8 Tips To Write Excellent Historical Fiction

8 Tips To Write Excellent Historical Fiction

Historical fiction is a type of literature where the story takes place in the past. Writing historical fiction provides writers with a fabulously rich backdrop to work with. 

Authenticity is the main characteristic of a quality historical novel. You shouldn’t include interesting, but unverified facts in the book but work hard with sources to check information.

  1.       In addition to information from books and the Internet, use documents from archives, as well as special libraries (universities and museums). It takes some work to gain access to those resources, but the results are worth it. You can incorporate into your novel facts found in parish records, copies of ordinances, and even in ancient records of traders’ deals. Use a whole variety of sources.
  2.       A lot of useful information can be provided by enthusiastic experts – scientists, ethnographers, history teachers, as well as guests of thematic events. If you have already written the text but still want to double-check it, you can use external help. For example, resources, like Write my paper, can check your text for historical accuracy and help to collect needed information.
  3.       It is very helpful to take a tour of the places in which the events of your book unfold. The deeper you will dig into the plot, the more precise you will describe the historical era.

Building the plot of a historical fiction novel

First of all, historical fiction should be interesting. Therefore, the author should pay attention to the quality of the text. A correctly built plot and a vivid style of the text are important criteria for the success of historical work.

  1.       Don’t be afraid to write in the first person. It is the most effective way to immerse the reader in the maelstrom of events.
  2.       Unlike a textbook, in historical prose the main thing is not events and dates, but a person. The most advantageous option is to show the course of history through the prism of an interesting character. Characters can be both fictional and real-life personas. The protagonist can also be “semi-real”, which means he can be based on a prototype.
  3.       Historical fiction novels are the easiest genre. It gives you more freedom to add more fictional storylines to the plot.
  4.       Pay more attention to details! During the preparation process, it is necessary to study not only the basic information of the described historical period but also little-known facts that emphasize the spirit of those times.
  5.       Choosing the right style of storytelling in historical fiction is especially important. For example, many writers prefer to use words and phrases in the dialogs in accordance with the era they are writing about. 

Historical novels for inspiration:

  •         The Iron King, Maurice Druon

High accuracy in describing historical facts and a fascinating plot is the French author’s strongest points. The conflict in The Iron King is chosen very well. Its idea is that all the horrific events that took place in the 14th century in France were due to the curse, which was put on King Philip the Fair by the Knights Templar.

  •         Peter the First, Alexey Tolstoy

Alexey Tolstoy began to research the character of his hero, Peter the First, in 1917. And almost thirty years later, Tolstoy was still working on this enormous historical canvas that gives life and meaning to an important period in Russian history. 

  •         Queen Margot, Alexandre Dumas

The plot of this trilogy by Alexandre Dumas revolves around the personality of Queen Margot. Court conspiracies, political games, and love are harmoniously fitting into the plot about the war between Catholics and Huguenots.



Helen Wilson is a professional content writer and assignment helper. Her main spheres of specialization are Education and Productivity. She also studies topics about psychology.


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