Researching historical backdrops are a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is my readers will, hopefully, feel like they’ve traveled back in time when they read one of my books. The bad thing is, I find so many fun facts that I want to incorporate them all. Unfortunately, I can’t. So how do I pick and choose? Here are my three secrets:
1) Avoid Information Dumps
Throwing too many facts at your readers at one time can end up reading more like a history textbook instead of a compelling story. If you have a feeling that your writing is getting kind of heavy, it probably is. Remember, less is more!
2) Ask Yourself: “Is This Helping Move the Plot Along?”
A great way to make sure you’re following the “less is more” rule is to ask yourself what the purpose of your scene is. If the scene is simply an interesting incident that occurred in history but it doesn’t cause the plot of your story to progress, then you should consider cutting that scene.
3) Consider the Pacing
Writing historical fiction can be a delicate balance because you want to give readers enough context to immerse them in the time period, but not so much that it slows the pace of your story. If you’ve written quite a few paragraphs but you haven’t seen much dialogue or action, it may be time to go back and make some edits.
For a more in-depth discussion of this, watch this 2-Minute Tip for Aspiring Authors: