The challenge of historical fiction

I’m sliding down the rabbit hole of research!

I ‘m making progress on my historic fiction short story, “The Goldlisters of Panama.” With a broad story outline and character arc, I have a good draft of the first quarter of the story, but––

Going in I knew this was a difficult genre. You need a lot of research, but how much is enough? With my target length of 20K words, I need to select scenes that convey the facts of the historical event, building of the Panama Canal, and I don’t want to slow down the journey of my fictional characters while playing out their lifechanging role in that effort. But I can’t let the piece grow to novel or even novella length. The challenge is finding the right balance of authorial narrative, and “showing scenes” for background, story arc, and character development.

Anybody faced that challenge? I’d love to hear from you.

Author: Dick

I have to tell you right up front. I’m a story teller. After graduation from the Coast Guard Academy in 1957, my twenty-eight years of active duty have given me a lot of fodder. I finally heeded my daughter’s pleas, “Dad, you have got to write those stories down,” and published my memoirs in 1975. Caught up in the writing experience, I moved on to publish a novel in 2019 and I'm continuing to write. It's my new number 1 hobby.

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