The Art of Individual Expression

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When Rocky was in third grade he returned from his day at school with an extremely sad face.

I greeted him with a smile and asked how his day was.

Rocky removed a small, handmade Indian satchel from his backpack and handed it to me.

“You made this?” I asked

Rocky slowly shook his head yes.

As I held the small satchel in my hand, I observed each of the meticulously placed feathers and stones that Rocky had glued to it. It was obvious that he had decided with great care where each of them would be placed. It was simplistically and tastefully done. I was impressed with the beauty of what my son had made and all of the effort that he had put into it.

“Mommy, it’s an Indian satchel.” Rocky began, “We’re learning all about American Indians in school and this is what they used to carry…

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Successful Historical Fiction – Maggie Scott

I think it is well said…

A Writer of History

Maggie Scott should know a thing or two about historical fiction – she edits historical novels and is a professor of history. Let’s see what she has to say about writing it.

What’s your definition of successful historical fiction?

The shortest possible definition: A seamless blend of rigorously researched history and a compelling story populated with characters who reflect the true sensibilities and environment of their era and who live in and of a time that is clearly theirs and no one else’s.

What attributes are most important to you when designating a novel as ‘successful historical fiction’.

I suppose the story itself is the most critical aspect, because without a tale that captures one’s attention—and holds it—other aspects such as proper research fall by the wayside. Therefore, I’ll consider a book to be successful if a) it promises a tale that will engage me; b) delivers on that promise; c)…

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Davide Mana on Successful Historical Fiction

A Writer of History

Recently I posted several questions on the topic of ‘successful historical fiction’ and invited readers and bloggers to respond. Davide Mana is a writer, translator and game designed based in Italy. He’s been blogging about books, historical adventure and historical fantasy for some time on his blog Karavansara.live. Davide – or Dave as he signed his last email – lives in Castelnuovo Belbo, a 900-souls community in the hills of the Monferrato area of Northern Italy. Over to you, Davide.

Q: What’s your definition of successful historical fiction?

As a reader, I want stories that speak to me, stories to which I can relate. For me, a historical fiction is successful when it is both entertaining and involving, and both entertainment and involvement would not be possible without the historical element. Also, the historical element has to be seamlessly integrated into the fiction (or the other way around) and as…

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