Historical fiction combines historical facts and fictional events that authors recreate into a literary genre. It accurately captures a historical period's social norms, manners, customs, and traditions to retain the story's authenticity. Authors generally tweak their historical fiction books with fictional stories that involve actual historical events or figures.
So far, being a book writer is challenging since they worry about planning, plotting, structure, character development, etc. However, writing a novel with historical fiction is extra demanding for an author. It requires in-depth research to grasp the historical accuracy and authenticity of the story to make.
6 Simple Guidelines in Historical Fiction Writing
For a novice writer who wants to explore the world of historical fiction writing, here are six simple guidelines for writing a historical fiction novel:
1. Freewrite to brainstorm ideas for the potential flow of the story.
Fifteen to thirty minutes of freewriting activity of ideas about the story flow prevents beginners from overwhelming themselves on how to start it. The ideas that writers can scribble down may be anything about a particular era or historical events that have caught their interest.
Starting from what historical era they have chosen, they can write down any assumptions, cultural depictions done about it from other books and films, and what important information or hearsay they are interestingly curious about.
2. Come upon a compelling way to fictionalize a specific time period.
There are two common ways the authors create their novels under a historical fiction genre. First, they place a particular era as the story's backdrop while the fictional characters and events are all made-up by the author's imagination. The second way is that they use actual historical events but with fictional characters who lived in that era and had affected them in a significant way.
Either of the two ways, this is the time in the writing process to consider the point of view that will help direct the story's development.
3. Research details even the smaller ones about a particular time period.
Researching the writing process of a general fiction novel is critically essential. The story will depend on the authenticity of the historical recreation, and readers are sensitive about that. And with that, minor details are equally important to the primary information of a specific era.
Accuracy with the historical information, even in the tiniest bit of detail, will gain the story's credibility. And because of that, the novel can surely keep and gain more readers as soon as it is published.
4. Build the characters' world that helps in advancing the story.
Worldbuilding is the process of writing where the author builds a backdrop of where the story takes place. It does not limit the actual location a story circulates, but it also includes the historical details of everyday life of that era. It will be easier for the readers to view the story's historical context.
However, it does not mean that authors should include all historical details in the story. Make sure to only add details in the worldbuilding that helps in advancing the development of the story.
5. Don't overwhelm your story with occasional words used in a particular era.
Researching different historical eras includes the information where they use different vocabulary and grammatical structures. It is unnecessary to fill your novel with occasional words and phrases in their historical period since it will sacrifice its readability. Only include these rare words and phrases to reinforce the historical setting.
6. Cast up fictional characters to complement the actual historical figures in the story.
Historical fiction novels are rooted in actual events in history, but the fictional side is the most intricate part. Writers should create fictional characters that will not overpower their backdrop making it less historical.
The fictional characters should complement the historical figures used since it is the only independent variable that the author can easily manipulate to progress the story and keep it compelling to the readers.
Beginners may find historical fiction intimidating to venture with as a book to publish. But whenever a brave-hearted writer tries to write a historical fiction novel and completes it, the feeling of fascination and enrichment is endless.