If you’ve ever tried to write historical fiction, you know how frustrating it can be when history stubbornly refuses to conform to the desired shape of your narrative. Faced with this problem, you can either bend history or bend your story. Usually you do a little bit of both, but I try to keep my historical pieces firmly grounded in existing history unless I’ve set out to do an alternate history from the beginning.
Thinking about this today because one of the things I’m working on is a novel among whose elements are HG Wells and the Partition of India. So imagine my glee when I discovered that Wells was cremated on the same day as the first large-scale (pre-)Partition riot: August 16, 1946.
I love it when a story comes together.