Seven Tips from Napoleon for Historical Fiction Authors

Great writing advice for historical fiction authors, based in an unexpected source.

All about historical fiction

Friend and fellow author Margaret Rodenberg (Secretary of the Napoleonic Historical Society, avid reader of historical fiction, and author of Finding Napoleon: A Novel) shares advice from the master strategist Napoleon Bonaparte. According to Margaret, this intriguing character, who’s known for his pithy sayings, remains one of the most revered and reviled rulers in history. Over to you, Margaret.

If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.

Attributed to Napoleon

In other words,writethe book you want toread. Choose your subject as carefully as if you were buying a house, because you’ll spend years dwelling in that environment. If you don’t find it fascinating, neither will your readers.

BAD ADVICE: “Write for the hottest market.” BETTER ADVICE: By the time you finish your vampire manuscript, the publishing world will have moved on to zombies. Write the best book you can on a theme…

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