So many creative initiatives begin life as an offhand comment, initially dismissed.
So it was with #HFChitChat—the idea of a recurring Twitter chat and online community for writers of historical fiction.
The first half of this book keep growing in revisions, while the second half keeps… not…being revised.
Cut it in half and call it a duology? 😅
— E. K. Thiede (Emily) (@ethiedee) July 10, 2019
(At least the first part of the tweet; it’s pretty hard to create a duology out of a story that’s already been envisioned as a trilogy!)
It was this—the inherent uncertainty of any long gap of time—that convinced me to go to the recent writers’ conference of the Historical Novel Society’s North American chapter, held June 20-23 in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Writers’ conferences are expensive, even more so with the exchange from Canadian dollars for those held in the United States. Still, as a writer of historical fiction, I felt it was important for me to go.
On the one hand, if you’ve yet to do any work toward your goals for the year, mid-year seems to represent the latest you could realistically start and still achieve the full desired result.
Twelve books a year doesn’t trouble me anymore, but it did at the time. I found myself floundering beneath the burden of various competing obligations, some mandatory, some discretionary, and that reading, my oldest pastime, had fallen far by the wayside.
You also have to present a well-constructed setting that captures the culture, customs, details, and ethos of the historical period in question. In this way, histfic genre conventions have as much in common with an honours-level history class as with any other genre of fiction.