"Julianne Douglas" wrote:There are so many good points made in the responses, the most important being, in my opinion, the importance of filtering the details through the perspective of the characters.
On a related note, what about complicated political situations? Do you like to have genealogical trees, character lists, and maps for reference at the beginning of the book, or do you prefer to have the details come out only in the narrative?
Julianne, that's one of the key points I make when teaching the writing of historical fiction to students - not that I do much of the latter these days, I don't have time! As much story and detail as possible should be filtered through the understanding, mindset and experience of the characters.
As a reader myself I don't mind whether there are maps and genealogies in the book, but I know that my own readers have asked for them and so nowadays I include them - especially since moving into biographical fiction.