writing historical fiction…

“As a novelist, this is my chance to take everything I know about the characters, everything I know about the world they lived in, and make my best guess as to what they might do. I can write that with utter conviction.”

–Philippa Gregory

A late post before I crash for the night & dream of blizzards.

Battle Scars is simmering on the hard drive. As promised, I’m letting it sit. The brain is still working and won’t quite let it go. The 1st chapter isn’t getting scrapped, but it looks like it may end up as chapter 2. In the current version, the novel opens in Tours when my 2 knights arrive at King Richard’s camp. You’ve probably heard the writer’s advice that says “show, don’t tell”? I have a moment in that chapter where I “tell” how the main characters meet in Portsmouth. I think I need to “show” that scene.

I had a productive weekend!

  • I  spent several hours on Saturday writing out possible plot points for a sequel. And writing dialogue for the opening chapter. Oh my. (What happened to the idea that this was just a little ol’ novella?)
  • I re-read an old SciFi story that I wrote ages ago. The verdict: major rewrite ahead when I plunge into it. Will that be before or after I write the Battle Scars sequel?
  • I filed my income taxes!
  • I started formatting a friend’s manuscript for CreateSpace. The basics should be done in a few days. It’s lookin’ good!

There is a great discussion on the Ancient & Medieval Historical Fiction boards at Goodreads about accuracy in historical fiction. (That’s where I took the quote that’s at the top of this post.)

I was surprised that most readers aren’t interested in the author’s reference sources, which is something I love – must be the librarian/history major in me. Readers do appreciate an author’s note describing where they have strayed from established fact in order to make the plot work. I’d planned to include both when I publish Battle Scars but I think I’ll list my sources here on my website.

Minor diversions from the historic record may be forgiven. Readers will draw the line when glaring errors make it obvious the author hasn’t done their homework. I promise to do my utmost to avoid glaring errors, okay? No cell phones, no transporters, no spandex. 🙂

Leave a Reply