Historical research An Author's Guide

How to Research a Historical Novel or Nonfiction Book

Taught by - Leave your thoughts

Start this course

Historical research is a critical part of writing about the past. Finding the right details will augment the authenticity of your book. It may also act as a point of plot inspiration for historical novels. Historical research can involve anything from digging up primary sources in the Medieval Ages to taking a personal trip to Antarctica — but it will always make your book feel more alive than it was before.

In this 10-part course, Laurie Garrison gives you advice on where to start your research. By the end, you'll be able to parse through the many online resources available to you. Digging up the right stories from the past will get you closer to your goal: writing a historical novel or nonfiction book.

 What you'll learn in this course:

  • Why historical research is important and how to get the most out of it
  • The right questions to ask while outlining your idea for a historical novel
  • Where to find the the best (and free!) online resources for historical research
  • How to identify trails of connection within your chosen time period
  • How to fact-check your research to make sure you got the details right

Brought to you by:

Laurie Garrison

Laurie Garrison, PhD is the author of Science, Sexuality and Sensation Novels: Pleasures of the Senses (Palgrave 2010) and general editor of The Panorama, 1780-1900 (Pickering and Chatto, 2013). She has published a long list of shorter pieces on nineteenth-century literature and history in books, journals and on websites.

Laurie is also Founder and Director of Women Writers School, a provider of online courses and networking for women who write. If you’re enjoying this historical research course, head over to the Women Writers School website to see its services for writers of historical fiction and nonfiction, including their Kickstart Your Historical Writing course.

Start this course

Discuss this course

Leave a Reply

Continue learning

People who enjoyed this course also looked at the following:

BookBub Ads for Authors

Welcome to a totally different way to reach readers. BookBub has built one of the most passionate communities of book-lovers on the planet and sends out millions of targeted emails every single day, to readers …

Taught by David Gaughran

View course

Novel Revision: Practical Tips for Rewrites

Finishing even a single draft of a book is a huge accomplishment. But now you must see your manuscript through multiple revisions and drafts. No one writes the perfect book in one shot. You must open …

Taught by Revise & Resub

View course

How to Market Your Children's Book

Getting a self-published children's books into the hands of your readers comes with a unique set of challenges. Common approaches to book marketing will often fall short as you attempt to appeal to your target …

Taught by Eevi Jones

View course

How to Write a Business Book

Every entrepreneur or business owner thinks about writing a book at some point. Books are "the new business card," a great way to position yourself (and your business) as a thought leader in your space. Plus, …

Taught by Alison Jones

View course

How to Self-Publish a Photography Book

So, what’s the big deal about photography books anyway? And why should we care about them? Well, if you haven’t noticed, a significant portion of the planet is walking around with cameras in hand, and …

Taught by Blurb

View course

Story Editing for Authors

Want to learn how to perform your own story edit? You've come to the right place. Go scene-by-scene and evaluate each story element to learn how to improve your whole story and make everything flow …

Taught by Kristina Stanley

View course