I may have overwritten this point, but it seems to be one of the main facts about writing historical fiction. Information dumping is annoying, yet you need to set the scene and somehow make readers understand what life was like in those days.
So don’t include everything from your research notes, but do include enough for readers to imagine themselves there. Find the right balance.
5 replies on “2015 A to Z Challenge: O is for OVERWRITING”
I actually had the exact opposite problem in my early days with 20th century historical. I didn’t include nearly enough period details, and these stories came off sounding like early 1990s stories which just happened to be set in the 1940s and late 1910s. For some reason, the 18th and 19th century historicals I wrote when I was even younger had lots of historical details, perhaps because I was more grounded in those eras. Twentieth century historical was a new thing to me, and being so terribly young, I naïvely assumed many things were the same as they were in the modern era, or at least existed in more primitive forms.
That’s some good advice. Don’t overdo it! I also love the picture lol.
If written well, those details will feel like they’re wrapping you up in the world you’re creating. Done badly, it can throw the reader out of the story. A tough balance, indeed!
Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep
Amen 🙂 The art of historical fiction is adding just enough information to keep it coherent and interesting…
Multicolored Diary – Epics from A to Z
MopDog – 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary
Balance is everything in writing, historical fiction or no!