Welcome to the new Writing Q&A site! This is the place for anybody interested in the craft of professional writing, editing, and publishing. We welcome questions about all types of writing: fiction, poetry, technical documentation, journalism, scriptwriting, non-fiction, essays, and more. Got questions? Click the "ask" button! Able to offer answers? Try the search button, click on any tag, or just browse. And please vote on content that stands out.

If you have an account on Writing Stack Exchange, you can claim your questions and answers with your account here.

We're currently running on temporary software while waiting for Codidact to be ready. The URL is on codidact.com now, and the software will be updated to match later. Regardless of the software, you can help us expand our library of questions and answers right now -- please join us.

What genre would a fictional eyewitness account of a real historical event fall under?


I've written a short story about a true historical incident which involves a very famous person in history. The incident is true as are the people involved in it. But the story is a fictional eyewitness narrative of that incident from a person who was not mentioned in it, but could have been one of the principal witnesses.

What genre does this story fall under?

It can't be Alternate History because the narrative mentions an incident which actually happened.

Could it be Historical? Could be termed as Biographical?

history / edit / permalink / close / delete / flag

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/q/48667. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.


2 answers


What you describe is mainstream historical fiction. There is significant piece of the historical fiction market that seems to value the historical accuracy nor only of period details but of events themselves very highly. They want their historical fiction to be essentially a textbook, but with more sex.

I have a private label for this type of historical fiction. I call it diorama fiction. The reader is looking to learn history from a novel.

I'm of the school that the purpose of setting a story in the past is to create a setting that isolates those aspects of human experience that I want to examine. The historical accuracy of events is moot if this is your aim.

But I have never heard anyone in the industry make a distinction between these two uses of historical settings. It is all just Historical Fiction.

history / edit / permalink / delete / flag



It's Historical Fiction. Off the top of my head . . . it keeps company with Shakespeare in Love, Titanic, Murder in the First, The Other Boleyn Girl, and a host of others.

I must give a shout out to "Krakatoa, East of Java" - who cares about accuracy!

history / edit / permalink / delete / flag

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/48668. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.