Historical Fiction - Defined and described with quality examples for its story elements

Historical fiction is a type of story or literature told in a variety of media. Stories which are based on real life historical events and set in historical time and place. However, some characters may have never existed along with their actions which that are insignificant historically, but may be included to tell a better story. For example: there may not be specific record of actual dialogue, food eaten, clothes worn, routes traveled so the author will insert information that is thought to be historically accurate for the period.

A quality piece of historical fiction tells a compelling story that balances authentic and accurate information with fiction and may included the quality characteristics listed below. It can further be characterized by looking at the story elements (Characters, plot, setting, theme, style, tone, and point of view) and how they are often characterized in historical fiction pieces.

Quality Characteristics of historical fiction

Story Element descriptions for historical fiction







Point of View


Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes
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