The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post every day except Sundays during the month of April on a thematic topic. This year, my debut year with A to Z, I’ll cover writing genres.
Alternative history is a genre of fiction consisting of stories in which one or more historical events occur differently from reality
- As you write this epic drama, don’t forget the small, everyday details that bond readers to your character and story.
- Recognize that some historical developments are probably inevitable. Leave those alone.
- Remember to include historical factors that were important at the time, even if they aren’t important to your story.
- Pay attention to the one changed event, but also all the events that led up to it.
- Don’t mix urban legends with actual history.
- Let the story follow where the altered history will support it, not necessarily where you want it to go.
- Remember to tell a great story, not just how you altered history.
- Don’t overdo the detail on your alternate world, thinking it will fascinate the reader. Only provide what supports the story.
- Ask ‘What if?’ This is fundamental to alternative fiction.
- 90% of alternate history novels deal with ‘What if Hitler won?’ Avoid this if possible.
- anything by Harry Turtledove
- The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
- The Alternation by Kingsley Amis
- Farthing by Jo Walton
- Transition by Iain M. Banks
- Fatherland by Robert Harris
- The Coming of the Quantum Cats by Frederik Pohl
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, is scheduled for May 2017. Click to follow its progress.