7 Easy to Follow Tips for Writing a Historical
Historical fiction is a truly great endeavor for any writer. This is because historical fiction is one of the deepest and most nuanced genres ever. Not only could you base your work after historical events, you could also give it your own spin, because it is technically a work of fiction. So you could root your writing on history, but also use your imagination to make it as interesting and immersive as possible. But as enriching and enjoyable as it is to write a historical novel, it could also be tricky to make one that truly stands out. This is why you need a writing strategy.
Here are 7 Great tips for writing a historical novel.
1. Do your research properly
Before you start the writing process, it is important that you do as much research as possible. Remember that you are writing historical fiction. So it goes without saying that potential readers are very picky when it comes to the facts. Indeed, one badly researched statement could derail the entire book and destroy your reputation as a competent writer. So before you put pen to paper, you should make sure that you have all your facts straight. Write down all your research work. Keep tabs of all your facts and make a detailed list of all your references.
2. Be careful with the details
Aside from doing your research properly, you should be as detail oriented as possible. Remember that most historical fiction readers are very detail-oriented. And any slight mistakes on your part could prove disastrous on your part. So if you’re writing about a particular time period, make sure that all the details are accurate. This goes for your character’s speech, clothes, food, buildings and overall outlook on life. Overall, the more detailed and accurate your work, the more well received it will be by readers.
3. Take care when writing about historical personalities
If there’s one thing you should be careful of writing a historical novel, it’s how you write about historical personalities. This is because historical personalities are very well known, and like any celebrated person they have a following. So if you vilify or make any assumptions about a historical personality in your writing, you are running the risk of angering their fan base. So just to be safe, it is best that you tread lightly when writing about historical personalities.
4. Do not change major historical events
Aside from being careful when writing about historical personalities, you should also refrain from making any changes to major historical events. That is unless it is a what-if scenario, then you could make some changes. But if you are basing your historical fiction on a specific historical event, then you should not really change anything.
5. Don’t be afraid to get creative
Although you should be careful when writing about historical events and personalities, this does not mean you can’t get creative. Remember that this is historical fiction. So you can practically make up anything, just as long as it does not change historical events.
6. Be in it for the long run
If there’s one thing that you should know about writing historical novels, it is the fact that it will take you a great deal of time. Remember that historical novels are based on historical events. So before you could even start on the writing process, you should make sure that all of your facts and references are trustworthy. And even when you do get started on the writing process, it really takes a long time to finish writing a historical novel. This is because historical events are very detail oriented and no matter how meticulous you are, there will be times that you will make mistakes. So if you are going to write a historical novel, be in it for the long run.
7. Choose a unique period of history to write about
If you’re a fan of historical fiction, you would most likely have read your fair share of historical fiction. So you would most likely know which period of history has been done to death already. For example, although it is easy to write about the Napoleonic war, you should know that a lot of established writers have written about this period of history. So you will not only have a hard time making up stories that stand out, you will also have your work compared to that of already established writers. So if you are going to write a historical novel, it is best that you write about a lesser known period of history. It might be less popular, but at least you have less competition in the long run.
Writing a historical fiction book is a very satisfying endeavor, because you get to write about great historical events and put your own literary flair into the story. With these writing tips, you will be able to write a historical novel in the most efficient way possible.