Whether you're a seasoned writer or a beginner, writing historical fiction is a thrilling journey into the past. In this in-depth guide, we'll look at the steps you need to follow to write a captivating historical novel.
Research is key
Historical fiction relies heavily on the accuracy of details. From the way people spoke to the clothes they wore, everything should be as authentic as possible. Start your research by reading books, watching documentaries, and scouring the internet for information about your chosen era. One of the long-tail keywords we identified earlier, 'How to research for historical fiction', will be particularly useful in this step.
Choose a historical period
When you're ready to start writing, the first thing you'll need to decide on is the historical period. This will influence every aspect of your story, from the characters' names to the types of conflicts they face. Use the 'How to choose a historical period for your novel' keyword as a reminder of the importance of this step.
Develop engaging characters
Creating believable and engaging characters is crucial in any novel, but it's especially important in historical fiction. Your characters should feel like they're a part of the era you've chosen, so be sure to incorporate period-specific traits and mannerisms. Look to our 'Character development in historical fiction' keyword for more tips.
Write compelling dialogue
The dialogue in your historical novel should fit the time period, which can be a tricky balance to strike. You want to avoid modern slang and expressions, but you also don't want to make the dialogue so period-specific that it's difficult for readers to understand. To help with this, you might find the 'Tips for writing historical dialogue' keyword useful.
Create a captivating plot
Even with all the historical details in place, your novel won't be captivating without a compelling plot. Use conflicts and challenges that are specific to your chosen time period to keep readers engaged. The 'Plotting a historical novel' keyword will give you plenty of ideas.
Make use of historical events
Using historical events as a backdrop for your story can add a layer of authenticity and excitement. However, remember to strike a balance between fact and fiction. For more on this, refer to our 'Balancing fact and fiction in historical novels' keyword.
Nothing pulls a reader out of a historical novel faster than an anachronism. These are things that are out of place in the period you're writing about, like a character using a cellphone in the 1800s. To avoid this, use the 'How to avoid anachronisms in historical fiction' keyword as a guide.
Keep readers engaged
Keeping readers engaged in your historical novel is key. Use cliffhangers, plot twists, and emotionally engaging characters to keep your readers turning the pages. The 'Keeping readers engaged in historical fiction' keyword will provide you with plenty of tips and techniques.
Below is a table summarizing the key points we've discussed:
By following these steps and keeping these keywords in mind, you'll be well on your way to writing captivating historical fiction. Remember, the most important thing is to enjoy the process of creating your historical world.