Friday, November 2, 2007

Writing Challenge For Today - in Historical Fiction

For those of you who are interested in writing historical fiction, try this writing challenge or exercise with a particular angle.


Its just one of the variety of angles you can use when you write in this genre.


Write a scene for a historical novel for children. In this scene, show your young main character meeting a well known historic person, and interacting with this person in a small or big way that will be important to the plot of the novel you might write.


To help get you thinking about how you might do this, here are three examples of historical novels for young readers, and the historic people the young main characters meet:


<>“Beth’s Story” (from the Portraits of Little Women series written by Susan Beth Pfeffer and published about 2001)(based on a character in Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel LITTLE WOMEN). In this alternate story, Beth (the third of the four sisters in the original LITTLE WOMEN), visits New York City, goes to a play in a theater, and meets Abraham Lincoln.


<> “The Gentleman Outlaw, and Me” by Mary Downing Hahn (a girl, in disguise as a boy, travels west to find her father, and journeys with a boy she meets along the way. In a town where they find themselves during their journey, they briefly meet Doc Holliday) [If you read this book, note another interesting character (not famous historically, except perhaps as a type of unusual person for that time). She is introduced toward the end of the story, but she is no less important to the story and the young main character]


<>”Johnny Tremain” by Esther Forbes (a fictional boy during American Revolution meets John Hancock and Samuel Adams, and is helped by one of them)


Can you think of, or find, other historical novels with this angle too?


Now its time for you to “make that scene”!

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