Bibliography Love

I just ran into this article which is a couple years old, but very much worth looking at if you’re interested in historical fiction: Five Historical Fiction Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them. Some very sound advice there. 

One of the reasons it caught my eye is this bit:

Carolyn Yoder, editor of Calkins Creek Books and senior editor of history for Highlights for Children magazine, believes in thorough research, using primary sources, historical societies, and experts. She has been known to have her authors research the exact weather on a specific date in history to make a story more authentic. When you submit a manuscript to her, she wants to see your bibliography, which is just as important as your idea and your writing. She also recommends historical fiction writers contact an expert in your time period and ask them to fact check your manuscript.

“An author of historical fiction owes it to his or her readers to get the story right—that means solid research and solid writing. Historical fiction is all about balance,” she said.

Here’s a confession: I would be thrilled if an editor asked me for my bibliography. You might think this follows from my academic training, but I was making lists of books with notations when I was in grade school. 

I think of my bibliography as a living breathing creature that needs attention and grooming.  You can, if you like, go have a look at it on Zotero. This is how I think of it:

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One Reply to “Bibliography Love”

  1. 888 – very impressive! I’m passing that article on historical fiction along to my writer friends. And I went and looked at the article on the fashionable torture of undergarments, I’m certainly glad we don’t have to wear anything like that now – those 1960s girdles, bras and stockings with the seams were bad enough.

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