Writing Journey for a Historical Fiction Novel

Writing Journey for a Historical Fiction Novel

Welcome to the first part of the writing journey for a historical fiction novel, Lucia’s Poppy Fields, in The French Connection series. In addition to my love of history and France, I became captivated by another time and place, World War I in Belgium. I have succumbed to the promise of an all-consuming seduction of my next novel while planning, researching, and plotting.

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The Writing Process in a Historical Fiction Novel

Key elements of good fiction include setting, plot, characters, etc. However, there are other important things to consider in the writing process of historical fiction authors. For example, as a historical novelist in The French Connection books, my starting point begins with historical research.

Important Information Needed to Write a Good Story with Historical Accuracy

I’ve listed several historical details that I look for when conducting research:

  • historical events
  • historical record
  • secondary sources
  • primary sources
  • historical period
  • real events
  • everyday life
  • historical facts
  • world wars
  • real history
  • historical figures

If you missed the previous novels in this book series and would like to read them, scroll down the page to the section on The French Connection Novels.

For my historical fiction readers who are interested in my next historical fiction novel, Lucia’s Poppy Fields, I will share a little of the journey with you.

This fourth novel brings Lucia and Major Mathieu de Laval together. The historical setting is during World War I, and the story takes place in Belgium.

The First Half of the Journey – Lucia’s Poppy Fields



History and Geography of Belgium

During the 2020 pandemic and social isolation, I delved into learning the history and geography of Belgium. I focused on reading about the brave people who lived and died to defend the country. Belgium was a neutral nation brutalized by the invading German military forces who occupied their country for four years.

In order to write my story and before writing the first draft, I needed to become acquainted with Belgium’s history and geography. At one time, Belgium was comprised of independent provinces of the Holy Roman Empire.

Province of Liege

The beginning of my story focuses on the Province of Liege and on the City of Brussels. The history of Belgium is incredibly detailed and confusing. Originally, it was a Roman province. Liege is a province located in present day Eastern Wallonia, not far from the German border.

I’ve “met” countless other heroes and heroines on my path, including Walthere Dewe, an engineer from Liege. Dewe organized the successful resistance cell, ‘Dame Blanche’. He chose the name because there was an ancient prediction that the appearance of a white lady would precede the end of the House of Hohenzollern, the German Imperial family.

‘Belgium in the Great War’ by Jean-Michel Verannman was a professional diplomat who wrote this excellent history to record his country’s involvement and roles in the war.

My main characters are my friends.

These brave people I’ve learned about in the research have become my acquaintances. Their contributions and sacrifices must not be forgotten with the passage of time. They are my constant companions while I work on ’Lucia’s Poppy Fields’.

Map of Belgium, Germany & France

The Kind of Books I Like to Read

I write the kind of books that I like to read, which include memoirs, historical fiction, mysteries, and adventures. Whether reading or writing, I’m completely engrossed in the experience. For example, I became well-acquainted with the English nurse, Edith Cavell, the martyred woman who headed the first school to train Belgian nurses—through ‘Fatal Decisions, Edith Cavell’, by Terri Arthur and ’Edith Cavell, Faith Before the Firing Squad’, by Catherine Butcher.

By Elizabeth Pye


If you haven’t yet read the first three novels in The French Connection Series and would like to, you can click on the novels below.

Order The French Connection series novels by clicking on the links and photos below:

First Novel: Silk or Sugar (Read more about the novel.)


Return to Chateau Fleury (Read more about the novel.)


Mon Amour, Friend or Foe (Read more about the novel.)


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