Historical Fiction Prompts inspire you to write VERY SPECIAL or VERY TYPICAL scenes from a particular era.
1. You could write them as a rehearsal, to see if you’re truly interested in writing 400+ pages about this setting and time.
2. Or you could write them, and weave them into your novel.
Don’t be afraid that by utilising these prompts, you will end up writing the same scene as other authors! This is ridiculous. Each of us has a different view on life, the world and history.
And don’t forget: You bring your unique protagonist.
Let’s imagine that the writing prompt brings you one of the last radio speeches made by Hitler, in May 1945, just before the downfall of Germany.
One author might locate this situation in a concentration camp. His protagonist works as a forced labourer for the Nazis, and gets the chance to overhear the radio speech by accident. You might narrate the feelings that this prisoner experiences, his fears and his hopes – right in midst of this crucial moment, as the Russian and American soldiers are approaching Berlin.
But, another author might take this as a prompt to write about a Nazi family in rural Germany. They still believe that their German “Volk” is meant to dominate all the other countries, and that Hitler’s last-minute weapon inventions will eventually turn things around, and let the Germans win the war.
And yet another author might write about someone from Hitler’s closest entourage, and what he feels while listening to the shattered, aging “Führer” who doesn’t have any power any more.
Your Historical Fiction Prompt stays the same – Hitler’s speech on the radio.
But what different authors create from it is entirely different.
Different inner monologues.
A few notes on how it works
Essentially, you invent the protagonists – I bring the historical background information.
When working with the Historical Fiction Prompts, there are two options.
- Have a look at the people shown in the image/film/footage or photo mentioned in my prompt, and choose one of them as your protagonist.
- Or if you already have your own protagonist, use him/her! Imagine them taking their place in the setting that the prompt provides. Put him right in the middle of the action.
Imagine your chosen protagonist being confronted with the historical incidents.
Narrate what he encounters.
Confront him or her with the unfolding situation.
Utilize the original historical material to conjure up the world of the past.