for writers and readers….

Writing Exercise from the archives: Historical Fiction

WWIThis is straightforward lucky dip.
Choose two numbers – both have to be between one and ten.

The first number gives you a personal event and the second a historical event. Your job is to put the two together: connect and write. (And no peeking – it’s more fun if it is genuinely random.)


1)   Birthday party

 2)  Funeral

3)   Wedding

4)   Winning a bet

5)   First kiss

6)   A lie

 7)  A theft

 8)  Falling in love

9)   Baby being born

10) A murder


1)   Launch of Titanic – 1912

2)   Sinking of Titanic – 1912

3)   End of WWI – 1918

4)   First Talkie film – 1927

5)   Wall Street Crash – 1929

6)   Start of WWII – 1939

7)  D Day – June 1944

8)  Beatles first number one single – May 1963

9)   Miners’ Stike — 1984

10) Nelson Mandela released from prison – 1990

My advice is to write first and research second. You can do that if you make the individual human event the heart of the story. Then once you’ve got the first draft down you can spend time researching and revising – try to find first hand accounts of the historical drama.

If you enjoyed this exercise there’s a very good chance you will enjoy BACK TO CREATIVE WRITING SCHOOL – 30 exercises to start your imagination racing now available in paperback and as an ebook.

photo credit: Marine Statue by Raphael Peyre, 1919 via photopin (license)

2 comments on “Writing Exercise from the archives: Historical Fiction

  1. A.K.Andrew @artyyah
    August 25, 2015

    This is a perfect exercise – I love this kind of randomness. Thanks for reminding me of this one Bridget:-)

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This entry was posted on August 25, 2015 by in Muse and tagged , , .


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