Pick a period in history that you love.
What do you know about it?
Can you translate that into 20,000 words of BELIEVABLE text? 30K?
Fiction? With moving parts, intelligent characters and realistic conflicts?
What does an author of historical fiction REALLY have to know?
Well, more than how to write a love scene...
Say, you're writing about folks who want to revolt against the king...
You will have to research:
What they wore to the revolution.
What they ate while they revolted.
Where they went to revolt.
How they traveled there.
What their demands were...and why.
For my latest Regency, HIS DELECTABLE COOK, I had to know (among other glamourous facts):
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- 1820s English Law regarding women's inheritances. (No lie.)
- How staff was hired. By whom.
- How staff related to each other.
- How an heiress could be robbed of her rights.
- Structures of dungeons
- What Dominican monks wore
- Geography of western England and Wales
- Structure of one famous castle (Nope. Won't tell you which one, but it DOES HAVE a SECRET DOOR!)
- Whereabouts of King John when I set the story
- King John's other misdeeds
- All of which is background to the barons' decision to make John sign the Magna Carta!
Didn't know that the Magna Carta was the first blow to establish women's rights?
Well, now you do!
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