by 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…)