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.
Grants and Funding
Doing the research for your next historical fiction sounds like amazing fun. You’re so excited about your idea and you get right to work. The days are filled with light and joy. Then, it hits you. That roadblock to finishing your project, the one you hope doesn’t rise up every time you get down to business, but never fails but to arrive midway through the work, or toward the end making it impossible to continue. You’ve got something you need to research, but you can’t find anything on it and the one place you could find something about it is on the other side of the Earth.
You could just totally flub it. Why not? You are, after all, writing fiction. That would be your purview. However, that said, how many best selling authors flubbed it? How many authors who rank in the top tier of their field or genre stopped at this point and said, well fuck it, I’m going to make shit up. Certainly, throughout the writing process in regards to historical works, we’re making a lot up–I mean who really knows what Marie Antionette said to her cousin on the fifth of April, 1762? We were not there, and documentation of events isn’t quite so thorough. So we’re filling in. In that case, we might see justification in just fudging the history a bit to get around the wall we find ourselves staring down. That, however, is shaky integrity.
That said, what if you could get to the place you need to go to find out the information you need to finish up your book with integrity? I’m sure you’re about to say, but I can’t afford all these trips to places, or materials to do this. This is too much. I thought I could just write my story and be done.
Absolutely you can. It is always your decision in the end, as to how you will handle your material and the history you chose to write about. That said, there are those who will want to do the utmost and they may be hard pressed to finagle trips for research because they have a day job and funding is a limiting factor.
Have you heard of Funds for Writers? Well, you have now. They’re a website dedicated to finding funding for your writing projects. Not all of us are keen on the Go Fund Me begging for money to write a book trend. Even though we know in our heart that this is about getting what we need to finish our work, we regard it as begging. Most of the funds come from average Joes and that leaves us unsettled. How can we beg for money from our peers and others with as little cash flow as our own? Funds for Writers can help you get around that concern by offering you information on getting grants. Grants are money set up by either the government or private interest groups to fund specific projects. In other words, people with money are looking to give it to people who have a project and help support that creation. Grant writing is a bit of a hurdle, I will admit. It has kept me from reaching out to apply for such funds. You have to know what you’re doing. It’s just like applying for a job. Then, there is the tracking of expenses and keeping detailed records of your work and research and everything. It sounds like a lot and some do this as a job. However, for writing, these are small grants and I am sure you can hang onto your receipts and make a log. Have faith in yourself. You’re a writer. You couldn’t have gotten this far if you didn’t know how to organize and track. You do it every day with your books.
So go check out Funds for Writers and see what tips and assistance you can find for your project. Don’t give up and flub it.
Let’s talk about permission next time. For now, best wishes!