write. So I love the balcony over a square as a setting for the king to declare things. This works well for dictators, puppets and cowards. It works well for the over-dramatic and the egotistical. This is perfect for having people rounded up so there will be a crowd and then punished if they don't pay attention. It also allows you to set up someone out of the sight of the king to motion for the crowd to cheer. In a Potemkin setting this is a good way to keep the king from seeing any part of the village that might let him know how his country is really being run.




   
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Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: How to write a royal proclamation
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2017, 05:33:22 PM »
Here's some fantasy-friendly proclamations from HBO's series "Rome" - I love the juxtaposition of general information with the weightier issues. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH0kO5qcPf8
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Offline Rostum

Re: How to write a royal proclamation
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2017, 09:15:38 PM »
Near enough every Papal Bull is recorded. Not a royal proclamation perhaps, but style and gravitas are much the same.

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: How to write a royal proclamation
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 02:45:20 AM »
Hahah thanks those are helpful.  The proclamation itself, while a challenge, isn't as hard as the actual delivery.  I'm not sure I'm gonna go with that suggestion after all.

THe dinner might not be the best place to accomplish what I need but I'm not sure a proclamation is going to give me what I need either-- there's a lot of characters that need to be together and reacting to news in very specific ways, some of whom are being introduced for the first time.

I need the young MC, the king, his 2 sons, a bard, the lord who wants to take over, and his lovely consort to be in the same place (many of whom are being introduced for the first time) when they discover the king's plan to get his daughter back.  I need the two sons to resist the plan, the lovely consort to take the MC aside, and seduce/hire him for a side job.

Perhaps I need to watch a few episodes of the Borgias for ideas about where best to do that sort of thing...
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 02:52:03 AM by Bradley Darewood »

Offline Skip

Re: How to write a royal proclamation
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 04:44:40 AM »
From what you describe, I'm baffled why anyone would suggest anything other than a dinner. Seems quite the right setting. I'll offer a couple of others anyway. Some may not fit into your world.

Hunting expedition
Church service
Wedding
Funeral
A festival (lots of different types available)
Formal ball

One advantage of any of these is the opportunity for individual reactions, for subsets of characters to converse and react among themselves. Whispers and meaningful glances are always good for setting up tension. Can be done at a dinner as well, of course, especially if it's a feast and you can spread the people out. And you can play the tone of the politicking against the tone of the event itself.

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: How to write a royal proclamation
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 11:09:50 AM »
Agree with Skip. A birthday, a naming day, a coming of age, etc. I think a wedding is ideal because it allows for bardic love opportunities and there's always drama and humor when two families join.
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Offline RobertS

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Re: How to write a royal proclamation
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2017, 01:16:09 PM »
I agree with Skip and The Gem Cutter. May I suggest a garden party? This gives an opportunity for announcements, entertainers mingling at breaks, private talks, and public ones.
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