Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What is Historical Fiction?

Storytelling, lies, truth distortion, stretching it a bit, what is historical fiction? I just finished reading two books, one a modern day western, with historical flashbacks, and the other from the genre of historical fiction. In many cases I can’t tell the difference between westerns and historical fiction.

I often read through various online review sites and found some interesting reviews of the two books. Below is a summary of what I found – just the bad stuff.

1.    People complain that it doesn’t tell the whole story (It’s not a history book)

2.   It didn’t really happen that way (fiction)

3.   Plays too much with the facts (?)

4.   Varies from history (yep)

5.   Spelling and grammar errors (This should be fixed, but I did not notice much in my reading – might be some readers are looking for errors and not the story)

6.   Not enough research (This is what makes historical fiction great, an author can do as much or as little research as they want. Then run with their version of the story)

My point to this post is simple, it’s historical FICTION, not nonfiction. My Idea, at least what I like to read, of historical fiction is this – a story based on something real, a historical event. After that it’s up to the author. I am not crazy about mixed up time periods in historical fiction, but other than that I like every good story.

        What about fiction or westerns with no, real, to them, love them. Sometimes truth is better than fiction, but I can get completely lost in a great story. In the end it is still all about the story!
A notch in the Haystack Mountains of the Laramie Range Wyoming - This could be the basis for a good western story.
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