One of the first books I remember reading was Marie McSwigan’s Snow Treasure, the story of how Norwegian children ferried gold bars on their sleds under the noses of the Nazis to a ship waiting to take the gold to America for safekeeping. That book was a childhood favorite, and from then on, I loved reading books set in times past. When I first decided to write a story, it had to be a historical novel. Back then I had no idea what that entailed, but luckily I became a librarian and acquired the skills I needed to research the stories I now write.
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The purpose of this workshop is to share some tricks librarians know and a variety of resources writers of historical fiction need to craft stories that transport readers back in time. We will:
- examine what historical fiction is and why research is important
- explore fact versus fiction and incorporating real life into a fictional tale
- discuss different kinds of resources and what types of information a historical novelist needs to write a convincing snapshot of the past
- create the time and place so the reader finds herself/himself somewhere in the past, rather than the present
- learn what can destroy that sense of time and place.
Workshop participants will examine the pros and cons of various issues related to the writing of historical fiction and its subgenres; knowing whether there’s too much or not enough historical detail in the story; and how to evaluate whether a resource contains quality information or just a lot of quantity. A variety of activities reinforce what’s covered in the class.
At the end of the workshop, I provide a free edit of a chapter from participants’ manuscripts.
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New for 2018 Researching and Writing Historical Fiction with Cindy Vallar
Learn tricks to find resources that transport readers to another time period