Writing a historical novel

Hawaii 014-A


There are so many thoughts crowding my mind right now.  Let me sift through them.

As you may know, I spent the preceding decade writing columns for the local newspaper ($900 for 9 columns), writing 3 memoirs and editing 1 anthology ($8,000 gross), and writing and narrating commentaries for the radio (free publicity for my first memoir).

Since then, I have been busy blogging, at first daily and now every other day or so.

Lately, I have been so bored with my life.  What can I possibly do to perk things up?

Well, I have decided to write a historical novel and publish it as an e-book on Amazon.

My friend Dawn wrote a historical novel about a British adventurer, who dressed and spoke as an Arab physician in order to travel into Mecca.  This actually happened during the 1800s.  His journey was an exciting but dangerous one, because had his true identity been revealed, he would have been killed.

Since finishing her book, Dawn has been sending out query letters to literary agents.  One of them was so intrigued that he requested the entire manuscript.  Unfortunately, he decided not to represent her. In my opinion, Dawn should turn her novel into an e-book on Amazon rather than pursue the traditional publishing route.  What has she got to lose?

The great thing about writing a historical novel is that the plot is already there.  All you have to do is embellish it.  Of course, there is the problem of embellishing it so much that it is no longer historical.  How far from the truth can you deviate?

At this point, I have not chosen a subject.  Once I have, I’ll have to do a ton of research.  It will require patience and perseverance, but once the research is done, my writing will fly like the wind.

Is there a historical figure you would like to read about?

17 Responses to “Writing a historical novel”

  1. Cathy Says:

    I think the choice of character would have to be yours Gigi – you would be the one doing the research and also the writing and it would be so easy to blame someone else if it didn’t turn out the way you wanted/hoped/expected.
    they say that life is what you make it so go girl and make something of this idea while its fresh in your mind 🙂
    Take care

  2. Olga Says:

    That is super, Gigi! Putting your skills back to work is bound to cure that boredom piece and I really believe we all need projects, monumental tasks, and goals all through life. I can’t wait to read your book no matter who in history you pick.

  3. Jeanie Says:

    I am a big fan of historical fiction and would love to read a book written by you. I think you have to pick a character that holds great interest for you since there would be so much research required. I used to write a newspaper column but I’m not sure I have the tenacity or creativity to write a novel

  4. Joanne Says:

    Go for it. I don’t know enough about Hawaiian royals. I understand some were uniquely fascinating.

  5. Suzanne Says:

    That is a great idea. I often imagined who the people were that first discovered and populated the Hawaiian islands and what life was like for them.

  6. DJan Says:

    I have always been fascinated by the suffragettes at the turn of the twentieth century who made such a difference in the lives of women. Any one of them would interest me! And the peoples of the Hawaiian islands, as mentioned by others. Great idea, Gigi!

  7. granny annie Says:

    I would much prefer a fictional historical serial killer:)

  8. Beatrice Says:

    Yes, I always loved the novels by Sue Harrison. Something similar from overhere would be great. We have many Bronze Age sites around; just around the corner from my home is one, too. The building of the large tumuli etc. would be a great story to tell. No one did it so far…

  9. Denise Says:

    Fantastic! That is an ambitious undertaking and one that will keep you busy. I look forward to buying your book when it comes out! This has already probably been done but what about choosing one of the earliest Hawaiian Missionaries, though now I say that I seem to remember the movie Hawaii with Julie Andrews and Max Von Sydow. It’s probably what I was thinking about when I thought missionaries.

  10. Christine Says:

    good luck with this idea Gigi, good for you! I am not a history buff, so have no good ideas unfortunately. Will it be fiction or non-fiction?

  11. Linda Reeder Says:

    Go for it, Gigi. You have some good suggestions here. but of course the subject needs to be something that intrigues you.

  12. LC Says:

    I enjoy historical fiction and can’t wait to read your anti-boredom project LOL. Best wishes!

  13. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    I read history, that ‘s all I need. I abandoned historical novels for the real thing. As for reviews I’ve written hundreds of them I won’t read anything people send me, although I receive dozens of requests for a review each week.. Much junk on the market these days. I hope you fare better than your friend. Most historians spend 8 to 10 years researching a work. Writing takes a couple more years.

  14. palolo Says:

    How about a book on the life of Charles Reed Bishiop?

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