Charles Web Journal

My blog is intended to show how I construct and write a historical novel. It will be a journal of my daily writing activity, as I write a new historical novel.

Location: Evansburg, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired school teacher with a B. Ed in English literature a B.A. in History. After a long career as a teacher of English and history, I now write historical novels based on Canadian history.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Writing a Historical Novel

Writing a historical novel is an interesting endeavor. Besides plot and characters, setting is an important part of the story as the time and locale become integral to the project.

The plot must be in keeping with the history of the time; the characters must live in the culture of the period, and the setting must be realistic and relevant to the locale and the era of the novel.

Usually, this requires research to find the details that make for realism and this includes elements of weather, architecture, clothing, tools, language, etc.

The historical novelist should enjoy this or the writing becomes a chore. Sometime frustration sets in as it becomes difficult to find a tiny bit of information that is relevant to the realism.

Another aspect is whether the narrative is plot or character driven. Both are important to the historical novel, but usually one dominates.

Personally, most of my historical novels are, I think, plot driven although I do spend time on developing the characters before they ever appear in the story.

These are a few of my views on writing a historical novel.


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