October 14th, 2008


Historical fantasy

My muse obviously noticed that I was already immersed in more stories than I can write at once, because she decided it was a good time to send me some inspiration. :P

I have an inkling of an idea that would be historical fantasy--y'know, like Libba Bray's GEMMA DOYLE trilogy is fantasy set in Victorian England, and WILDWOOD DANCING is fantasy set in I'm-not-exactly-sure-what-period Translyvannia (as opposed to fantasy that just borrows from a historical period but isn't actually supposed to be set there, like the Attolia books and all the pseudo-medieval stuff out there). It feels like it could be a lot of fun.

However. I've always avoided historical stuff before because I am afraid of the research. :D Perhaps working THE HALFWAY HERO (fantasy that borrows from history) and LOKI'S BOY (fantasy that is technically set in the Viking society of the middle ages, but since it's mostly in Asgard a lot of it's made up anyway) has made me less wary. But while I'm playing with this idea (no time to write it for a good while yet), I figured I ought to get some tips.

People who enjoy reading historical fantasy: What do you look for in this sort of book? Is there anything that gets done too much/doesn't get done enough? How much history do you like mixed in with your fantasy?

People who've written historical fantasy: Have you found any research strategies that work well, in terms of collecting all the necessary details without driving one's self crazy? :) Any other advice for this genre, as it differs from others?