Fiction with Nonfiction Characters
- By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jul 02 2009
Can one write a story with historical figures with plotlines involving these characters including historical truths as well as substantial fictional elements? And if so when submitting it does one say it is a fictional story based on true characters…or do you just leave it alone?
Absolutely! In fact, I think the best historical fiction includes a great number of facts, and the occasional historical figure or two. It only make sense really. How would you write about the Civil War without including at least some reference to some of the most famous generals this country has ever seen?
You didn’t make it very clear in your question, but do you plan to write a fictional story based on a real-life character or include real-life characters in the book you are writing about someone else? Certainly both have been done, done a lot and done well, but I’m just wondering. If you are writing about more famous historical characters, like, for example, Abraham Lincoln, and the story is really about him, I think you’re going to have a much bigger challenge. This is someone whose life has been written about numerous times and true fans might have trouble with the fictionalized tale. If, however, you are writing about John Jones, a fictional character during the Civil War, and Lincoln makes an appearance or has a regular role in the story, I think fans of Lincoln and the Civil War will likely be more forgiving.