Writing Historical Fiction A Writers' and Artists' Companion

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-01-30
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
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Writing Historical Fiction: A Writers' & Artists' Companion is an invaluable companion for a writer working in this challenging and popular literary genre, whether your period is Ancient Rome or World War II.

PART 1 includes reflections on the genre and provides a short history of historical fiction.

PART 2 contains guest contributions from Margaret Atwood, Ian Beck, Madison Smartt Bell, Ronan Bennett, Vanora Bennett, Tracy Chevalier, Lindsay Clarke, Elizabeth Cook, Anne Doughty, Sarah Dunant, Michel Faber, Margaret George, Philippa Gregory, Katharine McMahon, Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Hilary Mantel, Alan Massie, Ian Mortimer, Kate Mosse, Charles Palliser, Orhan Pamuk, Edward Rutherfurd, Manda Scott, Adam Thorpe, Stella Tillyard, Rose Tremain, Alison Weir and Louisa Young.

PART 3 offers practical exercises and advice on such topics as research, plots and characters, mastering authentic but accessible dialogue and navigating the world of agents and publishers.

Author Biography

Celia Brayfield is a multi-award winning novelist, journalist and critic. Her novels include Wild Weekend (2004) and Sunset (1999).

Duncan Sprott is a writer and journalist. His novels include 1784 and Our Lady of the Potatoes.

Table of Contents

PART 1: HISTORICAL FICTION \ REFLECTIONS 1 by Celia Brayfield \ 1. The Past Polemical : Voices Heard and Voices Silenced \ 2. Love and Sex, Fact and Fiction: Interpreting the Emotional and Physical Reality of Past Times \ 3. History and Hollywood: Historical Fiction in Adaptation \ 4. Dialogue and Speech Schemes: Accessibility, Authenticity and Understanding \ 5. Speculative History: What Can We Learn by Asking What If? \ 6. Heroine Addiction: The Female Protagonist in Historical Fiction \ REFLECTIONS 2 by Duncan Sprott \ 7. Resurrection Man: Why Historical Fiction? Why I Do What I Do \ 8. Telling Lies About the Past: Homer, Herodotus, Virgil \ 9. Not Quite Proper? The Historical Novel as a 'Discredited Class' of Novel \ 10. Away With the Pharaohs: Reflections on the Delight/Nightmare of Writing About Antiquity \ 11. Talking With Ghosts: Some Justifications for Historical Fiction \ A SHORT HISTORY OF HISTORICAL FICTION \ 12. Ancient \ 13. Medieval \ 14. Early Modern \ 15. Modern \ 16. Postmodern & the Future \ PART 2: GUEST CONTRIBUTIONS \ Peter Ackroyd \ Margaret Atwood \ John Banville \ Madison Smartt Bell \ Pat Barker \ Ronan Bennett \ Peter Carey \ Tracey Chevalier \ Lindsey Davis \ Sarah Dunant \ Umberto Eco \ Ken Follett \ Antonia Fraser \ Charles Fraser \ Jane Gardam \ Margaret George \ Amitav Ghosh \ Arthur Golden \ Philippa Gregory \ Kate Grenville \ Robert Harris \ Kazuo Ishiguro \ Christian Jacq \ Barbara Kingsolver \ Jonathan Littell \ David Malouf \ Hilary Mantel \ Allan Massie \ Ian McEwan \ Valerio Massimo Manfredi \ Andrew Miller \ Timothy Mo \ Orhan Pamuk \ Iain Pears \ Manda Scott \ Wilbur Smith \ Patrick Süskind \ Colm Toibin \ Barry Unsworth \ Gore Vidal \ Alison Weir \ Louisa Young \ PART 3: EXERCISES AND APPLICATIONS \ 1. Beginning \ How to Get Going \ Finding Your Voice \ Finding a Subject \ Choosing Your Period \ 2. Research \ Compiling a Reading List \ Advice from Experts \ What You'll Need to Know \ Genealogical Research and Family Records \ Archives and How to Use Them \ Libraries of Record \ Museums, Art Galleries, Historic Houses \ Historical Societies and Journals \ Online Sources \ A Research Plan \ 3. Writing \ Idea into Action \ Spaces between Words\ Writing a Life \ Voices \ Making it Happen \ Animating a Character \ Building a Storyworld \ 4. Exercises \ 5. Finally \ Fresh Eyes: Editing and Re-writing \ Ending \ Writing Courses \ Getting Published: Agents, Publishers, Grants, Online Publishing \ What NOT To Do \ Reading Lists and Bibliography \ Index.

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