Lifestyle Learning Direct

Historical Fiction

You Can Write historically

Learn the essential answers to planning the historical novel: how and where to begin, how to generate ideas, and understand the different types of historical novels. Select and develop a theme and choose settings. You look at a number of periods in time to help you start gathering ideas. Creating the story idea: you have to be excited by your idea, and unless it is strong and focused you are likely to run out of steam around page 26. Learn to develop and formulate plots, create characters and understand conflict.

Researching the Historical Novel

Learn an essential skill to develop a compelling and accurate historical novel, and how to research dates, people and events. Understand historical subject matter, everyday objects, language, communication, travel, customs and religion. Then you will get an appreciation for where and when, creating the setting, seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting and the atmosphere of the period you are re-creating.

The Way to Characterise

Visualising your characters, understanding their motives, actions and reactions: are your characters real? Deciding on the names of your characters. Avoid problem names. Develop the role of the minor character. How to make characters to interact. Describing mannerisms and habits. Understand how to develop the physical appearance and personalities of your characters. Throughout this module you learn how to bring characters to life with dialogue, dialect and gesture, humour and the right direction.

Emotions, Theme and Viewpoint

Re-explore the plot and sub-plots of your story. The opening of your novel needs to make the reader read on. Learn how to pick your story's defining moment. A plot is event-driven, so the emphasis on events throughout this module will teach you how to interweave your plots and sub-plots to create a truly compelling story. Also, you explore  key aspects that are often overlooked by novel writers: sincerity, sentiment, imagination and fancy. These should be integral components of your writing.

Dialogue and Style

Learn how to develop good dialogue and create the appropriate style for your audience. Often the difficult aspect about writing dialogue is making it sound like real speech. Develop techniques to overcome this problem. Learn how to merge your story strands when you reach the climax of your story, how to satisfy your readers, how to edit your story, how to let your readers make up their own minds and how to insert story indicators into your early chapters.

Structure, Chapters, Publishing and Marketing Your Work

The final section of this course pulls all your new writing talents together. You prepare, revise and edit your manuscript ready for submission, and you learn how to present your novel and get the attention of editors and publishers. Understand how to find the right publisher for you, how to market your work around the world, how to write a successful manuscript - and how to bounce back from a rejection and use it to your advantage. Then you will be ready to enter the wonderful world of the professional novel writer.