Tag Archives: genre description

Revision Ahistorical Fiction May Be the Better Genre


The modern historical novel began in Romanticism: escapism to other times rather than exotic places. If it first blossomed with Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly, it steadied and lost its heavy poetical load by 1840 with The Last Days of Pompeii.

Decent histfi requires research. Lots of research. More than you can do by reading websites.

Besides “general purpose” multi-era fast references, expect to read at least 40-50 new books for a new period. If you don’t like reading history, why would you want to write histfi? Set your wonderful story of adventure and romance in a non-magical imagined world (the “hard fantasy” or soft scifi subgenre of science fiction) where history is what you want it to be. Try it: you’ll love the freedom to make this near-parallel world exactly what you need! Read the rest of this entry

Revision Historical Fiction – or Not


Historical fiction attempts to present life in eras before living memory.

Some consider histfi a setting rather than genre since it hybrids so often (but fantasy isn’t so considered when it crosses with romance, mystery, etc.). I think that’s right, and it kind of is about fantasy or science fiction. Like fy/sf, historical fiction uses a great many templates to structure its stories. What all histfi has in common is the setting before living memory. When you get into Vintage fiction (pardon me for coining a term), you are in the living memory of some, but a 20-year-old author would have to research their parents’ youth in the same way as they would something a century ago. It just markets differently, and the genre tool is all about figuring how to improve marketability in revision.

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