The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction (Paperback)

By James Alexander Thom

Writer's Digest Books, 9781582975696, 249pp.

Publication Date: February 1, 2010

List Price: 16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Once Upon a Time, it was NOW...

While a historian stands firmly planted in the present and looks back into the past, a historical novelist has a more immediate task: to set readers in the midst of bygone events and lead them forward, allowing them to live and" feel" the wonderment, fear, hope, triumph, and pain as if they were there.

In "The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction," best-selling author James Alexander Thom ("Follow the River," "From Sea to Shining Sea," "Sign-Talker") gives you the tools you need to research and create stories born from the past that will move and inspire modern readers. His comprehensive approach includes lessons on how to:

  • Find and use historical archives and conduct physical field research
  • Re-construct the world of your novel, including people and voices, physical environments, and cultural context
  • Achieve verisimilitude in speech, action, setting, and description
  • Seamlessly weave historical fact with your own compelling plot ideas
With wit and candor, Thom's detailed instruction, illuminating personal experience, and invaluable insights culled from discussions with other trusted historical writers will guide you to craft a novel that is true to what was then, when "then" was "now."

About the Author

James Alexander Thom was formerly a U.S. Marine, a newspaper and magazine editor, and a member of the faculty at the Indiana University Journalism School. He is the author of "Follow the River," "Long Knife," "From Sea to Shining Sea," "Panther in the Sky" (for which he won the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award for best historical novel), "Sign-Talker," "The Children of First Man," and "The Red Heart." He lives in the Indiana hill country near Bloomington with his wife, Dark Rain of the Shawnee Nation, United Remnant Band. Dark Rain is a director of the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Planning Council. The author's Website is: