A historical writer’s mindset.

To complement the last post, a short article by Julian Stockwin on forming an historic mindset and a pitfall to avoid.


This is of course harder the farther back in history you go, but the principle remains valid. Trying to immerse yourself in a different time and place can be fun…and cold…and unpleasant…and smelly…and dangerous…and exciting…and, and, and… The list is endless, but the more you can try to experience what a person would have seen, heard, felt, thought, done in, for example, 16th century Scotland in my case, the more authentic the writing will be.

And a final comment on research, implied by both Reynolds and Stockwin, but not explicitly stated, a writer should know much, much more about their period than ever goes into their books.

When history gets in the way if a good story…

Helpful summing up from Michael Reynolds of an issue that historical fiction writers face all the time – how to balance historical accuracy against the needs of a story. I totally endorse his suggestions for ways of overcoming problems.