July 22-25, 2021
New York City

 

Putting the History into the Historical

Whether history is a backdrop to your story or the focus of the story itself, this workshop will provide you with the tools to find the facts you need, organize the data in a functional manner, and merge that data seamlessly into your novel. Discover the level of historical data to include as a function of a particular writing goal. Learn the definition of historical markers and how and where to unearth them. And uncover the tools to integrate history, research, and the fiction plot arc. Most of all, find out how to honor verisimilitude—the goal of any historical writing—and avoid the dreaded anachronism.

-General introduction and explanation of what makes a historical novel/historically set romance. Discussion of the level of historical data to include as a function of a particular writing goal. -Research methods and data organization: Definitions and discussion of historical markers. Resources to unearth major historical events as well as daily lifestyle material. Methodology for managing research in a variety of ways.

-Merging the facts with the fiction. Discussing the integration of history, research, and the fiction plot arc. Discussion of appropriate voice, pace, and pov for historical writing.

-Historical Fiction: the state of the genre within the industry; marketing the genre (i.e. niche marketing).

-Take home exercise: Write a paragraph describing a moment/place in your life (here in the conference room, at the conference, your home or office) as if it was being written five hundred years from now. What would the historical markers be? What might be archaic to a human in the year 2510? The exercise shines a light on those markers that we would look for to bring life to the past.