Congrats to Tessa and Liesl, winners of May’s 2k11/Elevensie swag packs!
With a historical middle-grade coming out next year and research on a new book underway, I’ve been thinking a lot about historical fiction. There are particular challenges and limitations that come with telling a story in a time before our own.
Here’s what Beth Kephart has to say about the genre:
In time, I would write my own history-indebted books. I would come to an earned understanding of how difficult it is to both honor the past and make it relevant and pressing for modern readers. One has to make decisions about authenticity, completeness, recorded truth, the shaping of language, the admission of now to then. One has to yield to the novelist’s first obligation, which is to craft a moving, timeless story.
And Margaret Lawrence says this:
…Making a novel based on history requires us to leap beyond fact.
And that is perhaps what is so great about this book, is that you get the true sense of Elizabeth as a person. She isn’t a character from history or an un-relatable, larger than life, individual. She’s human.
What particular challenges do you see in creating historical fiction?