battlew-197727_1280This photo is a reenactment of a battle in the American Civil War. If you were writing historical fiction, how would you describe it? If you’ve never been in a battle, how could you make the scene come alive to your readers?

I am friends with a number of writers who specialize in historical fiction. From interviews I’ve conducted with them, I’ve learned a few techniques.

  • If the historical period still has living eyewitnesses, interview them.
  • If the historical period is hundreds or thousands of years from the present, research sources that were written by people of that time.
  • If at all possible, visit the area in which your historical period is set.

Once you’ve done that research, you must rely on your own imagination and skill to make a time period feel real to your readers.

What historical fiction have you read that made you feel like you knew what it was like to live in that time?