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The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction: Researching and Writing Historical Fiction Paperback – Feb 24 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (Feb. 24 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582975698
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582975696
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #670,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

James Alexander Thom was formerly a U.S. Marine, a newspaper and magazine editor, and a member of the faculty at the Indiana University Journalism School. He is the author of Follow the River, Long Knife, From Sea to Shining Sea, Panther in the Sky (for which he won the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award for best historical novel), Sign-Talker, The Children of First Man, and The Red Heart. He lives in the Indiana hill country near Bloomington with his wife, Dark Rain of the Shawnee Nation, United Remnant Band. Dark Rain is a director of the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Planning Council. The author's Website is: www.jamesalexanderthom.com.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ad88bac) out of 5 stars 32 reviews
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9aa4aa5c) out of 5 stars The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction Feb. 16 2010
By Jean M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
James A. Thom is one of my favorite authors of historical fiction so I was delighted to see he has recently published this 'how-to' book on the writing of historical fiction. I've read a few other books on writing historical fiction, all of which failed to inspire me, were dull reading, and in one case even undermined my confidence to attempt to tackle such writing.

Thom's new book, THE ART AND CRAFT OF WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION is not only informative and interesting, but humorous as well. Reading Thom's book is like being coached by your favorite teacher. Finally! I found an instruction book that is motivational and has provided me with the confidence to complete a story I've been researching for the past several years.

One of the very best examples of historical fiction writing is Thom's book FOLLOW THE RIVER. James A. Thom is not only a great story teller who is true to history, but also an excellent writing coach. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in writing historical fiction.

Jean M.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac9e7d4) out of 5 stars Enlightening and entertaining Feb. 3 2010
By scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Perfect for anyone wanting to write period fiction. If you want your historical novel to seem authentic and smack of truth, this book is offering you the keys. James Thom has an incredibly engaging voice-sort of like sitting down to listen to your grandfather tell a story. This book does more than just instruct; it's humorous, insightful and entertaining.
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac9e084) out of 5 stars Not much about writing Aug. 7 2010
By Kirk McElhearn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
While this book is interesting, and the author is certainly good at his job, very little of the book is actually about writing (or preparing to write). There are many discussions of being faithful to history, truth vs fiction, and the book is filled with examples of how good the author is at resolving such issue. But only a few chapters deal with the actual questions of writing, research, and the mechanics of dealing with the past. While this is an interesting book for those interested in historical fiction, it's not very useful for anyone hoping to write such fiction.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d49a984) out of 5 stars Coaching through the pages... Jan. 25 2010
By Robyn I. Eastman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a thirty plus year writer and much of it in the history and culture of Hawai'i, this book was like having Mr. Thom sitting in front of me as a writing coach! It's written with a great dose of humor, reading lists of other books, and lots of great tips on wending your way through history to find the magic of story...making the 'then' seem like 'now'!!! If you're writing historical fiction or even want to 'see' the magic of how it's done, read this book!

The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction: Researching and Writing Historical Fiction
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ac9c144) out of 5 stars Inspiring, informational, and well-written Jan. 14 2012
By Becky Klein McCreary - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have been a fan of James Alexander Thom for 30 years -- I've read all his books and attended a few of his lectures while living in Indiana. I find "The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction" very helpful for anyone writing both fiction and non-fiction. I find his own learning experiences, how he writes and how he researches helpful -- we can always learn from someone who has been there before -- we can't expect to think we know it all. I even learned some historical facts I didn't know!

I do take exception to a previous reviewer who said Thom suggests using index cards for research notes -- he never once suggested that. He told of another writer who uses that metod. Also the reviewer said everything you need to know you can find on the Internet. Again, untrue. And if it is, be wary of it's validity. I have extensively researched and am writing a biography of a lady who lived from 1882-1960. I found very little on the Internet about her and some of it was totally untrue (Wikepedia). My research at libraries, museums, and historical societies (five states) resulted in photographs, old maps, oral histories, history of selected subjects, personal letters, etc. gave me what I needed. Not the Internet.

If I were teaching a writing workshop for any genre, I would have this book on the "please read" list.