Window into the Past

If there’s one thing historical fiction writers and readers should share in common, it’s that innate desire to discover a window into the past. That driving force compels insatiably. We want to be that fly on the wall. To see how it all happened…at the least.

If you’re like me, though, the hunger drives deeper.

Eventually, being the fly on the wall isn’t enough. You want to taste the mead. Smell the salty sea air from the bow of a longboat. Feel the heft of a spear as it takes flight from your hand.

In essence, you want to live it.

Therein lies the challenge. How do you accomplish that through mere words?

Well, truth be told, writers have done so for centuries. And readers continue to dive into their pages, being swept away by one far off place after another, time and again.

But there’s a trick to accomplishing this as a writer. It’s that trick I’ve come to ponder recently.

Okay, so if we’re honest, it’s more than one trick.

Many elements fuse together to forge a good historical novel. Skim off the dross, and it melts down to two major components: excellent research coupled with a spell-binding story.

Amalgamate those components perfectly, and the reader is hooked.

Analyzing my own work, I always wonder if it lacks in those areas. When the search reveals a hole in the wall — be it on the writing or the research end, I hasten to find the right tools to shore it up.

Long story short, my wanderings led my feet to my blog. I’ve spent a great deal of time in solitude, conducting research, writing, editing, and sending my work out in submissions. But I’ve neglected the outward face of that structure here.

This blog is supposed to be a reflection of my two loves, writing and research. But both are lacking. I’ve neglected the research posts that are meant to offer eye-opening insight to the framework of my novels.

Saddest of all…very few samples of my fiction reside here.

Most are out of date and don’t market my current fiction works. So I’ve come to the crux of the matter. How do I improve those things?

Here’s where you come in!

I need you to look through the window and tell me what you see. What does this blog lack? Are there aspects of my period research you would like to see more of? Do older posts draw you in, or draw on and on until you fall asleep?

Finally, what writing samples would you like to see? Would excerpts from current works (say first chapters in all their glory…or rawness) suit?


Would you prefer fresh material? Say, behind the scenes episodes in monthly serial drama format?

Your opinions matter because you’re my clan. The adventure is better when we share in the voyage.

So how about it? Can you help a lass out?

If so, please comment below!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Charity says:

    Melissa, I love this post. It’s both artistic and vulnerable. The aspect of your blog that I like best is you sharing your writing journey and what you’re learning as you go along. I look forward to hearing more from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. M.N. Stroh says:

      Thanks, Charity! I’m in real need of insight. So that helps a great deal.


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