Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Seeking Grown-Up History

I pride myself in being able to research any historical period, using any type of resource. No sitting at home checking Wikipedia for this writer. I hie me to a university library and dig in for the day, then go back for more.

But here's what I'm finding I can't do: I can't think in terms of adult historical fiction. What's that about, do you suppose? I'm staggering under the weight of all the original middle-grade historicals I'm dreaming up. I'll never live to write them all. But when I try to sprout a story idea for adults, all I can think of are things I know already exist.

I'm about to take a short vacation. I'm determined that one of my travel projects will be to come up with a historical fiction plot of interest to adults. It needn't be about where I'm visiting, but getting away from home will surely jump-start my imagination.


  1. Evelyn Eaton wrote for the New Yorker in the 1930s-40s and wrote historical fiction. She was part British noble and American Indian, journalist, so she dug into all as time went on. Take a peek at her autobiography: The Trees and Fields went the other way. Shows how she balanced it all
    Allan Evans

  2. Perhaps it is because (like me)you feel freer when you write for children...they are so much more open-minded than adults. I'm working on an historical novel right now and I think it can still be fresh even though it covers some very well documented ground, because a child-reader is looking at it without prejudice.

  3. Thanks, guys.

    Allan, my problem isn't so much with balancing,since I jump from kid to adult lit all the time. But Evelyn Eaton does sound fascinating.

    Fancy, you may well have something there.

  4. I've never considered writing novels for adults, so I'm not much help here. But I hope your travel projects spark some inspiration for you.

  5. I haven't written for adults yet, though I've been thinking about it. For the most part, I think most if not all the writer friends I know write for children, whether PB to YA... I wonder if that means there is a greater demand for adult writers? LOL.

    I hope you have fun on your trip. Just stay open-minded, and let the ideas come!

  6. Abram Petrovich Ganibal, Pushkin's great-grandfather. Kidnapped from a town in North-east Africa, sold to the sultan in Istanbul, then brought to Russia by the Russian ambassador and presented to the tsar. After which his life got even more interesting. I'd love to read a book about him.