Do you write Historical Fiction? Writing historically accurate fiction starts with RESEARCH.
Well, duh! I know that.
Most writers will take for granted a great many aspects that 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 your 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.
Hoaxes and Hijinks
First of all, do you follow Professor Wm. P. Hightrousers, PhD, MBE on Facebook? You should if you’re enjoying the series and like the off beat of history. The off beat, hijinks and weird moments in history can really provide a fun learning experience for matters of the record. Not all writing about history need be entirely serious. Look at Monty Python’s Holy Grail. Sure, that wasn’t historically accurate, but it got a lot of people to learn a bit more about Sir Arthur King and ask, what IS the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow. The point of reading is really up to the reader, and, so too, the point of writing is up to the writer.
As a historical writer with graduate training, I fancy myself a historian. I research my topics carefully and broadly to get a good feel for the time and people of which I’ll be writing, in order to give a rich experience to the reader. My intention is to not only entertain but intrigue and teach. So much of what we think we know about history comes to us via entertainments. I take care to be accurate and I believe that other historical authors should as well. It can be quite dangerous to write falsehoods, leaving many people with a false sense of self and the facts. When people are not armed with a proper sense of self and historical facts, history repeats itself and not for the best. Hitler sold the German people a false history that filled them with false nationalism. In the United States, the history of the settlement of the lands is glossed over as heroic, never mind how colonists murdered the population that was already here to take their lands–starve them out, hunt them, rape them, imprison them… And, don’t get me started on the recent debacle with history texts that will leave out this truth and the truth of the Civil War. Thanks, Texas, for doing your part to indoctrinate and dig in patriarchy. This helps no one.
Regardless of what your topic is, or how you want to approach it, adding some interesting historical flavor can really make your book better and see that Best Seller you’ve been aiming for all this time. Give yourself the best chance you can! Hijinks are fun and lighten the mood. If you’re writing comedy, they’re a must. You don’t have to make this stuff up. History is loaded with things that you can sample to your readers.
Check out The Museum of Hoaxes to learn more about some historical fun.
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.