Developing Original Plots From Historical Events, by Gary Worthington

Writing Historical Novels

Of course, historical novels do not need to be based on actual events or people. The plots and characters can be entirely imaginative, so long as the author strives to be as true as feasible to the details of the time period and the general setting.

Often we want to use a known historical person or actual events in our fictional tale. Sometimes the historical person may only appear briefly in the story, or an event may be in the background of a tale that is only peripherally related. Other times we want the historical person to be a major character in our story or even the protagonist, and we want our plot as a whole to be based on the historical events as they occurred in reality.

I’ve taken all of these approaches in various stories, but here I’ll focus mainly on using actual historical persons and events as main…

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