HarperFiction commissioning editor Kate Bradley’s has kindly given us some great tips for aspiring saga writers. Kate is about to publish the first book in a brand new saga series next week, called Churchill’s Angels, which we’re all very excited about!
Top Tips for Aspiring Saga Writers
- Familiairise yourself with the genre, Sagas are the industry term for Historical Family Dramas.
- Find the right era for you – successful Saga writer’s tend to stick to a particular historical period, such as either World War II or the late Victorian era.
- Research who is selling well in this genre. The Sunday Times bestseller lists are a good start. Have a look and see which periods they are writing about.
- Don’t go too far back in time, readers want to feel a connection with the period – an era that their mothers or grandmothers would be familiar with.
- Regionality can be a big selling point – if you are from a big city such as Liverpool, Manchester or London, you’ll have a ready made legion of readers who want to read a dramatic story set in their home town.
- Saga fans want their heroines to be put through the ringer, but remember that they are waiting for the big satisfying happy ending too.
- The devil is in the detail – make sure that give an authentic feel to the way that the characters speak and what they wear.
- Do your research – part of the appeal of Sagas is the the rich social history that gives the books their backdrop.
- Your heroine must be a girl from a modest background – most Sagas are set in working class communities. Too posh and your readers won’t identify with her. Airs and graces have no place in a Saga!
- Done be afraid to be gritty – reading about hardship in the old days is a reminder of how lucky we are now.
** If you are writing a family drama, what are your top tips?**