Writing a Historical Fiction Novel ~ Balancing Fact and Fiction

Writing a Historical Fiction Novel ~ Balancing Fact and Fiction

Hello everyone! I hope that you’re all doing well. (: I have a fun post to share with you today! It has been quite a while since I wrote an addition to my mini series Writing A Historical Fiction Novel, and as I am now writing one such novel myself (so exciting!), I wanted to share with you my tips on balancing fact and fiction in writing historical novels.

This topic has proven to be quite a difficulty for me over the last couple of years. There have been times where I couldn’t decide if I should base an action, setting, or something a character is saying off of complete fact, or if it was okay for me to put a fictional spin on it. As I have explored the art of writing in this genre, I’ve found that this is one of the hardest things to decide. You simply can’t turn to the notes you’ve taken over the months so that what the character is doing is 100% realistic … and yet, how does one balance historic fact and fictional charm? That’s what I’ll be going over today! I hope that you enjoy!

Writing a Historical Fiction Novel ~
Balancing Fact and Fiction: My 5 Tips

1. Do all of your research. By this, I mean whatever works for you and what you have in mind! If you want to know the time period you’re basing your story in forward and back, by all means, do that research. You rock! If you want to study the main settings, stories, and famous figures of your time period and then begin writing, that definitely works, too. Or, if you’re interested in sitting down to write and research everything as you go, that works, as well. Whatever works for you! Unless this is an assignment, or something, there is no right or wrong way to research history. For me, I worked on a lot over a short period of time, then slowly learned about other aspects of the time period I’m studying as I needed the information in my stories.

Related Post: Writing a Historical Fiction Novel ~ Research Tips

2. Know what story you want to write. This one may seem obvious. However, when it comes to writing historical fiction, it is an essential! Do you want your novel to be loosely based on a certain past event? Or do you want to teach your readers all about very specific details on the way life was in your era? If you want your story to dabble in history, or you bring it up every now and then, establishing this will help you figure out your style of writing, as well as how much research you should do. I have decided to research a good amount, then set to writing the first draft, planning to work out the historical details later.

3. Draw these three main things from your notes:

– scene ideas (when you read a historical fact you jotted down, does it inspire you to put your own spin on the fact?),

– time period accuracy (you need to know when and where people and settings should be so that you don’t mix up decades or centuries), and

– info on famous people/places of the time (can you work them into your story?).

Related Post: Writing a Historical Fiction Novel ~ Staying Inspired

4. Write now; verify history later. This is an important one if you’re wanting to enjoy the process of writing your first draft! It can be tempting to look back through what you’ve written down or browse the internet to make sure that they did use forks in Greece and Italy before the rest of the world (which they actually did). However, if the verification of some aspect in your story can wait until later and doesn’t alter the plot, I recommend that you fix things historically later. You’ll be much happier and laid-back about writing if you’re not checking facts every other paragraph!

5. Don’t stress about it. I’ve had to tell myself this while making myself put down my writing notebook for the hundredth time. Checking unimportant details later is definitely the way to go for me.

Thank you so much for reading, guys! I love this little series; the posts I’ve done have all been very fun to write. 🙂 I hope you all have a great day! Make sure to let me know in the comments below:

Did these tips help YOU?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

‘Home’ – A Short Story

‘Home’ – A Short Story

“You were absolutely wonderful, sweetheart!” The woman knelt down in front of the young child, securing her camera back around her neck. With a smile, she reached out and pushed back the blond curls that framed her daughter’s face. “Are you ready to be done with our little photoshoot now?”

“Yes, mommy,” the child replied, her little crooked grin lighting up the porch. After a moment, her focus returned to the treasure she held tightly against her sweater. With obvious determination etched across her sweet face, she handed it back to her mother. “I don’t want to drop it and break it.”

“Yes, that would make all of us very sad.” Standing up, the woman approached one of the porch banisters and set the lantern there, a sly smile creeping up on her lips. “Let’s keep it lit up here for daddy to see when he comes home.”

Before the child could respond, the distant sound of crunching gravel came to their ears. As it quickly drew closer, the distinct barking of their German shepherds excitedly let the girls on the back porch know of the friendly visitor that was drawing near. The young girl squealed and clapped her hands, then flew across the dimly-lit yard, her mother on her heels.

In the seconds that followed, the pickup truck was parked and a handsome man hopped out, joyfully welcoming his girls back into his arms.

“Daddy!” the little girl cried as he picked her up and tousled her soft hair. “You’re finally home!”

With tears of his own streaming down his cheeks, he gave his wife a kiss, then transferred the military hat he wore to the head of his daughter. “It has been too long, sweetheart,” he whispered, drawing his family closer to his heart. “But I’m finally home.”

