Components That Make Up Great Historical Fiction

Character, dialogue, setting, topic, story, conflict, and world-building are essential considerations for any fiction author. While these components determine whether a novel succeeds or fails, historical fiction has the extra task of bringing the past to life. The timeframe is a significant aspect of the setting. It tells a narrative set in the past, usually during a crucial historical period, like how Francis Dutch grapples Civil War in his book. Can’t Hobble The Elephant by Francis Dutch is truly a literary masterpiece.

Even for a seasoned writer, writing historical fiction may be complicated. You have the conventional concerns—planning, plotting, structure, character development, and so on—but you also have to deal with the in-depth research and the essential aspects around historical truth and authenticity.

If you have an excellent idea for a historical fiction novel but don’t know where to start, this blog is for you. Here are the essential elements that you need to know in the context of historical fiction:


The theme or message should be the center of everything. There are a couple of ways to do this, such as taking inspiration in real life. In fact, many authors find this process as one of the most excellent parts of the writing process. This aspect might be number one on your priority list in terms of historical fiction, as it will require real events from the past as a backdrop story. You’re basing your novel’s backdrop on actual events, but your primary story is nearly totally made up. It will typically center on characters that are made up rather than renditions of real-life personalities. If you want to include details from actual events and individuals, but your creative impulses push the tale too far away from reality, you can try utilizing history as inspiration for your story rather than making it the story itself.


Characters, whether actual or fictional, behave in accordance with the age in which they live, even if they transgress the bounds. Readers may experience the world you’ve built through your characters, both in terms of how they interact with their surroundings and how they perceive it. If authors write about characters from cultures other than their own, which can happen a lot in historical fiction, they must conduct studies to avoid misrepresenting a specific culture.

Developing your characters may be one of the determinants of success in your fiction writing. Great characters serve as the foundation for a charismatic personality that draws others.


It is where your story takes place, and it includes the time of day, immediate surroundings, weather, time of the year, and even the geographical location. To put it in another way, it is essential in establishing the tone, or it might be the major force that the characters confront, such as a tornado or flood. The environment may often tell something about the main character as they work in that location and historical period. Authors would write about a place that they are familiar with. If they are unfamiliar with the location, they must conduct a study to be accurate about it.


This is the centerline of the struggle between the two parties. In fiction writing, the main character, sometimes known as the protagonist, is at odds with the antagonist, who is an opponent. The conflict may be one of many kinds—character vs. nature or natural forces, character vs. character, character vs. himself or herself, etc. Conflict is essential in every narrative because it creates suspense and propels the plot ahead. It is frequently utilized in plots to disclose a more profound meaning while exposing characters’ motives, ideals, and flaws. In essence, it is genuinely one crucial element in fiction.


Last but not least, the plot where the series of events in which we learn more about the characters, the environment, and the moral of the narrative. In a way, the plot serves as the root from which all other components of a tale sprout. Even though the plot is simply the events in a tale, most stories adhere to a predefined plot framework. Introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution are the main plot elements. With these factors in mind, you’re on the verge of creating a spectacular tale.


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