The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction: Researching and Writing Historical Fiction

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F+W Media, Jan 27, 2010 - Reference - 256 pages
23 Reviews
Once Upon a Time, it was NOW...

While a historian stands firmly planted in the present and looks back into the past, a historical novelist has a more immediate task: to set readers in the midst of bygone events and lead them forward, allowing them to live and feel the wonderment, fear, hope, triumph, and pain as if they were there.

In The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction, best-selling author James Alexander Thom (Follow the River, From Sea to Shining Sea, Sign-Talker) gives you the tools you need to research and create stories born from the past that will move and inspire modern readers. His comprehensive approach includes lessons on how to:

  • Find and use historical archives and conduct physical field research
  • Re-construct the world of your novel, including people and voices, physical environments, and cultural context
  • Achieve verisimilitude in speech, action, setting, and description
  • Seamlessly weave historical fact with your own compelling plot ideas
With wit and candor, Thom's detailed instruction, illuminating personal experience, and invaluable insights culled from discussions with other trusted historical writers will guide you to craft a novel that is true to what was then, when then was now.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Familyhistorian - LibraryThing

This is a great resource and was recommended in a class that I took about writing historical fiction. I took the class, came home and found the book in my own personal library and was finally inspired ... Read full review

Review: The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction

User Review  - Daniel Bowman - Goodreads

Not a how to book. But helpful in ideas for being in the scene. I also liked the references to his writings and the numerous historical tidbits. Read full review

About the author (2010)

James Alexander Thom was formerly a U.S. Marine, a newspaper and magazine editor, and a member of the faculty at the Indiana University Journalism School. He is the author of Follow the River, Long Knife, From Sea to Shining Sea, Panther in the Sky (for which he won the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award for best historical novel), Sign-Talker, The Children of First Man, and The Red Heart. He lives in the Indiana hill country near Bloomington with his wife, Dark Rain of the Shawnee Nation, United Remnant Band. Dark Rain is a director of the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Planning Council. The author's Website is: www.jamesalexanderthom.com.

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