What is passive voice, and why are you told to avoid it?
All the posts I mentioned at the York Festival of Writing 2014

All the posts I mentioned at HNS London 2014

It's just been London's turn for the Historical Novel Society Conference, and as part of a packed programme, Suzannah Dunn and I were asked to give a workshop on "Figures of Speech: Recreating Past Voices". That too, was packed: it's just as well no one else turned up or we'd have had people sitting on the floor!

As is the way, I found myself referring quite often to posts on the blog, so here's a roundup of the ones I remember, and any others which seem relevant. Do say in the comments if I've missed any, or there are any others that would be useful, and I'll add them.

HEARING VOICES : what is voice, and why does it matter so much?

19 QUESTIONS TO ASK (and ask again) ABOUT VOICE : whether you're having trouble finding the voice for a project, or had feedback that it's not distinctive enough.

CHARACTERISATION-IN-ACTION : how to develop your characters-in-action and make sure their journey is really compelling.

PSYCHIC DISTANCE: what it is and how to use it : the key business of how far inside or outside a character's head the narrative goes, and what that means about voice. Sometimes I think this one has been responsible for more lightbulb moments among my students than all other topics put together.

FREE INDIRECT STYLE : what it is and how to use it : the huge advantage we have over the playwrights and scriptwriters: how the narrative voice and the characters' voices interpenetrate.

"REIMAGINING IMPLIES SOME MEASURE OF FORGETTING"  The Rose Tremain quote, and the business of turning inert data into live storytelling.

POINT OF VIEW AND NARRATORS: Part three: Storytellers and external narrators, and links to the rest of this series on PoV and narrators.

WHERE IS YOUR NARRATOR STANDING? relative to the events of the story? And other questions to ask your novel

I think that's everything - let me know if there are any others. And while we're at it, here are a couple of posts specifically about historical fiction:

SO WHAT COUNTS AS HISTORICAL FICTION?

IS THIS HISTORICAL FICTION? OR IS THIS LIFE-WRITING OR NON-FICTION?

WHEN DO YOU STOP BUILDING THE WORLD FOR YOUR READER and get on with writing the story?

I hope that helps. Next stop for us hist fickers, the Harrogate History Festival, at the end of October.

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