On Researching to Write Historical Fiction

When it comes to writing historical fiction, your plot, however entertaining, will only take you so far.

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.

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Writing the Historical Road Less Travelled (How to Build a Historical Fiction Plot – Pt.3)

(Continued from Part 1 and Part 2)

History as a whole provides a vast collection of topics that are ripe to be made into historical novels.

Even when you’ve narrowed your interest to a specific historical era, the possibilities are virtually endless.

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Rape Culture in the Middle—And Modern—Ages (Medieval Mondays #10c)

The previous Medieval Mondays post on sex discussed perceptions of women’s sexuality in the Middle Ages.

It covered historical notions of women as “misbegotten” lesser humans, as helplessly insatiable and promiscuous, and as ever in danger of being considered unmarriageable and “spoiled goods” if subject to even the hint of impropriety.

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The Joy Burden of Sex for Women in the Middle Ages (Medieval Mondays #10b)

Medieval perception of women’s sexuality

The first two Medieval Mondays posts on sex focused on proper sexual conduct as dictated by the Church.

But no discussion about sex, be it in a historical or a modern context, can be deemed complete without a parallel discussion about the societal perception of women as sexual beings, as well as their sexual agency, or lack thereof.

The two topics are intrinsically linked.

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Saying So Long (For Now) to Medieval Mondays

Three years ago, I decided that writing a research essay on some aspect of medieval history once a month  would be a good idea.

To be clear, it was a good idea.  Although I’d already written the first draft of the first book of my historical fiction trilogy in 2006, I went on a six year writing hiatus after that, during which time I’d convinced myself I was giving up writing forever.

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