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How to write historical fiction | Step-by-Step Guide

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  • September 4, 2023
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  • 9 min read


If you love history and enjoy reading about the past, writing historical fiction could be the perfect genre. But where do you start? How do you make sure that your story is historically accurate and engaging at the same time? In this article, we’ll take you through twelve easy steps to writing historical fiction.

Pick a topic.

Pick A Topic, and for inspiration, you can explore LITRPG Fictions, a revolutionary genre. The first step to writing a historical-fiction novel is to pick a topic that interests you. Do some research into what has already been written about your chosen subject. Look at the success of those books or if there is an upcoming movie based on that story.

If people are interested in reading about it, there’s a good chance they’ll want more! Just look at how many new books are being published every year about Harry Potter and Game of Thrones.

You should also consider your topic’s relevance for yourself and others who may buy your book. For example, if you’re living through hard times financially or emotionally, perhaps writing about World War II would give readers hope.

Choose Your Time and Place

Choose Your Time And Place, and consider The Significance of Book Reviews for Authors in your chosen era. The next step in writing historical fiction is to choose the time and place for your story. This could be a specific era, such as the American Civil War, or a particular location, such as the French Revolution. Whatever you choose, make sure that you do your research and immerse yourself in the details of that time and place.

Decide what to write about it.

The next step to writing historical fiction is to choose what you will write about. You should pick a topic that interests you. However, it must also be relevant to your audience and the current political or social climate.


Research! And learn How to Check for Plagiarism in Google Docs to ensure originality. Research is the key to good historical fiction. You need to know what you’re writing about, and there’s no excuse for not doing enough research. Research can be fun–you’ll find yourself learning new things and making connections between past events that are relevant today.

If you want to get into the details of your story, consider visiting archives or museums where documents from that period may still exist!

You can also look for primary sources written at the time of your story: diaries, letters, newspapers, etc. You can even find these online if you search hard enough! If you’re writing about a specific event or person in history, it’s important to get their side of the story too.

Decide where to set the story.

When deciding on a time and place for your story, you want to consider what interests you. You also want to choose a time and place that is not too familiar to your audience. If they know all about the era or location of your novel, then there will be no surprise or twist in the story. This can lead readers away from what they are reading because they already know what happened before.

Create a main character:

Make sure to make your characters relatable when writing historical fiction. You should be able to put yourself in their shoes or at least imagine that someone like you would be living in this period and place. Your readers will feel more connected with the story if they think of themselves as part of it.

There are many ways to do this: make sure they’re dynamic, interesting, sympathetic and likable (or at least not unlikeable).

Maybe they have a secret or talent they don’t want to reveal. Maybe they’re the only person who can save their town from famine. Or maybe they’re the only ones who can fix the mill’s engine. Ensure your characters are active and doing things rather than just sitting around waiting for something interesting to happen.

Pick an antagonist:

You’ll want to pick an antagonist just as important as your hero. The antagonist should be in opposition to the hero and a character with his or her story arc throughout the novel. This will help give your reader something to root for. However, also keep them guessing about what will happen next.

Your antagonist should be complex and interesting enough to easily fill up an entire book on his/her own!

Decide where the story begins and ends, and plan accordingly.

Decide Where The Story Begins And Ends, And Plan Accordingly, ensuring you Unlock the Secrets of How to Write a Mystery Short Story. The inciting incident is when your main character’s life changes forever. It’s not always a big moment: it can be as simple as realizing their boss hates them or finding out that their job has been outsourced to another country. The inciting incident is often subtle enough that it goes unnoticed by the characters themselves. But not so subtle that it happens off-screen (unless you want to take this route).

The resolution of conflict should come at around 85% through your book. It should be clear enough so readers know what happens next but still leave room for surprises in later chapters!

Include details:

Include Details, and consider Illustrations in Writing to enhance your storytelling. It’s important to avoid overwhelming your readers with excessive detail, as this can lead to boredom. However, it’s important to include enough information so that they understand what is happening in the story.

Details make historical fiction come alive and add depth and context to your characters’ experiences. If you don’t include enough details, it can be hard for readers to visualize what life was like during this period or place. And if they can’t visualize it, they won’t care about what happens!

