Instructor: Anne Mateer
April 1 – 30; Fee: $75
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 is the author of four historical novels with Bethany House publishers. She has had a passion for both history and fiction since she first began reading as a child. Armed with a B.A. in history from Southern Methodist University, she enjoys exploring the lives of characters from bygone eras, both factual and fictional.