Tips for Historical Writers – by Sue Coletta…

on Anne R Allen:

Historical true crime requires the writer to don a detective’s hat to unearth real details about the case(s), and the research can seem daunting at times. Historical fiction also demands that the writer get his/her facts straight. Today, I offer tips to help you find reliable source material, from which to build a factual narrative.

To write a realistic narrative for historical true crime, research includes:

  • Facts of the Case
  • Life of Historical Figures (killer, victim(s), family life, etc.)
  • Forensics (Fun Fact: Some of the toxicology tests are still used today!)
  • Occupations
  • Food and Dress
  • Wealthy v. Poor (differences in daily life)
  • Modes of Transportation
  • Investigators (Think: How did the police catch criminals back then?)
  • Court System (jurors, sentencing, lawyers, judges, witness testimony, expert witnesses, prosecution’s theory, defense, etc.)
  • Prison Life and/or Mental Hospitals
  • Burials

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