If you’re unsure how much detail to include, try writing a few different versions of your story and see which one works best.

Be Accurate

Historical fiction readers are often history buffs, and they expect a high level of accuracy in the details of your story. Ensure that your facts are correct and that you don’t take too many liberties with history. However, remember that you’re writing fiction, not a history book, so it’s okay to take some creative liberties. However, to ensure that your details are accurate, you can also hire Book Writing Services, who can proofread your work. They will check the facts and confirm their accuracy, saving you from making a fool of yourself.

Remember to show the characters’ feelings:

The best way to show a character’s feelings is through actions and dialogue. For example, if you want readers to know that your protagonist is angry, don’t tell them so in narration–show them by having her slam doors or yell at people.

Include some humor:

Humor is a great way to keep your readers engaged and make them care about the characters. It’s one of the most powerful tools in any writer’s toolkit. However,

It can also be overused and become cloying if you don’t use it sparingly. In historical fiction, humor can come in many different forms: dry wit or off-handed comments are often used by authors like Jane Austen and Tom Sharpe to lighten up dark situations without going too far into parody. Meanwhile, other writers prefer to play up their characters’ quirks as they navigate difficult situations.

Some authors use humor to make their readers laugh. Others try to create a lighter mood in the story.

Essential Elements and Detailed Insights

Key Steps Creative Approach Artistic Flair
Ignite Creativity Immerse yourself in diverse LITRPG Fictions, sparking unconventional ideas. Think beyond the obvious and consider the unexplored facets of history. Infuse your narrative with a dash of creativity, introducing unexpected elements that captivate readers’ imaginations.
Craft Time-Traveling Settings Blend eras like a literary alchemist. Combine unlikely timelines, merging the American Civil War with the Renaissance or the French Revolution with futuristic elements. Create a unique atmosphere by intertwining historical periods, adding an extra layer of intrigue to your story’s backdrop.
Embark on a Research Adventure Transform research into an exhilarating quest. Dive into historical archives or digital repositories, unearthing hidden gems that breathe life into your narrative. Let the thrill of discovery permeate your writing, infusing your story with rich, authentic details that transport readers to another time.
Character Alchemy Transmute your characters into relatable souls. Bestow them with quirks, secrets, and talents that transcend time, making them timeless and universally empathetic. Forge characters that resonate across eras, ensuring readers connect with their humanity rather than just their historical context.
Antagonist Tapestry Weave a tapestry of complexity around your antagonist. Create a character whose motivations echo through time, leaving readers intrigued and uncertain about the next twist. Paint your antagonist with shades of gray, making them as enigmatic and dynamic as the historical backdrop itself.
Unveil Epochal Incidents Introduce epochal incidents subtly, like whispers that change destinies. Craft inciting incidents that ripple through time, altering the course of your characters’ lives. Unveil pivotal moments with finesse, allowing readers to uncover the profound impact gradually.
Details as Time Travel Devices Use details as time-travel devices, transporting readers seamlessly. Balance the richness of historical accuracy with a sprinkle of imaginative embellishments. Incorporate vivid details that serve as portals, transporting readers effortlessly into the tapestry of your historical world.
Accuracy with Artistic Liberties Dance on the tightrope of accuracy and creativity. Embrace historical facts while elegantly executing creative liberties to sculpt a narrative masterpiece. Craft a delicate balance, respecting historical integrity while weaving a tale that transcends the boundaries of time.
Emotive Actions Speak Louder Let actions and dialogues paint emotions. Show, don’t tell, the feelings of your characters. Express anger through slamming doors and joy through laughter. Evoke emotions through nuanced actions, creating a visual and sensory experience that resonates with readers on a profound level.
Quirky Humor Palette Paint your narrative with a quirky humor palette. Infuse dry wit or off-handed comments, mirroring the comedic nuances of authors like Jane Austen and Tom Sharpe. Add a touch of humor as a seasoning, ensuring it enhances rather than overwhelms, lightening the narrative without diluting its depth.


With this step-by-step guide, we hope you will become a better writer and help your readers enjoy your story. Remember to have fun with it! If you’re not enjoying the process of writing historical fiction, then there’s no point in doing it.

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