28 December 2017

There is a great deal to be said about historical fiction. The amount of research that an author conducts in order to deliver something that looks and feels authentic is immense. If you like to research, then this could be the perfect way to write. But, even with an historical novel, you need to be centred in your own time.

Writing about any point in history is one of the fun things about fiction. You don’t have to stick to the year 2017 (soon to be 2018) and write about contemporary events. But you do have to appeal to contemporary people. And that is why all of your writing should be grounded in the here and now.

Your readers today want to read something that has relevance to their current life. And this is a skill that many writers don’t seem to be able to grasp. The story set in the 27th century will resonate with your audience as long as the story is based on something that relates to their existence in the 21st century.
One of the reasons that Star Wars is so popular even though it is set ‘in a galaxy far, far away,’ is because it deals with eternal issues –

  • The struggle between good and evil
  • The desire to understand our identity
  • The value of friendship

And none of these will ever go away. Think about your story in terms of what it means to the reader. If they don’t get it, then they won’t read. And that destroys a story in an instant.