What IS an IS NOT Historical Fiction
Presently, the trend in popular televisions series and films are plots that make history come alive.
For example, the award-winning HBO series Boardwalk Empire focuses on the early 20’s with the rise of the Mobs (Italian, Jewish and Irish) through bootlegging caused by the Volstead Act, plugging in historical events as they arise within the story. The popular History Channel Vikings series also takes great pains to authenticate the Viking time period in Norway. The attention to detail makes the unique people and history come alive. In our recent past, two Borgia historical series looked at a specific corrupt Catholic Pope’s reign in 1497, and The Tudors popular series was based on King Henry VIII’s reign
CAUTION… for historical readers, writers, and directors.
They need to understand the difference between a historical biography which is truth, supposedly, and historical fiction which is historically mostly true. This viewpoint has a big impact on how you approach historical fiction. I find when writing historical fiction many readers want the story to do more than it is supposed to do: be totally true which would then be a documentary or biography.
For example, the movie Argo is historical fiction, which is mostly true with a literary license to create a fictional ending. It is important that the viewer or reader understands that historical fiction is mostly true but not all true. When writing historical fiction, however, the audience or readers want it to be historically accurate as much as possible. The above noted movies and television series are key examples of what our readers and viewers expect.
Read more posts by E.K. Prescott, Ph.D, educator and author of The Ivy League Chronicles. Dr. Prescott
E.K. Prescott, Ph.D.
E.K. Prescott, Ph.D., has been an educator for almost 30 years, and has taught at the college level for the past 15 years. She spent many years as a high school English teacher, middle school principal, and national educational consultant. Among her many accomplishments, she has been awarded research grants, named director of a research institute, and her work was published by the S-STEP group of the American Educators Research Association. She was also asked to present her research in London, England at a S-Step conference.
Prescott earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri and her master’s degree at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI. She earned her doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was awarded a three-year, full-time Fellowship.
She is currently an online Associate Faculty member, mentor and residency instructor for the University of Phoenix-School of Advanced Studies, as well as a part-time professor for other online doctoral programs.
Nine Squares: The Ivy League Chronicles won three awards in 2013: Honorary Mention for Historical Fiction, New York Book Festival, Hollywood Book Festival and Paris Book Festival.
Prescott lives in a log cabin nestled in the mountains of northern Arizona with her husband, four horses, and two black labs. Her son Doug serves as her business advisor and lives nearby with his wife, Sarah, and their young daughter, Audrey. Doug and Sarah will welcome a new addition to their family in January 2013. "Briggs" (short for Brigadoon) is a 19-year-old Arabian. Briggs is the comedian of the herd. In his heyday, he won many ribbons, but now he enjoys the quiet, high desert.
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