Saturday, July 5, 2014

Is historical fiction the new darling in literary genres?

a professor at the University of North Florida, asked this question on a LinkedIn group. He pointed out that historical fiction is hardly new. "Recently, though, Madison Smart Bell and others seem to be making a new name for themselves in writing historical novels. My question is this: Do you think writing historical novels would be the best advice for emerging writers? I honestly would like to see what you have to say on this fast becoming the new darling in literary genres."

I think that trying to write for "the new darling in literary genres" is a fool's errand. 

I think that writing an historical novel because you love the period, know the culture and the customs, believe you can create living, breathing characters can be satisfying and rewarding. 

I believe that anyone who advises emerging writers to chase after the market, whatever it is—paranormal, romance, chick-lit, historical fiction—is irresponsible at best and toxic at worst. 

Write the story you must write. Write the story you want to read that no one else has written. Make it as engaging as you (and your agent, editor, writers group, first readers) can make it and perhaps you'll create a new literary genre for which fools will try to write.

1 comment:

  1. Many of my friends cite historical fiction as their favorite kind of book to read. I also think there is no harm in trying it out as a writer--but of course if it stinks, pull the plug ASAP.