Re-post: Author Tips on Writing Historical Fiction

This is a re-post from M.K. Tod who writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her recent post included a list of tips on writing Historical Fiction as acquired from around the web. Instead of re-blogging I decided to re-post some of those tips here, they are just too good to let pass us by so I organized them in the list below so we can see them all. Please visit A Writer of History for author source and to comment on her blog. I would also suggest you follow her (especially if your a historical fiction writer), she is always on point with her guest authors, links, and advice:

  • Let the characters engage with the historical details – a variation on show don’t tell

 

  • Allow your characters to question and explore their place in society – doing so reveals the context of the times

 

  • Love the process, because readers will still find errors

 

  • Sweat the Small Stuff – small details allow readers to engage all senses in the past world you are building

 

  • Dump the Ballast – too much detail is a killer

 

  • Read historical fiction – sounds obvious doesn’t it but you have to appreciate excellent historical fiction in order to be successful

 

  • Know when to stop researching – cautions about falling down the proverbial rabbit hole

 

  • Research comes before writing – get the facts right to ensure a good foundation for your novel

 

  • Inhabit the mind and skin of your characters – you have to understand the sensibilities of the time so your readers can feel immersed in it

 

  • Pick a universal theme if you can – the concerns of your novel need to resonate with modern readers

 

  • Choose a time and place that really intrigues you – passion will make your story more compelling

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Yecheilyah

I write Black Historical Fiction, Poetry, and Inspirational Non-Fiction for the Freedom of all People. Visit me on the web at yecheilyahysrayl.com/

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