Laura Wilson: Writing Historical Novels



I'm you have to be very aware of two things I think to write a decent historical novel one is if your research is showing great chunks of sort of essay about you know what happened when that's like your petticoat showing and get rid of it we don't need you you put it in as the action goes along and you show big stuff by little stuff you know you don't say there was rationing you show somebody wrestling with this much soap you know knowing it's got to last or Tuesday the other thing we lost my throat now yeah yeah the other thing I think that's really important is to have a paranoid anachronism hunt you mustn't have any character doing saying or even thinking something that they could not have done settle thought that's absolutely vital and you do I think also you have to steer away from lazy Pub Quiz shorthand I'm very picky about historical novels a particularly twentieth century history which is very I know about and far too often it's sort of oh the mid-sixties have arrived everybody in the whole world is wearing a miniskirt and they have a Beatles LP under their arm well no they didn't it was only a few people always novels you read set to the turn of the you know nineteen twenty century every woman is a suffragette no she wasn't both women good enough you know they were trying to feed a family of ten or no money and stop the husband go to the pub when he got out of the factory with the wages votes for women were for the privileged few or the politicized factory worker and they were a tiny percentage of the female population and that kind of it's just slack you know the stock characters from history and a very aware of that types you know having to get a right away from that and actually infuse them with some life and personality originality of thought

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