The historical novel

(General, all-purpose level.)

Since there is no time-machine, the historical novel is the next best thing. But how to create a credible picture of a time long gone and understand people who lived in that foreign country, the past? How much research is needed and how to weave it into our story without it getting in the way? This workshop explores how to write a historical novel, using folklore, archaeological, historical and ethnological sources to enter the past. My talk will focus on the Viking and middle ages but hopefully be useful to anyone interested in writing a novel set in other times as well.

Format: Lecture, q&a and some in-class sharing for discussion.

Advance assignment: Sample of your work to discuss, ca. 400 words.

It is not required but helpful to read up on the Sagas of the Icelanders and the world the Vikings, e.g. here and if you like, Gylfaginning, a primary source on Norse mythology, can be found here in English.

Also, here is a link to BBC’s programme The Viking Sagas, focusing on Laxdaela Saga where most of the protagonists are strong women:

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