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Friday, February 15, 2013

Five Tips to Writing a Great Historical Novel ~ Susan May Warren

Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of over forty novels with Tyndale, Barbour, Steeple Hill and Summerside Press. A five-time Christy award finalist, a three-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol award. A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!
She is also the founder of, a writing craft & coaching community for novelists to help them get published…and stay published.
A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:


Video Notes: 5 Tips to writing a great historical.
I love writing historical novels. I love diving into the research of the era.  I do crazy things like get dressed in the right attire, and listen to music from the area.  It’s so important to get it right. 
I wanted to quickly give you 5 tips on writing a great historical. It’s all about knowing your Era! That means Research baby!

How do you understand the culture?

      • Get books and articles written in the era to understand the lingo, the culture concerns, the political issues.  You need to get your head in the mind of your character by diving into that era.

      • Rent movies and read books set in this era!  You cant always rely on other peoples research, but you can get ideas to confirm later on.

      • Read biographies about people set in this time.  Its another great way to get in the head of your character.

      • Visit  either in person or virtually the area you are setting the story so you can understand the world of your character.

      • Listen to the music of the time. Its a great way to really get into your character.

I had a great time writing Duchess, my newest novel set in 1930’s Hollywood.  I researched it with my buddy James Scott Bell, who is the perfect Hollywood tour guide.  The book comes out soon – thanks for reading and Happy Writing!


  1. One thing is for sure, Susie: You know you're stuff.
    These are great tips for writing a historical novel. I especially like the idea about listening to music of the time period.

  2. I love all these ideas. And I love it that you get dressed up in the costumes of the era! Thanks for sharing.


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