The Art of Painting the Past – T.K. Thorne

All about historical fiction

Noah's WifeT.K. Thorne, author of short stories, historical fiction, and non-fiction, has been a frequent visitor to the blog. Recently, after reading one of my posts on ‘inside historical fiction’, she volunteered an article to fit in with the topic. Personally, I love her analogy between painting and writing and TK offers some excellent words of advice.

Inside historical fiction is this year’s theme. Sign up for A Writer of History for more posts on what makes historical fiction tick.


Painters employ color, light, and shadow. Writers use small, standardized black marks set against a white background. Yet these marks can inspire, condemn, evoke tears, laughter, anger, or regret. They can sweep a reader into a different reality, even bring a vanished time to life. What is the secret of their power?

All the elements of writing well and writing good fiction apply to writing the historical novel: characterization, voice, plot…

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