Writers, so you’re writing historical fiction. Excellent, wouldn’t it be a good idea to read the top 10 best selling historical novels of all time? Yes, of course it would. Below you’ll find some of the reasons they were so popular. So here they are:
Top 10 Best Selling Historical Novels
- War and Peace
- Wolf Hall
- The Leopard
- The Blue Flower
- I, Claudius
- The Regeneration Trilogy
For More on Each Novel
You would likely want to see more about each of the novels listed above, We get that. Follow this link to The Guardian.
What Made Them So Popular?
- An interesting period in history
- Serious situation at stake
- Characters that are interesting and that the reader can relate to and care about
- The author had vast knowledge of the time period and offers the tiny details that were in vogue at that time
- Fantastic writing
- Fantastic editing
- Advertising / Marketing
- You can also set your novel around a major world event be it political, natural disaster, war or surround a prominent person in history.
- As in any story, characters mean everything. As to that: keep the number of characters to a manageable level so the reader does not get overwhelmed.
- Keep description to a minimum. Remember Mark Twain’s maxim, “Don’t say the old lady screamed, bring her on and let her scream.” That is best exemplified by: show don’t tell.
- When characters speak, use quotation marks. When they think, don’t. Put thoughts into the fabric of your prose.
- And please remember that you cannot use people’s names without permission. Just because you think you’re saying nice things about someone does not give you the legal rights to use their name in print. To so so will get you sued. If writing about people long dead, well that’s different. But don’t do that with living persons or those whose estates are still being managed by family or business people.