This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
1.‘Read around your subject’ was something drilled into me at school, and it rings true for writing fiction too. With ‘The Perfume Garden’ I loved researching perfume as well as speaking to historians about the Spanish Civil War. You may end up not using even a third of your research, but authentic details give your work texture and depth – Hemingway said it’s like readers can read between the lines and feel that you know what you’re talking about.
2. Write what you love, not just what you know. Especially with historical fiction, the research is half the fun. Your passion and enthusiasm for the subject will shine through the story.
3. Immerse yourself in your story – travel to the locations if you can, or go there on Google Maps streetview. Listen to the music of the time, surround yourself with photographs, cook the food – do everything you can to tune your senses in to your story.
4. If you write longhand, choose a good pen and the cheapest or funniest notebooks you can find, (I write on looseleaf A4, with a fountain pen) – you will never be scared of ‘spoiling’ a beautiful notebook, and it allows you to experiment, to doodle, to make mistakes.
5. Write every day, read every day.