Genre: Historical Fiction
Anonymous asked: Any advice in writing historical fiction?Yes: RESEARCH. Soooo much research! But don’t be discouraged. Researching for historical fiction is almost as fun as writing it. Here are the things, just off the top of my head, that you’ll want to cover in your research:
- What was your setting like during that time period? You need to know what the landscape was like, what any significant towns and cities were like, who lived there, what activities went, what crops were grown, what was the weather like, who ruled them, who administered peace and justice, what the laws were like, etc.
- What were people like in your setting, during that time period? How did they dress? What did they eat? How did they speak? What did they believe? How did they treat others? What were their daily lives like? What were the social classes? How did they feel about their authority figures? What traditions and festivals did they celebrate? What folk tales and superstitions were important to them? What were their cultural mores? How did they behave and how did they feel about things like marriage, sex, money, leisure, children, education, etc.
- What world events were impacting, had impacted, or could impact their lives or environment? It’s important to know what was going on elsewhere in the world and understand how that impacted your setting and the people who lived there. For example, if your setting is a French village near the German border in the early-to-mid 1930s, your characters might be very concerned about Hitler’s activities at the time.
All of this information is available on Google. You can start by searching for “your setting” + “time period” to see what comes up. You can also focus on specific poings by searching “setting” + “time period” + “topic.” You can also find photos, paintings, or sketches of your setting by searching in Google Image Search. Maps are another great thing to look for in GIS. You an type in “setting” + “map” + “time period.”
Look for city, county, state, province, or national historic societies or archives on-line. Genealogy web sites are loaded with information. You can search for “setting” + “time period” + “genealogy” to access these.
If there are any films or TV shows that take place in your setting and time period, see if you can find them in your channel guide, on Netflix, or at the library. Most modern-made period pieces are accurately researched an provide a fair depiction of the time. It’s always good to double-check the details, however. The Showtime series, The Tudors, for example, got some of the details right but took a lot of liberties, especially with costuming.
Here are some links that might be helpful:
Eras of Elegance (includes movies and shows for each period)