Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Preparing for war



I got my tunes, my mind is clear, and my characters are at war. One of my WiPs involves a war. Full, blown out war. This is where I'm at in my revisions. My first draft sadly described this, so now I'm filling in the details of this war. I'm trying to come up with words to describe the sights, sounds and smells war. I've never been in a war, so I have to leave it up to my head or the History channel. Research, as usual, is key. I can write a romance scene quicker than I can blink, but war and fighting, well that takes a little more effort. So, other than research which I'm engaging myself in, and some rockin' kick butt music, I want to know your thoughts on writing a war. I think I'm getting better at one on one fights scenes, but hundreds of people. . . eh. . .yeah.

Any advice?

Any interesting words to consider?

I'm writing a war scene, so I'm keeping it short. Have a great day!

21 comments:

  1. I had a war scene in the first book I wrote. But it was a YA fantasy book which took place in a medivalish time period, and the war was against goblins. Like you, I kept it short, and focus on the mc.

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  2. I would suggest you read some historical non-fiction so that you can get a feel for the language that is used. Of course it depends on what kind of war it is and when it takes place ...

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  3. I'd suggest reading W.E.B. Griffin. He did a couple of series of books, on war, and police stuff. They're not so bloody gory that they'll make you sick but they were realistic. Plus he's a great writer so you'll be able to get into the book as well and not just do "reasearch". I'm sure you can find them at the library.

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  4. If you have access to a Veteran they are the GO TO source on war and fighting. The feeling of it, the smell of it, the sight of it, the way it sounds. My husband is a Vet, and if you have specific questions you could always email me and I'll ask him for his details. I use him to help guide me through fight scenes and most importantly the DIOLOGUE of fight scenes. I cannot express the importance of it. One character is bound to take on the leadership role and having that change in diologue will further enhance the scene (and provide character arc.) That would be my suggestion. Find a Vet and interview them. They are always happy to help. Or, your free to use mine ;)

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  5. What matters is that you're doing it! War scenes are hard, mostly because there doesn't seem to be as much inner conflict going on there. Too many fight scenes can make a book a snooze for me. Isn't that ironic, it's like, opposite of the movies.

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  6. I would be so awful at writing about war! But researching the History Channel definitely seems to be the way to go. And maybe watching all those HBO miniseries on wars (Band of Brothers, etc.) if that's relevant.

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  7. Those scenes in Lord of the Rings are rather epic and filled with a lot of visuals. And of course the huge battle in the last Harry Potter book is one of my favorites.

    I know both of those suggestions are from fantasies so if your book is "real" then I'd stick with Band of Brothers type stuff.

    Good luck!!

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  8. I agree with what everyone has to say...fortunately for you, because this is a different kind of war with unique weapons, etc., you can't really go wrong. Especially if you are keeping Anna in it and what she does...

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  9. hi mis christine! yikes you got a really big challenge for writing about war. i had to get help for just doing one small fight scene. i think what miss erica said it good. and for sure it depends on what kinda war it is and when and what kinda weapons. just keep researching and getting help and itll be a really good war scene.
    ...hugs from lenny

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  10. I think that I might approach this from a battle perspective...perhaps provide some details in the nitty/gritty things that your characters encounter while at war. If you're looking for something with a broader sweep to it...might I suggest some computer simulations of war via computer games. Fun and put you in the strategy seat.

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  11. Oh, I like Michael's suggestion about computer games. They definitely give a good perspective. If your war has swords, definitely a lot of clashing. To me a war would be loud, but numbing. Like so much going on, but you're concerned with your own fight. Like walking through a blizzard, but just focusing on each step to get you where you need to be.

    Good luck! Sounds like fun :)

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  12. Sounds very exciting. I'm like you and have not written about war either. So I am not sure what to say to do that will help. I watch a lot Saving Private Ryan or something like that.

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  13. Wow. You can do it, girl. Write some war scenes! I think these sections become more poignant if you can focus briefly on the details of a specific tragedy amid all the general bloodshed. Some little snippet that gives a face to the pain and loss of violent conflict. Just an idea. Have fun!

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  14. Yep, just focus on what's happening around the MC (well, unless you have an omniscient POV). If the MC isn't battle-savvy, he/she is not going to be describing it like a 4-star general. ;o) I had a battle at the end of my last WiP, too. I didn't really like doing it. LOL But I made it. Dunno how convincing I was!

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  15. I've got battles in my sci-fi novel, but some of them I haven't quite written yet. I've only written the aftermath(s). The others are pretty quick & dirty though.

    For fantasy-ish war scenes, I recommend Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. that guy had obviously done his homework when it came to describing battle tactics, etc.

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  16. Have you tried brainstorming? Writing war in the middle of the page and just filling it with everything that comes to mind about war? You might get some good sights, sounds, smells to use from that. Off the top of my head: dirt, blood, grime, gore, mud, screams...

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  17. Good luck with your writing. I'd watch some movies and documentaries that have been lauded for being authentic. I'd also consider reading a few nonfiction war books as well.

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  18. I guess watch the first 10 mins of "Saving Private Ryan." I haven't done that, but from what I've heard, it'll scar you for life... :D

    That is too cool. I've never tackled a war scene. You are the woman~ :o) <3

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  19. Wow! Yes - I say keep watching the war movies. I watch movies too when I need inspiration - lately it's been Friday Night Lights and Remember the Titans. Bet you can't guess what's in my story!

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  20. I have no advice, I wanted to wish you luck (and happy writing).

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