Writing Historical Fiction For Beginners (Online Course)
Losing your head over the Tudors? Up to your armpits in Flanders’ mud? Intrigued by the human stories behind the dry facts of history, whether it’s the Sykes Picot Line or the unexplained uncle in your family tree? Join this informal online course facilitated by prize-winning historical novelist, Sarah Bower (author of The Needle in the Blood and The Book of Love) and learn how to write historical fiction. This online beginners’ historical fiction course is designed to run over three months and will cover all aspects of historical fiction writing, from research to creating authentic characters to the blending of historical fact and fictional plot.
Topics under discussion will include:
- The modern origins of historical fiction
- The fictionalisation of real historical personages
- How to fit your story into the real events, and how much can you change to facilitate the creation of a fictional ‘truth’
- Conveying a sense of period and creating a link between the past and the modern reader
- Authentic and anachronistic dialogue (purpose and pitfalls)
- Historical research – sources and the dangers of ‘information dumping’
- Publication opportunities
- Ripped bodices and murderous monks.
The historical fiction writing course will also explore the many different sub-genres of historical fiction: the murder mystery; the romance; the saga; the fake memoir; fantasy; alternative history; timeslip; and post-colonial.
This online course is made up of several easy-to-navigate teaching modules, each one comprising a detailed lesson required reading, resources, a discussion forum, short writing tasks and more detailed creative writing exercises.
There is one formally assessed assignment which is required to officially pass the course and receive a certificate. This will take the form of either a short story or novel extract of approximately 2000 words, which will receive detailed editorial feedback from the tutor.
Booking your place
It’s easy to sign up for an Unthank School course. To book your place on the Putting the Story in History course, click ‘Book Your Place’ at the top of this page and complete the short form on the following screen. Your payment will be processed securely via PayPal.
After you have created an account with us, your tutor will be in touch via email (usually within a day) to confirm your place on the course and introduce themselves. You will then be provided with a link to the Unthank School virtual learning environment, where the course will take place.