The Two Essential Rules for Historical Fiction

Janet Fitch's Blog

I’ve been working on a chapter in my novel set during the Russian Revolution, trying to depict the rather complex politics of the time, and it’s horrible. Unreadable.  And yet, an essential part of the history.

Just after the Bolshevik takeover, there was an long-planned general election which the Bolsheviks permitted. But when the elected body was finally seated (and the Bolsheviks didn’t win a majority,) they closed it down after one session.

That sounds simple, but there were some complex politics that went along with it, that people at the time thought very significant. And I’ve been having such trouble… the chapter’s absolutely leaden, textbook-y. Even I wouldn’t read it if I came across it in a novel.

Oh, maybe it was just me. Maybe it really wasn’t so bad. I tried it out on a very smart but not particularly politically-savvy friend, who confirmed its unreadability.

Damn!  I…

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About medievalphyllis

I love history and I love writing. I've been working on an historical novel about a medieval viscountess, Ermengarde of Narbonne since 2009. It has been quite a journey and the journey isn't over. Previously I written 6 historical novels for kids, but this is a new challenge.
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