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Saturday, April 4 • 9:00am - 10:00am
5B: Perfecting Voice in Historical Fiction FILLING

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The language we choose when writing historical fiction can bring the past to life or spoil it for our readers. The pitfalls of wrong tone, word choice, or cadence are ever present. Yet when we get it right, we can succeed at integrating all aspects of our story to make a distant era as real as our present day.

Through close readings in Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers, Edward P. Jones’s The Known World, Paulette Giles, News of the World, and Matthew Pearl’s The Dante Chamber, we’ll study how authors combine contemporary and period language to build their fictional worlds. We’ll also look at examples of where it goes wrong: fussy, old-timey, or pseudo-historical language that disrupts the narrative. Then we’ll consider our own writing, applying what we’ve learned as we find our own best, historically inspired voice.

avatar for Virginia Pye

Virginia Pye

Virginia Pye’s Shelf Life of Happiness won the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Award for Short Fiction. Her novel, Dreams of the Red Phoenix, was named a Best Book of 2015 by Richmond Times Dispatch, and her debut novel, River of Dust, was an Indie Next Pick and a 2013 Finalist... Read More →

Saturday April 4, 2020 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
Newbury Room - 4th Floor