The Importance of Research in Writing Historical Fiction

As a writer of historical fiction, it's essential to conduct extensive research to ensure that your story is accurate and believable. Historical fiction is a unique genre that requires a delicate balance of fact and fiction. In this article, we'll explore the importance of research and how to conduct thorough research to create a compelling and believable historical fiction story.

Why Research is Important in Historical Fiction

One of the main reasons research is important in historical fiction is that it helps you to create a believable story. Historical fiction is a unique genre that requires a balance of fact and fiction. You need to make sure that the historical events and details are accurate, while also creating an engaging fictional story that captures the reader's attention.

Research also helps you to avoid historical inaccuracies and anachronisms. Nothing takes a reader out of a story faster than a glaring historical inaccuracy. It's essential to ensure that the language, culture, clothing, and customs of the time period are accurate and authentic. By conducting thorough research, you can ensure that your story is accurate and that your readers will be fully immersed in the historical world you've created.

Tips for Conducting Research for Historical Fiction

Start with Secondary Sources: Start your research with secondary sources, such as books and articles written by historians. These sources will provide you with an overview of the time period and help you identify primary sources for further research.

Use Primary Sources: Primary sources, such as diaries, letters, and newspapers, provide firsthand accounts of historical events and daily life. Using primary sources can add authenticity and detail to your story.

Visit Historical Sites: Visiting historical sites can provide inspiration and insight into the time period you're writing about. It's also an opportunity to see artifacts and gain a better understanding of the physical setting of your story.

Consult with Experts: Experts in the field can provide valuable insights into the time period you're writing about. Reach out to historians, archaeologists, and other experts in the field for their input and advice.

Use Multiple Sources: Use multiple sources to ensure accuracy and avoid bias. Cross-check information from different sources to ensure that your story is as accurate as possible.


Research is a vital component of writing historical fiction. By conducting thorough research, you can create a believable and engaging story that captures the essence of the time period. Start with secondary sources, use primary sources, visit historical sites, consult with experts, and use multiple sources to ensure accuracy. With these tips, you'll be well on your way to creating a captivating and authentic historical fiction story.