Historical Fiction Story Ideas: 67 Inspiring Story Prompts & Starters

Historical fiction provide readers with an immersive experience into the past. They often offer insight into various cultures and customs of bygone eras.

If you’re in search of inspiration for your historical fiction story, this blog post will provide an overview of the genre and offer 67 historical fiction story ideas. So if you’re ready to start writing your own piece of history-inspired work, read on.

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historical fiction story ideas

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What Is Historical Fiction?

Historical fiction is a story that happened in a past era. It is a type of genre that typically takes place in a time period prior to the author’s present-day and often features real people or events from history.

The main goal of historical fiction is to transport readers back in time and allow them to experience life as it was during that era.

What Is the Allure of Historical Fiction?

The allure of historical fiction lies in its ability to bring the past alive. They are told in a way that resonates with modern audiences. Stories in this genre could range from a love story set during World War I to a tale of political intrigue in Ancient Rome.

Historical fiction also offers insight into how societies have evolved over time. It often features real people or events from history woven into fictional narratives. And they can be both educational and entertaining for readers.

Themes of love, loss, family dynamics, power struggles, ambition, and adventure are some of the topics explored in historical fiction. Authors can also explore complex moral issues such as slavery or religious persecution without having to deal with any political correctness concerns.

What Are the Elements of Historical Fiction?

In order to qualify as historical fiction, its elements must authentically reflect the culture and setting of that particular moment in history. This includes:

  • Accurate references to geography, architecture, technology, etc
  • Accurate references to culture, values and customs
  • Clothing styles used by characters
  • Language dialects spoken
  • Atmosphere or mood of that period

These factors must be authentic to readers. They must relive accounts of how people lived during that age, the kind of food they ate, the garments they donned, how they voyaged from one area to another, etc.

historical fiction story ideas

67 Historical Fiction Story Ideas

Here are 67 ideas that could make great stories in this genre:

1. A brave girl joins the Union forces in the Civil War and strives to be remembered.

2. An African-American family in rural Georgia during Reconstruction faces racism, poverty, and injustice as they strive to make a better life for themselves.

3. A Jewish family struggles to flee Nazi Germany during WW2, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

4. An exploration of the life of Mary Queen of Scots as she navigates political intrigue, religious differences, and personal relationships within her court.

5. The saga of an Irish immigrant coming to America in search of a better life only to be met with prejudice and hardships along the way

6. An account of two families from different sides during the Revolutionary War who find themselves struggling together for survival despite their loyalties being divided by warring nations.

7. A novel based on a true event that follows a group’s journey across the Oregon Trail as they face disease, starvation, Native American attacks, and other perils along their path westward.

8. Set during the Industrial Revolution in England, a poor young girl discovers her own power when she takes up work as a factory worker—and must find her own way in a world that is rapidly changing around her.

9. In the Wild West, a former outlaw finds herself on the run from her old gang and joins forces with a lawman to bring them to justice; however, their mission soon takes an unexpected turn when they uncover an evil plot that could have disastrous consequences.

10. During the Age of Exploration, a brave sailor sets off on a daring journey to find a lost civilization; his quest leads him all over the world, encountering many strange creatures and magical lands along the way.

11. In 17th-century Africa, a tribal shaman marshals the spirits of nature to save his people from enslavement; he soon discovers that his only chance of success lies in forming an alliance with gods, angels, and mortals for control of the continent.

12. A young woman struggling to make her way in the 1950s discovers a time portal that transports her back to 12th-century England, where she must find a way to survive and save the kingdom from an oppressive ruler.

13. In the year 1453, a young Byzantine girl from Constantinople is sent on a dangerous mission to reach the Pope in Rome with a secret letter. Along her journey, she meets and develops relationships with people from different cultures, learns about their customs and values, and discovers secrets that could turn the tide of war.

14. During World War II in 1945, two orphaned siblings are separated when their home is bombed in Berlin by Allied forces. The brother decides to join a group of resistance fighters while his sister goes into hiding with an old family friend living nearby; both must use their wits and courage to survive amidst violence and chaos during one of history’s darkest times.

15. In 17th century England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, three friends—a nobleman’s daughter, an apprentice blacksmith, and a sailor—get caught up in intrigue involving pirates searching for lost treasure off the coast of Cornwall—and realize there may be more at stake than just gold coins when they make unexpected allies along way who bring out hidden virtues within them all so that justice can prevail against tyranny .

More Historical Fiction Story Ideas

16. Set during medieval times in Florence Italy , story follows Marchioness —an influential woman renowned for her beauty — who must choose between the love of her life and a powerful political alliance when her family is threatened with disgrace and ruin.

