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Historical Writing - Tips


As many know, my passion is for writing history stories, be they fiction or non-fiction. This writing is also something that can serve your community. Some tips follow:


1. Say, for example, you decide to write a history of an old local house, a legendary family member, or loved ones that took on the frontier. Questions to pursue in the case of an old local house follow. You can probably think of similar questions for your own topic of interest.


2. Can you associate facts or rumors, say with this house? Was there a beautiful widow who lived there?


3. What photos are available for the house or its occupants?


4. Over the decades the house has existed, what might have impacted the residents? For example, the Great Depression or local events, or how would occupants have gotten to the 5 and dime store.


5. Check with the local library for related information, say from their local history section, as well as from asking if there is a local writer's group you might attend that meets at the library.


6. Check Google for time period information and time period photos, as well as how a table of contents or outline might look for your "story."


7. Check with local museums already presenting the history of the area. See what might be available there for your writing project.


8. Email your local historical society telling them about your research project, and requesting any input their membership might have.


9. Jot down your material’s references for inclusion with the "story."


Note that perhaps the most important tip is that you MUST devote time, say at night, to put the information in typewritten form.


If your organization would like to have me speak on writing such "stories," please contact me.


Good luck and keep writing!