From How to Write Historical Fiction: 7 Tips on Accuracy and Authenticity by Susanna Calkins author of A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate
- 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
Each article offers more suggestions and explanations than the ones I’ve picked.
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.