How to do Research for a Historical Novel

Jasmina Lozevska August 21, 2017 Comments Off on How to do Research for a Historical Novel




Experts comment that writing a historical novel is not same as writing regular fiction. Succeeding in the genre is a tough task. But if you know the tricks of the trade, then you can carve you niche in the field. You must have significant knowledge about the topic and type of novel that you are going to write. It becomes all the more important in the case of the history book. Without appropriate research, you will neither be able to represent the era nor the events properly. But is doing the research itself for a historical book that simple? Here, you will learn about some researching techniques, which are essential for historical books or novels.

Taking notes and using the archives

When writing a historical novel, you cannot go wrong with the facts, dates and figures. Though you can enjoy a certain degree of author’s flexibility, it is best to stick to the authentic data. There are various sources, from where you can acquire the information and materials. But nothing comes close to the good old technique of taking notes. Before starting work on the novel, you need to holds talks with various experts who have a hold on the topic. Taking running notes, as they speak, will help your cause. Apart from this, you can access the archives for re-checking the details. The archives will furnish you with more info that will support the novel.

Studying old photographs

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Breaking the monotony of the readable material with pertinent images is a must. All popular book authors follow the technique, and if you which to succeed in writing a historical account, then you must too. When researching the topic, studying archived photographs is a must. These old snaps often divulge facts, which have not been recorded in writing. Old photos will not only provide you with lesser known facts but will also provide authenticity to the information.

Going on the site

Being cooped up in the room might not be a wise decision. Going to the actual location, where the event had taken place will provide you with unknown facts, which will enrich the historical novel. Visiting the place will assist you in describing the location in your unique style. After all, the pictures and words can never be as potent as the real thing.

Reading books from that era

Don’t restrict yourself to reading books about the era that you are trying to capture in the novel. It is mandatory that you read books which were written and published during those years. The chances of getting authentic and first-hand information, from those books, are more than the history books written afterwards. These books are rare, but with a little effort, you will be able to locate them in the libraries.

Visiting the museums

If you are writing a novel that is set in the historical era and revolves around one or more historical events, then visiting the museum is a must. These are places, which not only archive historical documents, but also have rare parchments that are from that specific period. With these records by your side, chances of making any factual mistake will be slimmed down significantly.

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