Topics reflect trends in history - a shift from political to social history – a focus on the characters in the background
Defining it is tricky. How far back in the past? 50 years, more? Depends upon the readerWhat about works that were written in the past? Great Gatsby, Jane Austen? With this definition, any contemporary title could become historical fiction. However, this isn’t usually what reader’s mean when asking for historical fiction. Usually the novel takes place before the author’s life and times. Depends on interest of the reader
During the past several decades, the market has been flooded with historical fiction. Not all of it good or accurate.
Historical FictionKimberly Edson, Rochester Public
• Between 2000 and 2007, one-third of Booklist Editors’ Choice titles in adult Fiction were historical Novels• Topics reflect trends in history
Historical Fiction: definitionHistorical fiction presents a story set in the past, often during a significant timeperiod. In historical fiction, the time period is an important part of the setting andoften of the story itself. Historical fiction may include fictional characters, well-known historical figures or a mixture of the two. Authors of historical fictionusually pay close attention to the details of their stories (settings, clothing,dialogue, etc.) to ensure that they fit the time periods in which the narratives takeplace. In some historical fiction, famous events appear from points of view notrecorded in history, showing historical figures dealing with actual events whiledepicting them in a way that is not recorded in history. Other times, the historicalevent or time period complements a storys narrative, forming a framework andbackground for the characters lives. Sometimes, historical fiction can be for themost part true, but the names of people and places have been in some wayaltered. As this is fiction, artistic license is permitted in regard to presentation andsubject matter, so long as it does not deviate in significant ways from establishedhistory.
If events should deviate significantly, the story may then fall into the genrealternate history, which is known for speculating on what could havehappened if a significant historical event had gone differently. On a similarnote, events occurring in historical fiction must adhere to the laws ofphysics. Stories that extend into the magical or fantastic are oftenconsidered historical fantasy. (definition from Good Reads)
Not all historical fiction is created equally!• Presents a well-told story • Poorly researched that doesnt conflict with • Too much history in historical records the text• Portrays characters • Dialogue or voice realistically sounds phony• Presents authentic • Setting isn’t specific settings enough to show where• Artfully folds in historical the story takes place facts • Today’s world creeps• Avoids stereotypes and into the story myths.
Historical fiction overlaps with many other genres• Historical Romance• Historical Mystery• Historical Christian• Western
What do historical fiction readers look for?• Stories that evoke the past with period detail including customs, food, clothing, religious beliefs, architecture, etc.• To immerse themselves in the day-to-tay loves and mindsets of those who lived in earlier eras.• To be entertained.
Appeal FactorsTime Period : Reader is specific about theera or time period they want to read about.Geographical Setting: Reader is interestedin a particular place or setting.www.historicalnovels.infoProvides over 5000 Historical Novels listed by Time and Place
Appeal Factors• Amount and type of historical content• Level of realism• Author• Pacing• Type of character
Appeal Factors• Characterization• Subject and theme• Dialogue• Language• Violence and sexual content