You’ve read hundreds of HF novels, you watched every episode of Tudors and Borgais. You’ve cried watching Gone with the Wind (three times), you own Schindler’s List, The King’s Speech, Argo and the classic Lawrence of Arabia. Your bookshelf is full of Diana Gabaldon, Philippa Gregory, Wilbur Smith, Bernard Cornwell and every Jane Auel book available. For fun you look up random names in history and are excited with obscure details that you can see being great in a story. If this is you, then I think it is time you admit something to yourself. You are a Historical Fiction Addict (HFA) and the only remedy for you is to….write. Yes. Write. Now wait…don’t walk away, don’t press that back button. Just give me a moment. I am serious.
If you have a passion for all things Historical Fiction and you get a thrill out of finding something unusual in history, this may be just the thing you need to cure your HFA (sorta). Nothing cures a person more than an overindulgence in something. Take strawberries for instance. I LOVE strawberries. I have a strawberry necklace. I dressed my infants in strawberry themed clothing (especially when we went to a strawberry farm). I put strawberries in my salad, my cereal and on my toast (well, when I ate toast, now I’m cursed with a gluten intolerance and must eat horrible versions of bread, but that’s another story.) I spend a full day picking berries, then making jams and sauces. I love strawberries. So how do you get over this strawberry addiction. You eat nothing but strawberries for three full days. Let me tell you after three days of the red, ripe beauties you don’t want to see another strawberry (and you are more than regular, if you get my drift?) for a good….week. I told you I had a love of them. You can’t possibly expect me to give them up for good, since they are so very good.
So, the lesson from the strawberry is this. If you love HF so much and can’t get enough. Than I suggest you sit down and write your own. Start off small, if you want, and write a short story. Or start off big and write your own novel. That’s what I did. I loved HF so much and really found myself lost in the old worlds my favorite authors had recreated. And so, I began to write. I have my first HF novel completed called, Broken Glass. The novel, set in ancient Rome, involves a ten-year old girl being sold into slavery because her beloved father needed to pay off his debts. It is the first in a series, and I am working on the second book now. Obviously my HFA is serious as I needed to continue to write. This treatment may need repeating, often, and frequently.
So here are some great resources for you as you begin your HFA therapy. Check them out and let me know how your therapy is going. If you are already use a writing therapy, why not share with the rest of us your best online resources and writing sources by making a comment below. Writing is a lonely task, but it does not have to be. Its our own HFA Therapy Group 🙂
www.writersdigest.com – this is a fantastic source for amateur (and professional) writers. It offers writing tips, critiques, interviews, list writing conferences and information about the writing world.
http://www.writermag.com- similar to writer’s digest with author interviews, writing tips, writing resources, tips and conferences.
Historical Fiction Sites
www. historicalnovelsociety.org – a great source for HF writers. It keeps you in the loop of what is happening in the HF publishing world, HF conferences, HF reviews and contests.
http://www.thehwa.co.uk- another good source for HF writers; offers a forum, contests, and festivals.
First stop is to find out if you have a local Writer’s Guild or Writer’s Collective, and join it! Here, where I live in the snow-covered, windy prairies of Canada- we have both and so I am part of both the Guild and the Collective. Between these two organization I have access to writing workshops, author events and critiques that all serve to sharpen my writing skills.
If you live where there isn’t a writing guild/collective check with your local library to see if they have a writing group. Often a library will have a list of clubs and where they meet. This is your chance to meet with other writers and possibly lovers of HF. You can try that old fashion way of communicating and talk, face-to-face.
Many universities offer writing courses, and some may even be online. The courses may be pricy but the lessons learn…you know it…priceless!
But, if this all comes to nothing than here are some options:
- Writer’s Digest – they offer a wide range of online tutorials and courses taught by authors and agents. I personally have completed a number of these courses and found the very,very helpful. They range in prices as well as in length of involvement. https://www.writersonlineworkshops.com
- Great Courses is another resource. You can download the classes or purchase a DVD of the classes. The bonus with this is that you can do the course as you can. The downside is that you don’t get any direct teaching and feedback. Prices vary. http://www.thegreatcourses.com
Well, HFA…I hope you find this helpful as you begin your therapy. Let me know how it is going and if you found this helpful by writing a comment below.
Until next time!