The website of the historical fiction writer.

Festival of Writing 2015 Chapter Three: Historical Fiction Genre Panel

This years’ panel was chaired by Emma Darwin and had agents Jenny Savill, Piers Blofeld and authors Alex Christofi and David Gaughran.

One thing I found interesting was the amount of discussion given to alternative and speculative historical fiction and other genres such as steampunk. It is a growing genre (which is a good thing as that’s what I’m writing at the moment!) and gives new perspectives on historical events. To make these works work, the rules and events need to be clear (more of that to come).

One problem with alternative history is more research can sometimes be needed and I have found this with my own work. Once history has been changed, every consequence needs to be considered: how would have the relevant people reacted? What would have become of society? Would any wars be fought or stopped? What further consequences would have happened? Naturally, if you cannot find something in research, you can use artistic license to help you.

One interesting question that was brought up was can historical fiction be considered a genre or should works be given other labels such as crime/adventure/romance/fantasy with a historical setting? After all, these stories are not history books but are works of fiction.

Want to learn more about the publishing industry? Then come along tomorrow!

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