Do you write Historical Fiction? Writing historically accurate fiction starts with RESEARCH.
Well, duh! I know that.
What most writers forget is that they take for granted a great many aspects which can lend more credence to their works, as well as a better experience of the story they want to put forward to readers. Additionally, if you want to be considered historically accurate, you must behave as a historian–do you due diligence. Can it always be done? Some things might slip past you. No human is perfect. Try your best. This series is going to help by presenting articles of interest from around the internet and get you started on the research necessary to complete an amazing manuscript.
Whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to decide where you’re story is taking place. Sometimes this decision is easy enough, as you decide to write about a very specific incident and all of that is decided for you. Other times, the vagueness of your whim makes life a veritable hell as you pore over maps and atlases trying to make a decision. The good news is, if you’re writing a historical piece, you can start poring over the internet for ideas. Start by looking at the retro sites and online museums. Delve into tourist information. The key to doing research is to start somewhere, even if that starting point isn’t exactly what you’re looking for.
Say for instance, you want to write something along the lines of the notebook–a historical romantic pastiche set in 1940s middle America with a couple of star crossed kids. Okay, sounds great. Then what? Where are they from and how does that shape who they are? I don’t know. I haven’t gotten that far yet! Well, don’t worry! Place can shape your characters. That’s why you’re feeling so much stress. That place has to be perfect. All you have is a scene in a club in your head. What to do? Locate a club like that somewhere in middle America, dear writer. O-M-G, you make that sound so easy, but, how?
Troll the newspapers for club adds. Pick a random city, then another and another. Or maybe, you can make a fictitious city in Middle America, and just troll the internet for the various clubs and play spaces of the dating set of the time. Either way you’ll end up with a robust sampling of information form which to continue your idea, and the characters will jump and jive to life.
This technique can be used with any micro idea—just remember to interpolate your spaces and places into the search you’re undertaking. Take care to get all you’ll need. OP-DEC and Blue Honor take readers to places fictional and real. From Cheri’s night club to the bars near Manassas, readers are transported in time and place—and each exists like a character of its own, propelling dialogue, mood and action.
Before you go, check out this crazy saloon:
Skeletons in the closets, under the table and, well, everywhere.
“America’s Most Unique Night Club.
Thrills and Spills for Jacks and Jills.
Be Insulted and Like It.” – CATACOMBS PROMOTIONAL FLYER
Have a topic you’d like discussed on writing historical fiction? Leave me a message and I will do my best to get to it