Tag Archives: historical fiction

Women’s Fiction Festival 2023

I promised so many people I would report back on this inaugural festival of Women’s Fiction. My apologies for not doing it sooner, but here we go:

The first  Womens Fiction Festival was held over two days in early October.  It was a celebration of popular women’s fiction and the line up of authors was very impressive. This was women’s fiction in many of its forms – historical, feel-good and rom-com, to name a few.

The weather decided to do its worst. Rain disrupted trains and flooded roads that  weekend, but it didn’t deter a great many  women’s fiction fans from making their way to Morningside. They turned up in force to listen, learn and enjoy the varied programme put together by the organisers.

Edinburgh

Scotland’s capital city was impressive, too, despite the rain. Continue reading

Anachronisms and pesky unknown unknowns to puzzle us

key on keyboard labelled Oops! for mistakeWriters of historicals are always on the lookout for anachronisms. They still trip us up, time and again. But the real elephant traps are the unknown unknowns [© D Rumsfeld?], the things we don’t know we don’t know—and, as a result, we don’t know we’re getting wrong.

I was prompted to write this blog by some of the reactions to my post about habit words, a couple of weeks ago. woman with clock, pointing finger at headSo this week’s post is about anachronisms of various kinds.

Anachronisms? The standard definition is something out of its time—an object, an expression, an attitude—something that does not belong in the period of the story.

We wouldn’t put electric light in a Regency setting, for example. That one is easy to spot. But how am I, as a historical writer, supposed to spot the ones that lurk in the undergrowth of my ignorance? Continue reading

Altering History : is it OK in Historical Fiction?

cranium silhouetted against question markAltering History. In other words, changing what actually happened into something that didn’t happen; or didn’t happen in quite that way; or happened at a different time…
Is it OK for an author of historical fiction to do that?

Always? Sometimes? Never?

Does it depend on what the alteration is? Some think it’s OK to alter small things, relating to minor characters, but not decisive things relating to really important characters.

Some might say an author can do whatever he or she likes, provided the reader knows what the author has done. In other words, the author has to come clean.
Others don’t care, as long as the end result is a good read.

Altering History : a Big Deal for Queens

Continue reading