I love historical fiction – stories that connect me to a historical place and time and letting me see and experience it through the eyes of a character I can care about. But I’ve hesitated about trying my hand at writing historical fiction. I’m not a historian, and found the idea of writing a story based in a historical period rather daunting.
So when I attended a short story workshop earlier this summer, and the first assignment given by the instructor, my friend, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, was to write a story set in a historical period about which we had a reasonable level of knowledge, I hesitated – but only for a moment, because you don’t tell Kris ‘no’ when she’s given you an assignment – and then I dove in. After all, refining my short-story skills, and learning from a master such as Kris was why I’d signed up for the workshop.
The story I wrote was The Last Sigh of the Moor. Not only was it a lot easier to write than I thought it would be, but once I let myself get past the “I’m not a historian” worries, and just let what I already knew about the period (the fall of Granada, Spain), supplemented with a little supporting research, guide me, the story almost told itself.
a short story by Lauryn Christopher
There is a place, outside the walls of Granada, and in the shadow of the mighty Alhambra, where history tells us the city’s last caliph turned and wept at the sight of his beautiful, lost city… and, perhaps, at the loss of the friend who betrayed her.