Writing a Historical Fiction Novel ~ Staying Inspired

Writing a Historical Fiction Novel ~ Staying Inspired

Writing a story takes a lot of time, effort, and motivation. It takes allowing the characters to grow in your mind, imagining the type of setting/s you’ll be placing them in, and deciding where you want the book to begin, go, and end.

As I’ve found through the planning process of my own current novel, which has consumed all of my creative writing energy for the past couple of years, writing a historical fiction novel, in particular, is even harder to plan and write than other genres, in my opinion. There’s certainly much more research involved, as historical fiction is typically based around something that really happened, to some extent!

So the question is, how does one stay inspired on the path of planning and writing a historical fiction novel? That’s what I’ll be talking about today, and I hope that I’ll be able to inspire you … to stay inspired in your writing!

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1. Visit your local library. Look at books on the time period/historical event you’re basing your story around, then read the parts that interest you. Make sure to take notes! Or, if you prefer, take some books home to look at later. In Georgia, we have a ton of libraries, and the majority of them are part of the Georgia Pines Library System. That means that I can put books on hold from all over the state, as well as visit new libraries and have all my books checked out on the same card! It’s pretty awesome, and I appreciate how many libraries I’ve been able to go to over the years. And when it comes to story research, it’s very helpful to have multiple library selections!

2. Browse online articles. I much prefer going to the library to find my inspiration, although I must say, it is extremely helpful to have hundreds of thousands of website pages available for free on a huge variety of topics! You can look up very specific things and instantly find the type of information you’re looking for; at the library, it takes a bit more digging (which I honestly enjoy).

3. Make a story board on Pinterest. I’ve made these for multiple novels that I’ve been working on over the past couple of years! However, I have found that, for myself, at least, they’re helpful in theory; I have yet to finish writing a book that I had a storyboard for. It’s very strange. Although I have been struggling to complete a book since 2014 … oh, the sad life of a writer.

4. Keep a notebook full of novel inspiration. As a matter of fact, keep two notebooks; one for research notes and structured story ideas and character profiles, and another for when ideas just come to you! This can be anything from a character trait, to an exciting scene, to a killer opening line. Even if it seems crazy when it pops into your head, don’t doubt the power it can have in your novel!

Those are my tips to stay inspired! Did any of them help you?
What are your tips?

Do YOU have any ideas on keeping the inspiration coming when writing a novel? Comment down below!

— Maggie

Beautiful People – March 2017

Beautiful People – March 2017

As the recipe I was going to share today didn’t turn out, I’ve decided to post something a bit different! I hope you enjoy.

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Yesterday, Jaylee Morgan, an amazing writer that I follow, posted about a writers’ linkup that she participated in this month. I loved getting to read her answers to the questions, and she encouraged me to do a post of my own!

‘Beautiful People’ is a monthly blog linkup that gives writers a neat way to interview their characters! There are ten interview questions a month for anyone who wishes to participate. Not only does it help writers get to know their characters better, but it also develops the characters in the mind of the reader. 🙂

For my first time joining the linkup, I’ve chosen to interview the two main characters (Galaxite and Derry) from Galaxite, the book that I will start writing soon.

It was very odd for me to interview them, as they don’t even have a story of their own yet. However, I have been experimenting with which stories to put them in for months now, so I basically already know them at this point. I love that they’re getting to be in a story together! (I’d originally planned for them to be in separate books.)

Their answers will not necessarily give spoilers and hints toward what’s going to happen in the story; it’s just how they’ve presented themselves in my mind at this point.

Okie dokie, on with the interview. If you have any more questions you’d like to ask Galaxite and Der, I’d be happy to have them answer in the comments!

If you’re interested in joining this epic linkup yourself, click here or on the picture below.

For anyone interested in knowing a bit more about their story, you can read this post. 🙂 To quickly sum it up, it’s a historical fiction novel set in the poor villages and towns of 13th century England.

Galaxite’s answers are in bold, and Derry’s answers are in italics.

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What’s your favorite book/movie/play/etc?

