The gift of writing historical fiction by Liz Hyder – Historia Magazine

All of my research, whatever it is, feeds into the world of the book, often in ways barely perceptible to the reader, a detail, a brushstroke to add colour. But I love all of it, that sense of feeling like a detective, tracking down the elements that will help you crack the story.

Writing historical fiction, or ‘historical-adjacent fiction’ as a friend calls what I write (given the growing of wings!), is such a fascinating, brilliant, inspiring joy of a thing, embarking on a journey of exploration into the past, following my own lifelong love of history, to bring you, the reader, on a storytelling journey alongside me.

The gift of writing historical fiction by Liz Hyder – Historia Magazine

Is your story idea viable? 7 tips to help you decide – The History Quill

Inspiration for a novel can come from anywhere, and it’s always exciting when an idea strikes. But how do you know if an idea is viable? What does viable even mean?

Essentially, an idea is viable if it’s strong enough to carry a whole novel, from the first page to the last.

But how do we know if the spark of inspiration is strong enough? How can we be sure there is sufficient ‘fire’ in the initial idea to fuel an entire novel, so your story doesn’t fizzle out 40,000 words into a draft? The following 7 tips will help you decide.

Is your story idea viable? 7 tips to help you decide – The History Quill

Putting the Color Back into History – Historical Novel Society – North America

What we think we know versus what actually happened in history is problematic for every time period. Many of the cultural assumptions we’ve learned in school or seen in popular culture are actually rooted in error. For example, we imagine medieval people as not bathing, when in fact they bathed regularly until the Black Death came around; we imagine Victorians to be prudes, although tattoos and piercings were quite popular; and we imagine the ancient world, and in particular Europe, to be white.

In truth, the ancient world has always been diverse, but it is seldom portrayed that way. There’s been a lot of controversy about skin tone with respect to the ancient world. The marble statues we’ve seen as pure white were in fact originally painted in bright colors to look realistic. The paint deteriorated over time, but it was also purposefully removed by museums, literally whitewashing statues that were once vibrant. There is currently an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on polychromy, which focuses on color in ancient statues.

The idea that these ancient statues were pure white has worked unconsciously on society at large, giving people the idea that Greeks and Romans were White (a concept they did not have). This error has in turn been used by White supremacist groups to claim that Western civilization is based on a Whiteness that never existed.

Putting the Color Back into History – Historical Novel Society – North America