First off, yes it has many similarities to writing any fiction book, but there are things that gave me a hard time writing this genre compared to the other books I have written. These are some of the troubles I had writing The Fan Society.
- Research: Much more research has to go into writing the book to make it historically accurate. Especially if it is not a time period or country you are familiar with. Even if you are familiar there are a lot of things you don’t pay attention to like how long it takes to drive a carriage from London to Halifax. Things you don’t pay as much attention to when you are reading but notice if they are completely inaccurate. It is worse when you want to write about England and have never been. This made things difficult for me. Though I was lucky enough to have family members who have lived in England which helped a lot, considering my setting takes place in London.
- Historical figures: There may be a person you want in your book that is well-known throughout history. Though with some historical figures, you don’t know anything about their personality. To balance the character with what is known and mesh it with since this character has made these choices throughout life and had these problems, I can guess they are like this. This takes yet again a lot of research to get right. I also had many worries that people would say that how I portrayed the historical figure was completely wrong, and I took to many liberties.
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- Blending the historical with the fiction: Then comes the balance between historical accuracies and the fiction portion of historical fiction. Finding the right balance between historical and fiction can be a challenge, as I learned when writing the Fan Society. For me If you are writing this story to show the life of a fictional person in a certain time period much more historical accuracy needs to be given. For me, since my story was more of a spy novel and I was using the historical time period as a setting, I gave myself more leeway in the historical parts of things but kept as much historical accuracy as I was able to.
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There was a lot to think about when writing this novel, but it was a blast writing it. There were a lot of things that I learned while writing the Fan Society, It was so much fun figuring out how a secret society would function in historical England. I’m sure there is so much information and historical tidbits that would have made it more interesting, but there is a reason it’s labeled as fiction.