Instructor: Anne Mateer
April 3 – 30; Fee: $75
Navigating the Tightrope between Historical Fact and Historical Fiction
Writing historical fiction can be tricky. It involves both imagination and fact, two things which don’t always play well together. Our creativity can wreak havoc on fact, confusing (or infuriating!) our readers. Or our facts can overwhelm our imagined story, giving readers the feel they are reading for school rather than escape.
Good historical fiction walks a tightrope between these two extremes. Whether in setting or characters, in clothing or lifestyle or modes of transportation, the historical novel must convey a sense of history while at the same time giving the reader an enjoyable and plausible story in which to get lost.
In this class, we will discuss the precarious dance between fact and fiction, including:
- The continuum of possibilities between fictional fact and fully fiction.
- Understanding the big picture of your historical setting.
- Discovering daily life realities from the time period that can enhance and fuel your story.
- Adding customs or culture from your time period to augment both the historical feel and the plot.
- Using both real and imagined characters.
- How vocabulary contributes to the reader’s historical experience.
- The art of putting all the pieces together to craft an accessible and believable work of historical fiction.
Come join us as we research, discuss, and write stories that carry our readers to ages past.
(This class was formerly titled Creating That Historical Feel)
Anne Mateer has loved the marriage of history and fiction since she first began reading. Armed with a B.A. in history from Southern Methodist University, she has authored four traditionally published historical novels, including one Carol Award finalist.
This past September, she published her first indie historical novella, No Small Storm, with another scheduled to release late spring. Anne is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers’ League of Texas, and Historical Novel Society. She enjoys helping other writers through freelance editing, judging writing contests, and teaching online classes.
Anne and her husband, Jeff, enjoy reading, exploring historical sites and homes, and visiting their grown children in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. They are currently living their empty nest adventure in Austin, TX.