Post Reply How does one write a story about military and war when knowing little to nothing about it?
42339 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 7/19/16
Let me know if a thread like this one exist or not.
Thanks a bunches.

I'm writing a military and war novel but I don't know where to start or how to go about it. Can someone explain to me how to write a novel that is military and war related? Should I even bother writing the novel or should I just wing it?

I'm thinking I should just wing on the rough drafts and make proper corrections on the final drafts. Is this alright to do or not? I really need advice on what I should do.

Tell me what I should do and how to go about it.

Enjoy!!!
Posted 7/19/16
Research it lol
Posted 7/19/16
Doing research
Posted 7/19/16
As mentioned.

Do research.

42339 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 7/19/16

SylveonLuna wrote:

As mentioned.

Do research.



*sigh* Alright then.


So winging it isn't good even if it's a rough draft? Because the final piece I was gonna do research.
30236 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
It doesn't matter.
Offline
Posted 7/20/16
Write a fantasy story of how you think it would go.
medieval, modern, scifi make it up.
5204 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
16 / M
Offline
Posted 7/20/16
You don't have to do research for your rough draft if the drama is more important than the system that contributes to that genre. For instance, did they spend nearly as much time learning about military equipment for Schindler's List as they did Saving Private Ryan? Have your priorities straight. People on this thread are commenting as if you want to make the most accurate Military story ever, specifically about military equipment and weapons, but if you're creating a drama that just happens to be sculptured thematically around the military, your knowledge of it is trivial - especially if you use a fantasy or sci-fi setting to tell the story. So - are you trying to create the book equivalent of a "simulator" or a drama?
42339 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 7/20/16

TheAngryLittleAlchemist wrote:

You don't have to do research for your rough draft if the drama is more important than the system that contributes to that genre. For instance, did they spend nearly as much time learning about military equipment for Schindler's List as they did Saving Private Ryan? Have your priorities straight. People on this thread are commenting as if you want to make the most accurate Military story ever, specifically about military equipment and weapons, but if you're creating a drama that just happens to be sculptured thematically around the military, your knowledge of it is trivial - especially if you use a fantasy or sci-fi setting to tell the story. So - are you trying to create the book equivalent of a "simulator" or a drama?


So, for the rough draft just write it then do research when it comes to the final part?
285 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
19 / M / Puerto Rico
Offline
Posted 7/20/16


How to write a novel about military and war?

Depends on what you are focusing on, there is no need for unnecessary details. If you know the environment around your focal point, you should be fine. As someone mentioned, the drama in your story is the important part.

That said, there a are a couple of things you could focus on:

1) The life of a soldier.

---- What is his/her background? -- How does the character handle the military environment? -- How does it handle the battle environment? -- What is his/her take on the war? -- Is the character a saint, someone who just does what it must to survive, or a murderous psycho? -- How is his/her life affected by the experience of the military? -- How is his/her life affected by the experience of war?


2) The atmosphere of war.

---- Is it a passive/cold conflict? Or is it active? -- Is it about the men of different nations having to battle each other due to the decisions of their leaders? Or is there a villainous faction? -- How do the combatants treat each other? is there any shown mercy or is it a savage slaughter?


3) Warfare: Battle & Tactics.

---- This is the most complicated part to explain, assuming you have no understanding of warfare (warfare that doesn't involve just bombing a place to kingdom-come.)

A war takes place on many levels:

a) Information/Intelligence war. - It is important to know the strength of the enemy, the aces up their sleeves and their plans? However, there is such a thing as the Art of Deception. There is always the chance that the enemy is supposedly allowing certain info to be leaked in order to trick you.

b) Psychological war. - Also seen as the propaganda warfare. This involves the psychological availability and disposition on the soldier (motivation or morale). There are two sides: the motivation of your troops and the de-moralization of the enemy. The greatest leader can't fight without an army. It is important to care after the morale of your troops, lest you want them become deserters.

The propaganda can envelop many topics. It ranges from moral values, religion and beliefs, patriotic sentiment, fear of death, honor, etc. This is the part where medals, recruitment posters, folk songs, heads-on-pikes, and all of that nasty stuff come into play.

c) All-out war. - This is what we all know, troops killing one another and completing objectives. This part is divided into Offense, Defense, and Logistics. The offense is the capacity to strike the enemy, with all I have mentioned earlier, and force them to retreat. Defense if the capacity to repel enemy offensives and hold captured ground. Logistics are the backbone of the military campaign. The strongest men can't live without food, the guns can't shoot the ammo they don't have, and the biggest vehicles can't move on empty fuel-tanks.

That last point is the reason that determines what places become key positions with great strategic value. An army needs to set up an efficient supply network to propel their advance.

4) The political background.
---- There is really not much to this one. -- Why is the war taking place? -- What is the public opinion?
24296 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / Various
Offline
Posted 7/20/16
As said before, you don't need to go all into every detail if it's not relevant to your story.

From the things you've posted about your story, it seems like you're more interested in the drama of human behavior surrounding the war, not the nitty-gritty battlefield details and weapons technology. So here are some things I'd recommend for research:

- Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War - Written in 400-something BCE, still relevant and true today. This is a historical account of the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece, including things about how the war made people react, and how the circumstances exposed human nature. You don't have to read the whole thing - you can probably find excerpts "on human nature" and things like that.

- Shakespeare: Anything by Shakespeare is good for human nature, but for war, particularly:
- Macbeth
- Henry IV pts 1 and 2, and Henry V (look up the BBC series The Hollow Crown)
- Julius Caesar
Since your plot seemed to have some racism/colonialism elements, I'd also say look at The Tempest.

Look for films (or local productions) of these plays. If you live in New Jersey, you have a lot of places a short train ride away to see plays - New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania all have good Shakespeare companies that I've heard about or been to, and there are probably some closer to you as well (and they're not all expensive - most offer student discounts that are cheaper than movie theaters, and there are free ones, too). Though... their play selection has been odd recently. A lot of Pericles and stuff like that... but I digress ^_^;;
(barely related at all, but check this out http://www.metopera.org/user-information/summer-hd-festival/ <-- it's awesome.)

But yes. These.
42339 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 7/20/16
Thanks for the comments, cool people.
You must be logged in to post.