17. In the 16th century, a young woman from an African kingdom travels to Europe to spread her people’s culture and traditions while establishing trade routes, learning new languages, meeting influential figures, and confronting a hostile world filled with danger and prejudice.

18. In 1590s London, a witch hunter’s daughter was accused of witchcraft and sent away on a secret mission to free those wrongly imprisoned by powerful forces in the city.

19. A group of Revolutionary War soldiers is betrayed during battle and forced into exile in Colonial America; they must fight their way back home while dealing with some unexpected allies along the way.

20. During World War II, two siblings living on opposite sides of Europe head off on separate journeys, each searching for family members who were taken prisoner by Nazi forces.

21. In 17th century Japan, a young samurai warrior embarks on a quest to save his beloved from an unknown enemy; along the way, he discovers hidden secrets about her past that will have far-reaching consequences.

22. In Ancient Egypt, a rebel prince and princess set out to overthrow the Pharaoh and restore the power of their family’s dynasty; however, their plans are threatened by a powerful supernatural force that could lead to the downfall of the kingdom.

23. An unlikely romance develops between two people from rival clans in a small Scottish village during the 17th century, testing their loyalty to family and to each other.

24. During World War I, two brothers enlist in the army, but with vastly different roles; one fights on the front lines while the other serves as a medic, struggling to keep his brother alive amidst all of the carnage.

25. In 18th century India, a young woman is chosen by her village elders to be sent on a quest to reclaim an ancient artifact that will bring them peace and prosperity; however, she faces several challenges along the way that could cost her life.

26. In Post-Revolutionary America, a former slave struggles to make his way in the world as a free man despite all of the obstacles thrown his way; he soon finds himself at the center of an epic struggle for racial equality.

27. An artist from Victorian England travels abroad to find inspiration from distant cultures and discovers more than they expected when they stumble into a clandestine conspiracy involving royal power dynamics across Europe and Asia Minor regions.

28. In Europe during the Middle Ages, a small group of villagers unite to protect their home from an invading army; they soon discover that their only hope lies in a mysterious stranger who may be more than he appears.

29. Two siblings struggle to make a living in the British colonies during the late 18th century and their journey of survival and resilience.

30. A French nobleman who is sent to America at the start of World War I, where he must confront his past actions when confronted with harrowing realities on foreign soil.

31. A group of African freedom fighters use their knowledge and skills to challenge the oppressive colonial power in West Africa during the 19th century.

32. In 16th-century Italy, a young woman discovers her hidden powers and sets off on a mission to save her village from an evil witch who has been terrorizing them for years.

33. In post-WWII Japan, a young girl forges an unlikely friendship with an American soldier as she struggles to understand her place in a country deeply divided by war’s aftermath.

34. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, a teenage girl from a remote island must make choices that will determine the fate of her family and her future in a time of intense global strife.

35. A group of female spies during Revolutionary France finds themselves up against impossible odds while attempting daring espionage missions – all while trying desperately to keep their true identities hidden away from enemies that lurk everywhere.

36. A Jewish family flees persecution in Germany only to come face-to-face with new dangers along their journey toward freedom in Israel after WWII has ended.

37. An enslaved African woman faces off against her captors amidst political upheaval leading up the Civil War – using courage and strength unseen before or since.

38. A young immigrant family to the United States faces the challenges of assimilation while struggling to make their dreams come true in early 20th century New York City.

39. In 18th-century Ireland, a rebellious peasant girl takes up arms against British oppressors and leads an uprising against injustice and tyranny that threatens to shake the foundations of a nation.

40. In Elizabethan England, a mysterious alchemist attempts to unlock the secrets of immortality while surviving within a dangerous court filled with intrigue and deception.

realistic fiction story ideas

Even More Historical Fiction Story Ideas

41. A journalist risks her life to uncover the truth about a powerful dictatorship and the human rights abuses it has perpetrated in South America during the 1980’s.

42. A shaman from a rural village in Central America works to keep his ancient culture alive in the face of encroaching Western modernity and all its accompanying complications.

43. A teenage girl discovers her calling when she becomes involved in the temperance movement of late 19th century America and finds herself on the front lines of an intense battle against liquor and its powerful backers.

44. A young man in imperial Russia rebels against the strict societal conventions of his day by joining a revolutionary underground movement as he attempts to bring about change within a deeply entrenched system.

45. An orphaned boy during the Spanish Civil War is faced with difficult choices if he wants to survive when he finds himself embroiled in the conflict between the fascists and those who are fighting for freedom.

46. A British man during the Industrial Revolution becomes entangled in a battle of wills with his wealthy employer, as he attempts to provide better working conditions for his fellow employees.

