My first full-length novel was historical fiction.
Gasps from all around. The audience collectively shivers. One person dares to boo.
Writing historical fiction is simply not as insufferable as many people may think. It may take an acquired taste for research, but you never know until you’ve tried it. And if you enjoy reading it, you can absolutely write it.
Writing my first book, I had two companions by my side: Google and one (1) Renaissance history book (Christendom Destroyed by Mark Greengrass). I accumulated many bookmarked tabs with information regarding dialect, textiles, and torture devices. I annotated the book because tend to think that a highlighted, well-read book is just prettier.
Certain documents stood out to me more and became really exciting discoveries. I began to realize that I might just really love research. I love diving down a rabbit hole and entering a world of metallic crystals for a science paper or finding out about legal loopholes in the 17th century. This is an excellent trait to have in general but it makes historical fiction a joy to write.
If there’s a special, weird interest you have in positively anything, that affinity shines in your writing. Think of J.R.R. Tolkien; his interest in linguistics meant that he was drawn to create his own language for The Lord of the Rings, and the parts written in Elvish are gems in the books.
This is because it’s simply fun to live vicariously amongst someone’s interests. When your best friend tells you about their favorite song and why they love it so much, their words exude passion. And it feels great to be the one telling someone about your favorite things, too, because it’s a very intimate way of communicating. The listener is showing that they care about the speaker’s passions, which immediately connects the two with knowing this.
For example, if your favorite song has deeply emotional lyrics, by telling someone else that you love it you’re expressing your relatability to the piece of music. This instantly places you in a position of vulnerability that reveals what you connect to and makes the other individual wonder what experiences you must have had in your life to connect to that music so much.
By writing, you are putting that vulnerability on paper. You are unintentionally writing your wounds into every word. And when you know so much about something or simply can’t help but be interested in Greek mythology, your readers will thank you for including it.
We write best from what we love and feel.
You’ll find that when you use these resources that are lying around in your writer’s toolbox, they will come together effortlessly to elevate the story into something bigger and better.