Historical fiction is written around an actual period of time (which must be factual) with fictional characters. Recreate life as it was without moving the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral or Times Square. Know that your character cannot stand on the docks of London, dropping letters into the water, and watching them drift out to sea. Accuracy and authenticity is key – look at a map of London, New York or wherever your story is set to get it right.

There are things about writing historical fiction that have to be altered. Many 17th Century words and phrases do not easily translate. Your reader would get lost in the dialect. And, all too often, if one were to stick strictly true to the time period, your characters might be a little dull. Allow your characters to engage with the historical details, expanding on truism. Allow the aroma of horse dung to drift from the cobblestone streets. Or your characters squint in the fading light of the tallow candles.

Spin a tale of:

  • factual events
  • real places
  • fictional characters

“Linda has published fifteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish.”