47. An Italian immigrant to America during the early part of the 20th century uses his wit and ingenuity to rise from poverty and navigate the complexities of a new culture.

48. A Chinese aristocrat briefly escapes from the oppressive forces of communism in the 1950’s only to find himself on an unexpected journey for redemption when faced with harsh realities back home.

49. In post-World War II Germany, a young man discovers the power of friendship when he is forced to confront his own prejudices and beliefs about his country’s past.

50. On an ill-fated voyage across The Atlantic Ocean during the 18th century, a ship loses its captain and crew at sea due to unknown forces; one surviving stowaway finds himself thrust into masterminding their return trip home without any help or guidance from outside sources.

51. In Ancient Greece, a slave girl escapes servitude under cruel masters only to find herself caught up in an epic battle between the gods and mortals for control of the world.

52. During the American Civil War, a former slave joins the Union forces as a spy working to gain intelligence from the Confederate army; this mission takes him all across the Southern states during one of our nation’s darkest times.

53. In 19th century France, a young girl joins the circus in an attempt to find her long-lost father, only to discover that she has inherited an incredible ability passed down from her ancestors.

54. In Medieval China, a peasant girl is taken in by a powerful warlord and trained to be a warrior; she must use her new skills to overthrow his oppressive regime and reclaim her rightful place in society.

55. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, a secret order of monks dedicated to protecting the realm from supernatural forces finds themselves at odds with the monarchy when they discover an ancient evil that threatens all of England.

56. Set in the late 1800s during the American Westward Expansion, a young Native American brave must make a daring rescue of his childhood friend—a white woman held captive by a rival tribe — while exploring his own identity as he straddles two cultures that have been at odds for generations.

57. In the city of Paris during the French Revolution, a young seamstress from one of the city’s poorest districts finds her courage and convictions tested when she gets caught up in a dangerous political battle between revolutionaries and royalists — and discovers that sometimes even small actions can have far-reaching consequences.

58. In 19th century India, a young rajah must confront his own prejudices and the oppressive British Empire while struggling to protect his people’s ancient culture when faced with modern advances that threaten to change the way of life he has always known.

59. Set during the Reign of Terror in Revolutionary France, a young woman discovers her own strength and courage when she is thrown into the chaos of rebellion—and must make difficult decisions to protect her family and friends from persecution.

60. During World War I, a woman from a small town in America volunteers for the Red Cross and heads to the front lines in France, where she discovers unexpected courage when faced with the horrors of war—and finds a strength within herself that she never knew existed.

61. In 17th century Jamaica, an African slave is sent by his master to infiltrate a group of Spanish pirates who are attacking British ships off the island’s coast—and must use his cunning and wit to survive in a world filled with danger and deception.

62. Set during the American Civil War, a young Confederate soldier is captured by Union forces and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp where he must find his own way of survival as he confronts his prejudices and develops unlikely friendships with people from both sides of the conflict.

63. In 16th century Spain, an inquisitor struggles to keep the peace when a Jewish family is accused of heresy—and begins to question his own beliefs as he struggles to protect them from a cruel and unjust fate.

64. During the 19th century gold rush in California, two brothers set out on a journey across the wild west looking for fortune and adventure—but discover that true wealth can sometimes be found in unexpected places.

65. In 15th century China, a scholar embarks on an epic journey to find a legendary weapon that could save his people from a powerful enemy—and discovers that sometimes even the most powerful weapon is not enough to protect those you love.

66. During World War II, a young pilot from Canada finds himself drawn into the Battle of Britain—where he must confront his own doubts and fears in order to survive against all odds.

67. In 17th century Japan, a young samurai is sent on a quest to protect his people from an ancient evil—and discovers that courage and strength come from within in order to battle the forces of darkness.

FAQs On Historical Fiction Story Ideas

What Are Good Ideas For Historical Fiction?

Historical fiction is an ideal approach for delving into the annals of time. Good topics for historical fiction include stories about significant events, famous figures, and lesser-known people who shaped history. Examples of these could be the French Revolution, Julius Caesar, or the life of a peasant during Medieval times. Researching specific periods in time can provide interesting ideas for stories that will bring readers back to that era.

How Do You Write A Good Historical Fiction Story?

To write a good historical fiction story, research the time period and culture thoroughly. Develop believable characters with unique motivations that drive the plot forward. Use vivid descriptions to bring your setting alive for readers. Ensure accuracy in facts, language, and customs of the era you are writing about.

Final Notes On Historical Fiction Story Ideas

Historical fiction is a great genre to experience something thrilling while learning about bygone eras. With these historical fiction story ideas, we hope you’ll find inspiration to create your own stories.

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