The past is another country with its own customs and mores. But history isn’t lost to us. Good historical fiction is our passport to that far shore.... Writers hoping to craft convincing historical fiction need their own set of rules to help navigate this unfamiliar landscape and bring it to life for the contemporary reader.This week Mary Sharratt has an article on Publishers Weekly with five writing tips for historical novelists. What's number one? Research comes before writing. Sharratt says:
I generally research for at least six months before beginning a new novel. But it doesn’t end there. For me, research remains ongoing, in parallel with my writing until I reach the final page proofs—just in case I’ve missed any tiny detail.
And with that said, I'm off to do a little research on the treatment of Jews during the First Crusade--that topic is figuring prominently in the current chapter of my WIP.
Click here if you'd like to read the rest of Mary Sharratt's writing tips. The other four tips are just as excellent as the one I shared, and may give you some food for thought if you're thinking of cooking up a historical novel of your own.