Stories I’d Love To Write – Part One

Stories I’d Love To Write – Part One

Hello everyone! Today’s post is honestly an extremely unique idea for a post. I’ve never seen a blogger cover this topic before, although I don’t actually know that many writers here on WordPress. (*makes a mental note to go meet some more*) lol Either way, I absolutely loved the idea when it popped into my head because it would be a lot of fun to gather the information together, and would definitely encourage me to keep writing! As you saw from the title of today’s post, I’ll be going over stories I’d love to write someday!

I have been creating stories since I was eight years old. In the nearly ten years since I wrote my first one, I have had hundreds of ideas for stories. Alas, all but maybe thirty of those came to fruition, haha, so they’ve all been left in different notebooks I still have, as well as short drafts in the ‘stories’ folder on the computer. I sifted through these two sources for today’s post and compiled a list of the main stories I would still love to write. Even if I haven’t touched the idea since 2011, if I think I could make something out of it, I’ve included it. 🙂

The fun thing about this is that listing these bits of inspiration and sharing them with you guys will give me a chance to see what all of YOU would enjoy reading! It would help me so much if you could share in the comments which story/ies you think would be the most interesting ones to read. (Most, if not all, of them will probably be short stories one day, not full-length novels, so I might share some of them with you!)

Without any further introduction, let’s get right into this!

My Story Ideas

I would love to write the story of …

  • A HUMAN GIRL WITH BUTTERFLY WINGS. Back in ’13, I did write her story, but its ending was choppy, and there were many things that could be improved. As a whole, the characters and setting are fantastic! If I can improve story structure, it would be an enjoyable fantasy novel to write. (It was called Hutterfly, by the way. I might keep the name the same for the second draft.)

  • A MAN AND WOMAN IN LOVE. This is very vague, I know lol, but that’s the only way I know to describe them! They are the couple from Jump and A Tea Cup Forgotten, which are the only two short stories I’ve featured on my blog so far. I have such a fantastic image of how they look in my head, it’s crazy … and one day, at some point, I would love to write their full story, not just short stories that represent scenes of their lives.
  • A YOUNG GIRL AND HER DRAGON. I attempted to write this back in maybe 2012, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I abandoned it when I hit the brick wall of broken story structure (haha), but I could do something with it, and my preteen self would be so happy with that. lol The girl’s name is Melody, and I called the dragon Darwin. I might change the names in the second draft!

  • A GIRL WHO TURNS INTO A CHICKADEE. Alright, before you question my sanity, know that I was obsessed with chickadees (and other small birds) when I was between the ages of ten and twelve!! I loved watching the real ones eat the birdseed I put out for them, I loved looking at pictures of them in books and online (I used to have a big board of chickadee photography on Pinterest) – I couldn’t get enough of them. They made me so happy! (They still do, but my affection has toned down immensely haha) Back in maybe 2012, I wrote the first draft for what I called Chickadee Magic, then lost a good portion of what I’d written when I deleted the wrong draft one day (why did I have two going?? GRR). However, the novel still has 27k words on it, so I can go back and read that at some point. It will be a blast from the past, haha!! However, if I decide to write the story again (and complete it this time), I will make it a short story. I don’t love chickadees enough to write 30k+ word novel on them. LOL
  • A DRAGON WHOSE SCALE COLORS ARE TIED TO HER EMOTIONS. This story idea was what made up my first NaNoNovel, back in 2012! I loved writing it, am still in love with the characters, and I think it whole-heartedly deserves a second draft. It was about a princess named Cassandra who was turned into a dragon by an irritated wizard named Alfred. I can’t remember exactly what else happens, except that she meets a chickadee (big surprise lol) named Frank, and a real dragon called Shiro. It’s a fantastic fantasy adventure novel. I will definitely write out this one again!

  • A GIRL AND A PACK OF WOLVES. Is this cliche?? I can’t remember if there’s been a story on this lol (Julie and the Wolves, much…?), but hey, maybe I’m taking a not-unique idea and making it my own. The girl is walking through a forest, when she realizes a wolf is pursuing her, so she hides in a tree. Turns out it was a very evil wolf, although I haven’t worked anything else out past that. The next morning, a nice wolf comes along, which ends up being able to talk, but I don’t think she trusts it a first … eventually, he convinces her to come down, and introduces her to his pack. That’s it. Not sure if I can make a cool story out of it, but it might be interesting! I had no idea until now that I had so many cool fantasy ideas I hadn’t worked on yet, haha!

  • THE PRINCESS WHO SAVES THE PRINCE. Fantasy twists have inspired me for years, and this is definitely a classic one! I’ve attempted to write it a few times over the years, and I plan on actually doing so at some point. It might be a novel, a story in verse, or a short story. We’ll see!

Thank you so much for reading! Going over which stories I’d love to write / attempt to write again was both encouraging and a lot of fun! I hope you guys enjoyed it. I’ll probably share a second part to this post one day, which is why I included ‘part one’ in the title of this one. 🙂 Let me know in the comments below:

Which story would YOU want to read?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx