5 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction


By Maryann Yin Comment

At the 2012 Brooklyn Book Festival, The Last Nude author Ellis Avery, Conquistadora author Esmeralda Santiago and Cervantes Street author Jaime Manrique all joined a panel about writing historical fiction.

Throughout their talk, they shared these five handy tips for writers thinking about the genre.

1. Assemble a collection of art books from the period you are researching. Cut them up and interact with them to get ideas and draw feelings. This will help especially with character development.

2. Read other historical fiction books and identify techniques that could fit well for your own story.

3. Keep in mind that regardless of the time period, people don’t change very much in the ways they respond emotionally.

4. Research constantly.

5. Know the equivalents for linguistic expressions such as “D’uh!” and “Yo.” Use language that is accurate to the time period, but don’t force it. Bear in mind that the Oxford English Dictionary can be your best friend.

Can you add any more tips on writing historical fiction stories?