Random question I know, but this year my goal is to give it a go so who knows.
I love reading historical fiction such as Philippa Gregory, however the prospect of writing historical fiction is beyond my brain. I would constantly worry about true facts despite the key word being fiction!
This week I went to my local writers group meeting and listen to a speaker talk about her obsession with historical fiction. Marianne Whiting, author of the Shieldmaiden triology (3rd book out in September) gave a fascinating talk about how she writes historical fiction.
I think my preferred genre is Women’s Fiction within the present day. Whilst I like to read historical novel writing one worries me that I would get it completely wrong. So much research and timelines would send me into over drive and probably forget writing fiction.
The key element I picked up from the speaker is that everyone’s interpretation of an event is different and this is true especially in history as another of events were written about hundreds of years after the event as the written language was not available at the actual time the part in history happened. Take William Shakespeare for example and his play of Richard 111. William thought Richard was mad, how do we actually know?
Yet situations can be taken too far that the reader may not believe them, Marianne used the example of a story about the Queen Mother having an affair. She questioned believability and is this an untouchable subject to create fiction about.
It did help that Marianne had a vested interest in the part of history she has written about. She grew up in Norway and surrounded herself within the history of the vikings during her education but it wasn’t until she retired that a book was written.
Whilst her insight on writing historical fiction very interesting I still don’t think it’s for me. Women’s fiction is where my heart is at the moment as research for that genre is hard and time consuming enough.
I’m glad I have joined my local writers group as I am learning so much from lovely people.