June 8, 2017
I love to write historical fiction. Historical fiction is fiction (a made-up story) set in a historical setting. It can be following an actual historical figure, about a historical figure, place, or event, or a made-up story in a real time in history.
Writing historical fiction requires research. The deeper and more accurate your research, the more in-depth and believable your story will be.
For example, “The Living God” is a historical fiction story.
Historical setting: Babylon, 6th/7th century BC
Historical figures: Daniel, counselors, princes, King Darius (Persian)
Culture(s): Recently occupied Babylon, rule was Mede/Persian, servants/slaves of various conquered tribes/nations/villages including Judean (Israelite)
For this story, I researched the culture of Babylon pre-occupation, the culture of the Mede/Persian empire, and the Judean culture for the time period of the story. The Babylonians had a rather effective “conquer and subjugation” method of stealing conquered people’s high-ranking children and using them in court service to prevent uprisings. They generally treated these individuals as princes and only took the best of the best. Daniel was one such captive.
I also researched what was available on King Darius (and Mede/Persian rulers of this time in general), and Daniel; as these were my primary historical characters.
This research gave me insight into Daniel’s mental state. Reading historical information about him revealed that he was grateful for his position, served his masters (at least three different kings) faithfully even if he disagreed with them, fulfilled his duties honestly, yet considered himself a prisoner and yearned for release and the ability to return to his homeland.
I created a main character to follow (Caleb) as a palace slave (captured youngster from another dominated tribe) using the cultural information I could gather. Caleb is feisty, independent, used to being above the law (a noble in his former land), yet knowledgeable of the laws of his captive land and attempting to follow them. As my research showed that often pairs of children were stolen, I also created Miriam, Caleb’s younger sister who is more accepting of her lower status as women were culturally lower than men even in nobility.
Since “The Living God” is a retold Bible story, the central storyline (regarding Daniel) is taken from the Biblical account.
So, that’s just a little bit about the research behind one short, historical fiction story! I love researching things, so historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine. Try that out with your next story – research and write!
Thanks for reading!
Type at you next time,