In a previous blog post, I argued that history can be a brilliant source of inspiration for writers. Because of that, I have decided to expand on my thoughts in a blog article! This article is about the inspirational historical periods that have inspired me as a writer. They could inspire you as well!
Some are bloody and brutal, whilst others differ. Either way, let’s get right into it!
Note: These eras are not in any order. I’ll try to keep things consistent and specify what years I’m talking about- but there is some overlap and maybe some confusion.
When I think about Ancient Egypt, certain things come to mind. The royal tombs, the hieroglyphic writing, animals, farming and the great Pharaohs. I love reading about the various conquests and trials that Egypt and its lands went through. It’s fantastic inspiration for those writers who love ancient history, but want something different than Ancient Rome or Greece (which are also excellent periods to study!)
The warriors of pre-modern Japan. They are the military nobility who are well educated in the warfare and strategy. What I think will interest writers is the conflict between the Yuan dynasty with the Samurai. No really, it’s epic stuff. No matter how much strength the Mongols could muster, they are no match for the Samurai- who had mother nature on their side. Because of that, Samurai Japan makes me brainstorm multiple fantasy story ideas. The Samurai are brilliant inspiration for fiction!
Murder. Art. Religion. Discovery. Philosophy.
The Renaissance has everything you would ever want, yet it leaves you wanting more. The timespan between 1300-1600 in Italy saw stunning architecture, intrigue, betrayal and complex power structures. What inspires my writing is the rich humanism and the beautiful artworks. It’s a time period that makes your jaw drop. Because of that, writers should strive to put a bit of “Renaissance” in their writings.
The Golden Age of Piracy
Oh come on. Pirates are pretty awesome. Because of that, studying the Golden Age of Piracy is amazing. As the period spans between 1650 to 1720, there is alot of fun here. I love learning about the voyages to the Red Sea and I love figures such as Black Sam. Adding onto that, this time period was purely epic. Whether it’s Spain or the Caribbean, there’s a reason why writers are fascinated with pirates. Therefore, I recommend studying the Golden Age of Piracy.
19th Century London
19th-century London makes up two umbrella terms. These terms are “Romanticism” and “Victorian.” Both have distinct ideologies and characteristics, but are both interesting. Whether you find Lewis Carroll or Charles Dickens influential- London in the 19th century offers plenty of inspiration. Also, I’m a sucker for steampunk!
I am going to make a second blog post about the 20th century. I think that period is so rich and unique, that it would be quite the challenge for a single blog entry!
Of course, there are many other inspirational historical periods. I also love studying about the Vikings, the Salem Witch Trials, the Reformation, the French Revolution and the American Frontier. Adding onto that, I’ve decided to keep this blog post short, because these posts will happen often.
Now it’s to you. What do you think of these historical periods? Do they inspire your writing? If not, what periods do? Comment below, I’d love to read your thoughts.