Ancient or modern? Language in historical fiction

Excellent post for historical fiction writers

Carolyn Hughes

Last Thursday, I joined a panel of published writers at a Portsmouth Writers Hub event held at the University of Portsmouth, before an audience of fellow writers and readers. The agenda was to discuss the dark themes in our writing, as well as our research and writing processes. One of the questions asked of me was how I dealt with language, given that my novel, Fortune’s Wheel, is set in the fourteenth century, a time when people didn’t speak English as we know it, but spoke either Middle English, a form of French, or Latin, depending on their social status and education.

It’s a question that has exercised me – and many other writers of historical fiction – a good deal. The question I have asked myself has been, basically, whether I should attempt to give my characters “authentic” sounding voices, or put modern language in their mouths. I knew…

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5 Vital Tips For Starting Your Blockbuster Story

Dan Alatorre

1. Most of the input we get about writing a story comes from people who are traditionally published, and traditionally published people are going to agents. Agents are effing lazy. So if you don’t hook the agent or publisher on page 1 paragraph 1, they don’t read much farther.

2. That’s… a lot of pressure for one paragraph.

3. On the other hand, the end customer is who we market to as independent authors. That means you have a much wider berth. 50 pages as opposed to one.

4. And that’s why it’s important to start your story quickly and hook your reader (I’m always gonna advocate that), but to remember it’s a rule that came from agents and publishers, not readers – so tell YOUR story.

5. Tell it well, but tell it the way YOU need to tell it.

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Rose’s Playlist (6) – How You Remind Me by Nickelback

Rose continues to visit places associated with Richard,finding them changed, mainly for the better. They make her feel closer to him, but also serve as poignant reminders of his absence.So I chose ‘How You Remind Me‘ a great song by Nickelback as this scene’s title. Click on the link for a video of the song and you can download the Richard Liveth Yet books,or purchase a print copy: here.

Photo of Chad Kroeger of Nickelback

Chad Kroeger of Nickelback




Image credit: By sezzles ( [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Print Edition Now Available!



Richard Liveth Yet (Book III): Hearts Never Change is now available on Amazon in a print version. It would make a great Christmas gift for a friend or family member who is a reader! Or for yourself, of course! (If you read it, please post a review).

Here are the currently available formats:

Amazon print

Amazon Kindle


If you would like a Blurb signed print copy, just email me at – they are £10 plus p & p!

Word Count: The Non-Rule Rule

Any thoughts?

A Writer's Path


by Samantha Fenton

When people talk about how long the word count of a novel should be, they say, “there really is no rule….” But, then they go off talking about some “guidelines” of the “right length” of a novel.

“There’s really no set rule, but you shouldn’t go below insert word count or above insert word count.”

So here’s my question: How long or short can a novel be?

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Five Things I Learned From 500 Reviews

Very true! If you have read any of my books, please leave a review!

Allison Maruska

When I published my first book twenty-one months ago (two years ago come February, so you don’t have to math), I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I’d sell some copies, probably my friends would read it, and it would get a handful reviews (hopefully good ones).

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you know how things really went – 20,000 ebooks sold in the first year and thousands more sold since its first birthday.

500-reviewsToday, it got its 500th Amazon review (thankfully, it was a 5-star review), which is an exciting milestone. I tried to find the average number of reviews for published books and didn’t get anywhere, but I know the majority of books see far fewer than 500, my other books included (so far. *knocks on wood*). So being on this side of 500, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned along…

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Does Every Story Need a Happy Ending?

What do you think?

A Writer's Path


by Allison Maruska

Every story needs certain elements to be a story. We’ve talked about characters, settings, and problems. If we’re following the mnemonic below, that leaves us with solutions to talk about.

Cows = Characters

See = Setting

Pretty = Problem

Sunflowers = Solution

This works great for eight-year-olds learning the parts of the story they should include in a retell. Up to problems, it’s also helpful for writers to ensure they’re making the most of the elements. Are the characters interesting? Do they have issues? Does the setting add to the story in some way? Are the problems really problems, or are they goals?

Right around here is where things start getting fuzzy. Because solution isn’t really the right word.

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How to Make Every Chapter an Irresistible “Page Turner.”

Do you agree?

P. S. Hoffman

Short post, (because I’m kicking NaNoWriMo’s ass).

Let’s say, you just wrote a chapter.

You worked hard on it. You followed the outline. You’re pretty sure it’s the greatest thing anyone has ever written.

Until, a week later, you re-read it …

…it’s a boring, drivel-ly, snot-filled MESS.

When did this Chapter get so boring?

There is a fix. This technique will instantly make all your chapters irresistible page turners, and readers will glue themselves to your book:

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We All Make Mistakes!

Having, with great relief, finally uploaded my final part of the ‘Richard Liveth Yet’ trilogy, I have just realised I made a tiny but significant mistake. It amounts to only two characters being wrong, but as it refers to an answer of Richard’s to an interrogation by his daughter, it should have been accurate! The whole point of her questioning was to try to catch him out and instead it caught me out!

So to anyone who noticed the error, I apologise, and if you didn’t notice or didn’t realise there was a mistake, please note:

The Duke of Buckingham who was involved in a rebellion against Richard, was the 2nd Duke, not the 3rd!  Doh!

I have, of course, corrected the error in future editions, but I can’t correct those already downloaded, of course. So, I hope you will forgive me!

Statue of face palm

Image credit: By Alex E. Proimos ( [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Stop Worrying About What Not to Write

Food for thought

A Writer's Path


by Tonya R. Moore

Are you afraid of messing around with tropes? What about your plot? Is it too dark? Too light? Is your main character too perfect? Too flawed? Are you afraid to bore, perturb, or even disgust?

Tell me the truth: how many articles did you read this week that made you look back at your own work and cringe?

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