The Bible is my favorite book – and not just because it’s the only one around! However, I did used to have a book of ballads my mother gave me, but I’ve lost it somehow.

What’s a movie?

Der. Are you really questioning the questions already? Just answer.

Alright, alright. I love the Bible – even though I, unfortunately, haven’t gotten to look at one in a loooong time. The Psalms are very inspiring.

Aw, I love the Psalms, too!

Indeed. *clears throat* Carry on.

Is there anything you regret doing?

If I’d paid more attention to gardening skills when my dad tried to teach me so long ago, I would’ve been a better gardener by now.

Aw, come on, Gal! That can’t be the only thing you regret.

It certainly is not the ONLY thing, but it was the first one I thought of! Now quit delaying! Tell us if there’s anything you regret.

I wish that I’d spent more time with my family.

*reaches over to give him a hug*

*accepts hug*

If you were sick or wounded, who would take care of you and how?

Der.

Gal.

*both laugh*

We rely on each other more than I thought we did.

Yeah, really. If Galaxite was hurt, I’d do the best I could to help her stop hurting – I’d probably get a damp cloth and poppy plaster, or something; depends on the wound – and if she was sick, I’d send in someone to give her some fresh milk, then shout my well wishes to her through the window.

DER!!

What? *looks innocent* I’d hate to lie to the interviewer. Sickness is highly contagious.

Is there an object you can’t bear to part with? Why?

I honestly can’t think of anything.

And I lost everything back when … you know …

What are five ways to win your heart (or friendship)?

Have a great sense of humor …

And a charming smile.

Have a great singing voice …

And beautiful hair!

Have a contagious laugh …

And the cutest little nose.

Derry, those are all the things you compliment ME on.

Exactly.

Describe a typical outfit for you from top to bottom.

A bodice, dress, and underdress; maybe a sash, as well, and some leather shoes; and probably a long ribbon woven through my hair.

A thin shirt and a tunic; a belt and pants; leather boots that my friend made for me … oh, and a hood on my shirt, as well.

You never wear a hood.

Ah, yes, but in the event that my ears get cold, my hood’s always there for me.

What’s your favorite type of weather?

Complete sunshine and not a cloud in the sky! Granted that it doesn’t make the world unbearably hot, anyway. I do love a good, sunny day.

I like when it rains.

My goodness, Der! Why?

‘Cause then you’ll stay inside and play board games with me! When it’s all nice out, you’re nowhere to be found indoors.

Ah, that’s true …

What names or nicknames have you been called throughout your life?

Gal. That’s about it. But I love it!

My only nickname is Der. Although sometimes, Gal calls me –

DER-BEAR

Stop.

NOOOOOO

What makes your heart feel alive?

Remember that night when we danced by the light of the fire?

That’s something I’ll never forget, Der.

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Haha, I hope you enjoyed! That was ridiculously fun to write.

— Maggie

About My Historical Fiction Novel

About My Historical Fiction Novel

Galaxite Rhys, a teenage girl from a developing medieval village (sometime in the 13th century), is offered some time off from her daily life when her best friend’s brother gives her the opportunity to stay with him in a neighboring town. Upon her arrival, she finds the man that completely matches her friend’s description, and is excited to begin her much-needed break with this friendly gentlemen. But something isn’t quite right, and she begins to sense that something’s amiss (in the most humorous way possible – this is not a frightening story) when the man isn’t as knowledgeable as he should be, and doesn’t quite know the way back to his own home …

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That was the overall description for the historical fiction novel that I’m working on!

It’s still completely in the development stage right now, as I haven’t even began writing it, lol. I’m forcing myself to focus on plot development, believable characters, and a strong sense of where the story will ultimately go before I put my pen to paper (or keys to keyboard, or something like that, hahah)

Do you think it sounds interesting? Once it’s written (haha), would you read it? Do you have any suggestions for what would make it more exciting? Please let me know all of your thoughts down below!

A story is just as important to the readers as it is to the writer. 🙂

Thanks!

— Maggie