When someone says, “historical fiction,” what comes to mind? How about researching an event from days gone by? Does this fill you with curiosity and anticipation? Or does the very thought of it make you yawn.
Here are six ideas to try even if history isn’t “your thing.”
- Do a little digging into your family history until you come across an interesting character you would like to learn more about. And then dig some more.
- Look into the history of your hometown. Record details you find captivating. Use these to write a piece for the local paper or as a springboard for a short story.
- Imagine yourself without modern day conveniences. Write a journal entry as if you were an earlier settler to your area. Do sufficient research to get the facts right.
- Is there a destination you’ve always wanted to visit? Virtually all have a rich history. Since you are beginning from a point of interest, studying their history should be more intriguing.
- What do you love besides writing? Fine art? Architecture? Photography? Choose something that interests you and do some research into its beginnings.
- Still not interested in ancient history—or even what happened in the 1800s? Consider the significant changes you’ve seen in your lifetime and try your hand at a creative nonfiction piece (a true story that incorporates setting, dialogue, and conflict as you would read in a work of fiction).
And now, it’s time to hop into your time machine and head off for the future. Even if you’re not a sci-fi fan, there are ways to approach the future that may very well spark your interest. Give at least one of these ideas a try in the week ahead.
- Let’s start by taking a small leap forward. Write a journal entry as if it were 10 years in the future.
- Look ahead and imagine your great, great grandchildren. What do you think their world will look like?
- So much has happened in the last century. It’s mind-boggling. Now picture yourself as a 22nd century reporter. You’re sent to cover the inventor of the most recent technological advancement. Write out that interview. Remember to cover the who, what, when, where, and why of the story.
- Imagine that because of overcrowding, you have to choose to live on Mars or under the sea. Which would you choose and why? Write in as much detail as you can.
- So, since we mentioned sci-fi, why not turn our gaze to the heavens? Write two pieces, a fantastical piece of what it would be like to encounter aliens and a piece in which you simply share your thoughts and feelings about seeing the heavens from deep space minus the alien lifeforms.
- If you’re so inclined, write a dystopian short story. (This isn’t my preferred genre, so perhaps I should give it a try to expand my writing horizons.)
We’d love to hear which of these ideas you used as writing prompts. Did they give you a new view of the past or the future? How so?
by Stephanie Nickel , CES Editor, Writer, Coach, and Critique Specialist
Questions? Email karen@ChristianEditingServices.com