Thursday, January 19, 2012

Writing Historical Fiction

Writing Historical Fiction
Historical fiction has always been popular, with people gravitating toward novels set in time periods that they have an interest in. But writing historical fiction is a lot more work than writing a contemporary fiction piece.
  1. Choose a time period. The time period should be very specific, not a vague decade within a century. Clothing styles, customs and social mores change from decade to decade and often even more frequently. Choose the exact years in which your book will take place.
  2. Research, research, research. The moment in history that you choose should be very familiar to you by the time you have finished your research. Do as much research as possible before you even begin to write. Writing a story and then trying to adapt it to a certain time period will come out sounding artificial and forced. The information you uncover will guide the story you write and take it to places you hadn't considered before.
  3. Give the characters an appropriate perspective. The characters of a historical fiction novel should have the mindset of people from that time period. Characters are shaped by their experiences, family life and culture, which includes the time and place in which they are born. A character's general perspective on the world will be obvious in books written in the first person. If the book is written in the third person, a character's values as defined by the time period can be demonstrated through the character's dialogue and actions, or through the narrative voice recounting the thoughts and feelings of the character. However the character's viewpoint is demonstrated, it should be apparent that the character is not simply a modern person dropped into a different time period.
Good historical fiction will meet the include the following elements:
1. A well-told story that is historically accurate.
2. Characters are realistically portrayed.
3. The setting is authentic.
4. Historical facts are skillfully woven into the text.
5. Ethnic and minority groups are portrayed accurately

In order for all these elements to be met, the author must be willing to do a lot of research and to use the writing process since this type of writing entails a lot of planning and revising.  Below are some powerpoint presentations we will be looking to help give you some tips towards having a wonderul historical fiction story.

1. Attention Grabbers

2. Writing Dialogue Tips

3. Sentence Fluency

4. Literary Devices

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