Balance accuracy and authenticity for better historical fiction


Specialist editor Andrew Noakes knows that fear can often inhibit a historical-fiction writer's creativity.

If you’re among those terrified of the scathing review that calls your accuracy into question, then Noakes has some reassurance for you.

Losing sight of the story — the plot, the characters, the tensions, the emotions — is a much greater danger, he says.

And to avoid that fate, Noakes urges writers to strike a considered balance between authenticity and accuracy.

What does that mean? He shares five examples of when to give weight to one over the other, and how to execute it without arousing the ire of history buffs.

Read his guest post on The Creative Penn to start breathing a bit easier. (And you may also enjoy these insights from J.R. Tomlin and C.C. Humphreys.)