Historical v Contemporary
Recently it seems as if contemporaries are more popular than historicals; however, I do love a good historical. I am curious. Do you feel that contemporaries are so popular because they’re more relatable to today’s reader? Or that today’s reader can lose themselves in an historical setting?
Contemporaries are more popular, in my opinion, because of that. Today’s reader can relate not only to the setting but to today’s values. Human rights? Yup. Freedoms? Oh, yeah. Things were much stricter even 100 years ago and people today enjoy a great many more freedoms than their ancestors. Especially women!
And while today’s woman might not necessarily be able to relate to a woman from Colonial America, they can understand her. That’s the point of a good historical, to make the time frame understandable to the modern reader so that she might relate to her enough to feel sympathy.
Without that, without sympathy, even with a contemporary heroine’s story would flop. I never found chic-lit stories very relatable, but they’re hugely popular. Maybe it’s that not that I can relate, but I’ll never be in that position and can enjoy the story anyway. After all, I’ll never be in Colonial America but can still enjoy the story.
Food for thought.