Historical Fiction Writers Chat

I should be focusing on work right now so naturally I’m doing this instead.

Anyway hello! I got a few requests to make this and here it is~! Historical fiction is arguably the most ignored genre on wattpad (don’t come for me if you don’t think it’s true lol apologies in advance if I’ve offended anyone) but it takes so much time and dedication. And since it’s my favorite genre to read and write, I’d love to find more HF writers so we can talk about our books and our struggles when it comes to writing HF!

First I’d love to hear about your works as well as what you think the most difficult aspect of writing historical fiction is~!

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Historical Fantasy reporting in! :smile:

So far, the most difficult has been being era-accurate. There’s funnily enough not a whole lot of info on furniture in the 1100’s. Or clothes. Or anything. Especially when you try and be area specific. I think that’s my biggest hindrance right now.

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This is probably TERRIBLE advice, but I always tell myself that if I can’t find any information on something, then other people can’t either so it’s fine :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

Also yay for historical fantasy! I’m doing that in my nano book but I’ve never written anything fantasy ever so it’s going to be a struggle.

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Hahhaha, that’s pretty much what I’ve gone with too :joy:

Ooohh, it’s gonna be so much fun! Seriously, Fantasy is the best! (I’m not biased at all.

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The hardest part for me is knowing how people would normally speak in a certain time period. It’s hard to find slang terms in common use for some eras, and for some places and periods it’s hard to even find books written back then that are still in print today to give you an idea of how people talked. But you definitely can’t write HF if you don’t love research, so it’s fun to waste a day hunting for this kind of thing. /(=^ェ^=)\

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Ah yesss the language is really hard for me too. Honestly I’ve just given up with that and try to avoid words that are very obviously not from that time period. I also feel like sometimes when the language is REALLY spot on, it takes away from the story since you’re focusing more on how the characters are talking and not necessarily what they are saying if that makes sense. It takes me out of the reading flow if I’m too concentrated on the way the characters are talking.

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Fantasy seems so hard but at least I’ll have my historical fiction comfort zone to soften the blow a bit :joy:

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Good point! Especially true of the eras when they used a lot of thees and thou’s and forsooths. U^ェ^U

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Yeah exactly it’s really distracting :joy: I KNOW I’m wrong with my story because half my characters are of noble birth and half are commoners but they all talk the same. But like not about to make them speak differently even though in reality they probably would have because I’m a lazy author and it would be too distracting.

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Yeah! It also depends on how high or low you’re writing. If you’re writing Low Fantasy there isn’t much magic in it, so you won’t have to come up with a suuuuper intricate system. High Fantasy is all Fantasy. Made up world, made up cultures, made up people…

But hey, if you need help or a brainstorm session, just holler :smile:

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Oh yeah it’s pretty low fantasy especially considering it’s for nano I don’t have time for magic systems and being super intricate. It will be more hf than fantasy but fantasy will still play a part.

I probably will need help :sweat_smile:

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Awesome! What’re your influences? :smile:

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I’ve written quite a lot of historical fiction, mostly 1890s-1920s in New Zealand (where I grew up). The only historical fiction I’ve posted on WP is WWII era, in the voice of a Soviet sniper, a young woman from a Siberian village.

I enjoyed the research, which ranged from general history and language to hunting and trapping techniques, firearms, military units and ranks, sniper tactics, and other specialised topics.

My biggest problem is that I enjoy the research too much, and keep wedging in delicious bits that don’t move the story along, and then having to cut them out.

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I’m here! Most difficult aspect?

  1. Dialogue- I’m writing a novel set in the 1950s and I use some of the slang from the time in dialogue, however, if you didn’t live in that time all you have are movies and guides to work with. I felt that trying too hard to have characters talk in 1950s slang would come off clique and unnatural.

  2. All the research and thinking involved before you can write. In one scene, I was going to have the character compare something to the first man on the moon. I had to catch myself- it’s 1953, that didn’t happen yet!

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This so much. It’s so hard when you want to write something so bad but you CAN’T until you research first. I had an entire 7 or so chapters in my book that entirely depended on one thing to make them work and I couldn’t for the life of me find the answer anywhere and it drove me insane. I spent hours researching that instead of being able to write :upside_down_face:

And lol yes at the wanting something to happen or writing it down just to realize it hasn’t taken place in your time period yet.

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Ahhh that all seems so interesting! And over research is definitely a problem. It’s a hard balance knowing what would help the story along or just drag it down with unnecessary descriptions and facts.

I don’t even know yet lol. I want to do more of a dark fairytale type vibe with forest nymphs and such but who knows not me. It’s fine I have a month until I need to start writing it I can do this maybe :joy:

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You could also try… pantsing :eyes:

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Oh yeah that will definitely be happening :joy::joy: but I feel like I need to have SOME kind of idea first.

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Ideas? Planning?

What is that? :thinking:

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