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A Subconscious Attraction to History

A Subconscious Attraction to History

I’m a romance junkie, I admit that.  But what I love more than a good romance novel, is good historical fiction.  What can I say?  A well crafted historical setting sucks me into a story just as quickly as well rounded characters and witty dialog.

There are three time periods that immediately catch my attention as a reader.

1. Medieval

2. Regency

3. Victorian

Now, while those three catch my attention right away, it doesn’t mean that other historical time periods don’t interest me.  If the right elements are there, then I’ll give it a try.

As a writer, I find I gravitate towards historical settings.  The story comes easier if it’s set in another time period.  Why?  I haven’t a foggy clue, but I’m intrigued by the phenomenon all the same.

In the past two years, I’ve made notes for a dozen stories in my writing journal.  None of them conform to any semblance of a pattern.

1. Early Victorian

2. Late Victorian/Time Travel

3. Twisted Fairy Tale/Medieval

4. Medieval

5. 1923 Prohibition/Jazz Age

6. Mid 1870s Western

7. Romantic Suspense/Contemporary/Paranormal

8. 1980s/Contemporary/Time Travel

None of these stories interact.  They are all unique to themselves.  Do you see a pattern?  Yeah, most of them are historical.  One of the most frustrating things about writing historical fiction is the research.

It is very easy to get lost in the research for one specific time period.  When I wrote my first novel, An Irresistible Shadow, I thought I would drown in research for the mid 14th Century.  I worried about not being accurate, being inconsistent, and worse…using modern slang by mistake!  Fear of making these mistakes didn’t keep me from writing the story though.  In fact, it only strengthened my resolve to finish it.

I’ve embraced my subconscious attraction to the past, to the history that laid the foundation of our world.  After all, isn’t history just one enormous story?

Tell me your favorite time period.  Has a specific piece of historical fiction wormed it’s way into your heart?

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5 thoughts on “A Subconscious Attraction to History

  1. Love the post!

    I find my research is drawn to Pre-Roman Britain (esp the Picts and the Dal’Rhiada), 500-1400 AD in Britain and Europe, Colonial America, and the Edwardian Era. Two books are set in 1952 and 1936 also. I think my Opus Magnus will involve the Picts, but time will tell. 🙂

  2. I’m right there with you, but the period isn’t as important. I just like stuff set somewhere historical. I feel almost as strong about space opera. I think I’m kind of an escapist, and something in the present time just doesn’t quite give me that escape.

  3. I’m a massive history buff (I dare you to sit through me talking about the politics of the Cold War, and I researched that over 10 years ago), but I don’t have a particular favorite time period other than maybe WWII/Cold War.

    What I do love is building a believable history into my penchant for science fiction or fantasy. In the case of near-future scifi or cyberpunk, I like figuring out what happened between now and then and how it set up things. It’s always fun to bug people’s eyes out when I tell them that one of my settings is based on some part on the NSA revelations, while not being about surveillance at all, really.

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