Tuesday’s post highlighted 8 tips based on guest posts during the past twelve months. Today, I offer six more.
Blythe Gifford author of The Witch Finder starts every one of her novels with a map. In Creating a Sense of Place Blythe says:
Setting can, literally, symbolize your character’s situation and your character’s reaction to setting propels your story.
In History as a Mirror of our Present, Alice Poon, author of The Green Phoenix, writes that:
the modern world is still governed by forces as ancient as the hills: power vs. weakness, love vs. hatred, truth vs. lies, life vs. death. Thus, the stories of our past, be it recent or distant, tend to closely mirror our present-day situation.
In The People of our Past, George Dovel, author of The Geometry of Vengeance writes:
Not only has the path from then to now been continuous, but the way we define ourselves is largely in reaction to the generations that came before us. We may have rejected many of their beliefs and behaviors, but we reject in opposition to them and in so doing are defined in large measure by them. We are not painting on a blank canvas. As Booker winner Barry Unsworth put it, the past “belongs to us because it made us what we are.”
In Truth in Historical Story Telling, Tara Cowan reminds us that:
We’re missing a great opportunity if we gloss over moral dilemmas because we’re afraid to tell it like it was. What better opportunity to show that women are equal than to tell the truth of what happens when they are not treated equally under the law? What better way to highlight the injustice of what the enslaved faced than to be honest about how people felt about them? … We wrestle with the moral questions of our day, and so should our characters.
Harald Johnson explains how he researched Neanderthal times for his latest novel:
there are entire fields of scientific investigation—anthropology, paleoanthropology, archeology, evolutionary genetics—devoted to my subject. So that’s where I went. To read the research studies, papers, and articles that these scientists have presented since the first Neanderthal fossil was discovered in the Neander Valley in Germany in 1856.
Melissa Addey, author of The Consort, provides an interesting perspective in Approaching Research as a Child:
This recent research teamwork has reminded me once again of the importance of approaching your historical research as a child, especially in the early stages. This means getting your hands dirty and staying focused on daily life.
And there you have it. A year of terrific guest posts and great insights on historical fiction.
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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.