Today's Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is ten reasons I love X. My X is historical fiction. I am a fan of this genre as a reader and I also write it. In addition, as a writing consultant and editor, I advise writers and one of the genres that I do this for is historical fiction. In that sense, these ten reasons can also be viewed as tips.
Here are my ten reasons I love historical fiction...
1) Insight into another era- Unless you have a time machine in your basement, historical fiction is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a different era.
3) The strength of the human spirit- Historical stories are not always in war settings, but life in general was often more complicated. The ability to thrive in difficult circumstances is a testament to the strength of humanity.
4) Variety of subgenres- More than a genre, historical fiction is really a means of setting. Within it, there is mystery, suspense, romance, adventure and often these are combined in the same book.
5) Variety of Time periods- Contemporary fiction is interesting but it's constrained to now. Historical fiction is broad meaning from pre-history all the way until WWII (usually- although some specific publishers use different endpoints).
6) Variety of locations- This may seem obvious, but history happened to the entire world. That means historical fiction can be anywhere! You can read about Egypt one day, France the next and Korea on the third- all within the realm of historical fiction.
7) Mix of Real and Imagined Characters- Some historical fiction is based on real historical figures. Some isn't. Some is an intriguing mix of both.
8) Costumes- I say costumes because it's evocative of the wider meaning here. In short, there are hundreds of historical details that can be included- costumes, machinery, houses, cars, carriages, etc etc!
9) Nuances of everyday life- In the past, people did things differently. We all know this, of course. What can be really interesting is uncovering what were hot inventions at the time or seeing how many steps it once took to do something simple today.
10) Variations because of historical restraints- Characters have to accomplish seemingly easy tasks for contemporary characters in new and exciting ways in historical fiction, because of historical restraints. Want to pick up the phone and call to tell your neighbor that he is danger? Guess what? For centuries in historical fiction, that's very difficult to do. Need to go on a trip? Great! No planes or cars. Book a steamship or a carriage or walk. You get the idea. Also, the best historical fiction shows the particulars that are relevant to the story and avoids generalizations to make it feel "historical". Historical fiction is rich and varied and details can help bring that to life.
Why do you like historical fiction?
My best to you all,