The amount of information about writing historical fiction that you can find on the Internet never ceases to amaze me. While I was playing around one day, I discovered this interesting quiz about historical fiction for children. It was actually designed as part of a children’s literature course for teachers, but writers will benefit from knowing this information, too.
There’s one aspect of this quiz that I found particularly interesting. (Warning—I’m basically going to give away an answer or two here, so you may want to try the quiz before you read the rest of this post.) The curriculum this quiz is taken from is intended to show teachers how to use historical fiction in the classroom—namely, to supplement their history curriculums. I’ve always been under the impression that teachers who choose to use historical titles in this way are more concerned about the historical aspects of the books than anything else. But this quiz emphasizes that the story overrides the history—something that I, as a writer, find incredibly refreshing.
Of course it’s important to write a book that’s true to the time period, but in the end, it’s the story that’s the heart of the matter.
How well did you do on this quiz? Do you think it does a good job of covering the basics of historical fiction? And if not, what other basic ideas would you choose to add?
Melissa L. is the YA Editorial Assistant for Wonders and Marvels. You can read more about her here: Editorial Staff.