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Writing Historical Fiction: A Writers' and Artists' Companion

Writing Historical Fiction: A Writers' and Artists' Companion

by Celia Brayfield, Duncan Sprott
Writing Historical Fiction: A Writers' and Artists' Companion

Writing Historical Fiction: A Writers' and Artists' Companion

by Celia Brayfield, Duncan Sprott


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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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780937854
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 01/30/2014
Series: Writers' and Artists' Companions
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Celia Brayfield is a multi-award winning novelist and a creative writing tutor. Her nine novels include Wild Weekend (2004) and Sunset (1999).

Duncan Sprott is the acclaimed author of The Ptolemies (2004), Daughter of the Crocodile (2006), and Our Lady of the Potatoes (1995). He was awarded a Literature Bursary by the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1995. The Guardian described him as 'The natural successor to Robert Graves and Mary Renault'. He has nearly 20 years' experience of teaching Creative Writing.

Table of Contents

The Writers' and Artists' Book of Historical Fiction
Part One: Historical Fiction
Part Two: Tips & Tales
Part Three: Write On

Part 1: Historical Fiction

Reflections 1 by Duncan Sprott
1. On being stuck fast
2. On myth and historical fiction
3. On being not quite proper
4. On writing about antiquity
5. On the heart

Reflections 2 by Celia Brayfield
1. The Past Polemical
2. Love and sex, fact and fiction
3. Welcome to my Storyworld: History in digital games
4. The Land of Stories: Historical fiction for children
5. Heroine addiction: Women as protagonists in historical fiction

A Short History of Historical Fiction
From Gilgamesh to Rome by Duncan Sprott
From Beowulf to King Arthur by Duncan Sprott
Early Modern by Celia Brayfield
Le Morte d'Arthur to The Castle of Otranto
Modern by Celia Brayfield
Waverley to Middlemarch
Tess of the d'Urbervilles to Wolf Hall
New Women
Seeing with fresh eyes

Part 2: Tips and Tales - guest contributions
Margaret Atwood
Ian Beck
Madison Smartt Bell
Ronan Bennett
Vorona Bennett
Tracey Chevalier
Lindsay Clarke
Elizabeth Cook
Anne Doughty
Sarah Dunant
Michel Faber
Margaret George
Philippa Gregory
Katharine McMahon
Valerio Massimo Manfredi
Ian Mortimer
Kate Mosse
Charles Palliser
Orhan Pamuk
Edward Rutherfurd
Manda Scott
Adam Thorpe
Stella Tillyard
Rose Tremain
Alison Weir
Louisa Young

Part 3: Write On
Planning by Duncan Sprott
Finding your subject
Choosing a period
Historical research by Duncan Sprott
How much research?
Finding your direction
Establishing foundations
Advice from experts
Basic sources
Modern times 1500+
Early times
Where to start?
Ancient Greece and Rome
Ancient Egypt
Roman Britain
Dark Age Britain
Medieval Britain
Online sources
Search engines
Online genealogy
Going offline
Public libraries
Major libraries
University libraries
Subscription libraries
Special interest libraries
National Archives
Wales - National archives
Scotland - National archives
Northern Ireland
Basic sources
University libraries
Other libraries
Births, marriages and deaths - UK
Local archives
County Record Offices
What can you expect to find?
Other useful organizations
Historic buildings and monuments
Museums and galleries - England
London - Museums
London - Galleries
Museums outside London
Museums and galleries - Scotland
Historical societies and relevant organizations
Welsh jourbanals
House history
Picture libraries
Ireland (Eire)
Basic sources
Local archives
University libraries
Museums and galleries
Basic sources
National archives
Local archives
Public libraries
University libraries
Other libraries
Museums and galleries
Historical societies
Basic sources
National and local archives
Major libraries
Museums and galleries
Basic sources
Public libraries
Museums and galleries
New Zealand
Basic sources
Research plan
Costing, time management, travelling
What will it cost?
How long will it take?
Last minute questions
How to focus
How to get going
Drafting a plot
Practical stuff
What to do with a gap in your evidence?
Writer's block
Exercises by Celia Brayfield
Writing courses
How can they help?
Writing courses - UK
Organizations - UK
Writing courses - USA
Writing courses - Canada
Writing courses - Australia and New Zealand
Ending by Duncan Sprott
Historical Fiction from A-Z
Is it really really finished?
Getting published
Literary agents
Finding an agent
Submitting the manuscript
What to send?
Contacting an agent
The Letter
Writing a synopsis
Handling rejection(s)
Agency agreements
Self-publishing by Celia Brayfield
Online publishing by Celia Brayfield

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