Compelling Historical Villains

vilainsthumbnailby Anna Wahler

Historical fiction is no different from other genres in that a strong antagonist makes for a strong story. But when it comes to history, your villains can no longer be wizards, starship captains, or dystopian overlords. They have to come from real places, and often involve real events that had devastating effects. That’s why I believe that historical villains need a little extra attention.




Five Real-Life Pirates to Inspire your Next Character

real-life pirates

by Amanda Mae Downey

Real-life pirates weren’t the nicest guys and gals. They didn’t have peg legs or happy parrots on their shoulders. They were actually kind of sick, and as you know, us writers love taking inspiration from sick people. Maybe that says something about us.

Captain Blackbeard and his vessel, the Queen Anne’s Revenge have inspired depictions like that in the television series Black Sails and the 2016 novel Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman. Blackbeard is an interesting pirate, but there are hundreds of pirates (or in this case, five) that deserve some quality air-time and I’m here to give it to them.


Portraying Real People in Historical Fiction

thumbnailrealpeopleby Anna Wahler

History is full of captivating men and women–without any character building required. But writing about human beings that really existed can come with a whole other slew of potential issues. Many writers have successfully integrated real men and women from history into creative works, and others have been criticized for this act. Currently, I haven’t attempted to write a work of fiction centered on a real historical figure, but it’s a concept that’s very interesting to me. Below are some thoughts on the art of pilfering real characters from the pages of history.
For the purpose of this post, I’m writing about fiction in which a historical person takes a leading role. Cases in which a fictional protagonist crosses paths with a well-known and real historical figure are a completely different subject. (more…)