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Is there a difference between historical fiction and creative non-fiction?


I have seen two similar terms, historical fiction and creative non-fiction. I'm writing some stories that are set during a real time in history, that might mention real events, real people, but that have fictional main characters and a fictional sequence of events within that setting. Or some stories that are about a real historical person and real time, but the dialogue and actual details that must be filled in are made-up to create a fuller story.

Are these two different names of the same thing or completely different?

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1 answer


Creative non-fiction recounts factually-accurate narratives in a literary style. It reads like a story, but it is in fact real history. It will be severely criticised for containing factual inaccuracies, let alone fictional main characters. (wiki)

Historical fiction, on the other hand, is fiction, set in some specific period in the past. The period and its events play a part in the story, but the main characters or their actions are ultimately fictional. Ivanhoe and The Three Musketeers are famous examples. (wiki)

Since your main characters are fictional, what you're writing is historical fiction.

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