Tanya Landman reports:
"Writing historical fiction is all about...walking into another time and seeing it live and breathe...[T]he story is the most important element. And like any story, you take a character, you give them a problem and either they overcome it (happy ending!) or it overcomes them (a tragic one)...Immerse yourself in detail [about the time period]: what people ate, what they wore, where they worked, how they spent their days...You might know some gloriously obscure facts, but does your reader have to? Avoid cramming information in just because you want to demonstrate how much you know. A story can be so weighed down with detail that it drowns...Ask 'what if' all the time. What if this person was lying? What if it didn't happen quite the way they said? What if that person was innocent of the crime he was accused of? The 'what if' is meat and drink to a writer of historical fiction...People only ever see some of what occurs, and their view will be partial and prejudiced according to their background and beliefs. So don't try to cover every aspect of a historical event and don't try to explain it objectively. Be biased!"
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