Historical: novel that takes place in the past (and I’m gonna leave it at that, you’ll see why later)
Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For the next 5 Sundays, I will pick a favorite book genre and discuss all the reasons why I love it. We will kick off the week with ‘historical’ because I am most looking forward to reading one of those types of novels on my TBR shelf, but I can’t seem to find time to get to it. I’m hoping this will push me over the edge, but we’ll get to which book that is in a little bit.
Historical fiction generally has a broad range of definitions, but there are also many people who are fierce loyalists as to the specific rules. Although we all agree the story must take place in the past, there are a few points potentially up for debate:
- Is there an acceptable # of years that must have passed before the author can write about the time period?
- Some think it is after an entire generation (about 20 to 25 years) has gone by.
- Some believe if the novel takes place at least 50 years ago, it qualifies.
- Some feel an entire lifetime (about 80 years) must have passed.
- MY VIEW: I’m in the ’50’ year bucket as when I think of WWII stories, I consider those historical because they occurred before I was born. In order to be a lifetime, it would have to be before 1937 based on today’s date, which seems like it’s excluding a lot. A generation is too little; that’s just a slight adjustment in time periods.
- Does it need to be about a real person?
- Some think it absolutely must include a real person who lived and breathed during that period in history, but contain some fictional events and characters.
- Others think as long as the setting is historical, the character can be fully made up and not be connected to any other reality.
- MY VIEW: I do not think the main character needs to be a real person; however, I do prefer the novel include some real-life characters to help the setting feel more realistic. It could be as little as discussions about current leaders or famous people within the book; potentially meeting or interacting with made-up characters, but when it’s strictly fully fictional, I’m not as impressed or excited.
- Can it cross genres?
- Many people believe it must not broaden into other genres, e.g. mystery, fantasy or science-fiction. To be true historical, it has to be strictly general fiction.
- Others are open-minded and refer to it as a historical “sci-fi” or “mystery” novel. Yikes, what do we call a young adult mystery with fantasy elements set in a historical period?
- MY VIEW: I think we have to leave rooms for other genres, but as sub-genre categories. It all starts with the initial high-level category, then breaks down. I don’t think we all agree with the main categories either, which makes it harder. For instance, are Adult, Contemporary or General part of the first level of categorization, and are they ultimately the same thing?
- So… I’d say, first I’d categorize a fiction book by it’s time period, either historical, contemporary or future.
- Then I’d add in the age, either children’s, young adult or adult.
- Then I’d get into things like fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, thriller, romance, etc.
Now that we know all the options [and if I’ve missed any key points, please feel free to share]… let’s chat about why I love historical fiction:
- I’m a history buff, so I enjoy being transported back to a time period where I have some knowledge or information.
- I live in the current century, which means sometimes I need something different to distract me from what’s going on around me. I’m not a huge futuristic type guy, and I get tired of ‘technology’ solving all our problems and issues (meaning things being done the old-fashioned way are often more interesting to me).
- I love making up stories about people that might have been true and might have had some connection to reality. The research aspects of what’s real and not-real amaze and interest me.
- Reading or seeing the settings from the words the author chooses help ignite my literary passions. When it’s a world I wasn’t part of, it’s even more fantastic.
What are my favorite reads?
What’s next on my list in this genre?
How about you? Any favorites or recommendations? Do you not like this genre? Time to share!
Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, often organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me. Past weeks included:
- Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
- Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
- Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
- Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived
- Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held
- Weeks 26 – 30: Top 10 entertainment options
- Week 31: How to follow or contact me across all social media platforms
- Week 32: How to help an artist with promotion
About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”
I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.
The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.
Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks.