History SoYouWantTo / WriteAWarStory

8th Jan '17 12:21:26 PM Morgenthaler
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There are a lot of different ways to go about writing a war story. In historical eras, the main choice is going to be between the Army and [[WoodenShipsAndIronMen the Navy]]. Nowadays, assuming you're writing about the [[YanksWithTanks United States]], you've got TheArmy, the [[SemperFi Marines]], [[DeathFromAbove Air Force]], [[FlauntingYourFleets the Navy,]] and the UsefulNotes/CoastGuard. What do you choose? The Army is going to be the most prone, at least in fiction, to a fairly standard story without anything unusually badass or exciting happening. The Marines is more likely to have some pretty badass stuff going on, especially if they are SpaceMarines, doubly so if they are based on the real life USMC. The Air Force is likely going to either be about [[WorldWar2 great strategic bombing campaigns, dueling aces]], or [[TheAce slick jet pilots competing to be top dog.]] The Navy isn't likely to feature too much stuff directly going on, except in the days of WoodenShipsAndIronMen. In modern times, they're mostly there for artillery support or air support with occasional landings of Marines or their own elite badasses, the [[BadassNormal S.E.A.L.'s]]. After that comes the question of officer or serviceman. Is the story about an enlisted grunt in the field going on patrols and living in foxholes, or is he AnOfficerAndAGentleman? Is there a CaptainSmoothAndSergeantRough duo dynamic? Is the main character a [[ActionGirl woman]]? What if they aren't frontline combat personnel, or what if they're a medic? You can do [[ElitesAreMoreGlamorous special operations]], but be careful; a lot of stories don't do it well, or do the operators justice.

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There are a lot of different ways to go about writing a war story. In historical eras, the main choice is going to be between the Army and [[WoodenShipsAndIronMen the Navy]]. Nowadays, assuming you're writing about the [[YanksWithTanks United States]], you've got TheArmy, the [[SemperFi Marines]], [[DeathFromAbove Air Force]], [[FlauntingYourFleets the Navy,]] and the UsefulNotes/CoastGuard. What do you choose? The Army is going to be the most prone, at least in fiction, to a fairly standard story without anything unusually badass or exciting happening. The Marines is more likely to have some pretty badass stuff going on, especially if they are SpaceMarines, doubly so if they are based on the real life USMC. The Air Force is likely going to either be about [[WorldWar2 [[UsefulNotes/WorldWar2 great strategic bombing campaigns, dueling aces]], or [[TheAce slick jet pilots competing to be top dog.]] The Navy isn't likely to feature too much stuff directly going on, except in the days of WoodenShipsAndIronMen. In modern times, they're mostly there for artillery support or air support with occasional landings of Marines or their own elite badasses, the [[BadassNormal S.E.A.L.'s]]. After that comes the question of officer or serviceman. Is the story about an enlisted grunt in the field going on patrols and living in foxholes, or is he AnOfficerAndAGentleman? Is there a CaptainSmoothAndSergeantRough duo dynamic? Is the main character a [[ActionGirl woman]]? What if they aren't frontline combat personnel, or what if they're a medic? You can do [[ElitesAreMoreGlamorous special operations]], but be careful; a lot of stories don't do it well, or do the operators justice.
1st Nov '16 9:19:53 AM Morgenthaler
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* DeathTropes - Perhaps more than any other genre of fiction, people die a lot in war stories. Sometimes they go out in a blaze of glory, while other times, they die in truly horrific fashion.

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* DeathTropes CharacterDeath - Perhaps more than any other genre of fiction, people die a lot in war stories. Sometimes they go out in a blaze of glory, while other times, they die in truly horrific fashion.
1st Nov '16 9:19:31 AM Morgenthaler
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* {{Badass}} - More than anything else, war stories need badasses.

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* {{Badass}} WorldOfBadass - More than anything else, war stories need badasses.



* ToHellAndBack is the true story of Audie Murphy, the most decorated and {{Badass}} soldier in American history. If you only watch [[TheFilmOfTheBook the film]], then be aware that they toned down or removed some of his actions [[RealityIsUnrealistic because they were too unbelievable!]] The book still has them all. And to cap it all off, the man was [[PintSizedPowerhouse rather small, only standing at 5'5".]]

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* ToHellAndBack is the true story of Audie Murphy, the most decorated and {{Badass}} badass soldier in American history. If you only watch [[TheFilmOfTheBook the film]], then be aware that they toned down or removed some of his actions [[RealityIsUnrealistic because they were too unbelievable!]] The book still has them all. And to cap it all off, the man was [[PintSizedPowerhouse rather small, only standing at 5'5".]]
27th Sep '16 11:43:51 PM PaulA
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* RedStormRising, TomClancy's 1986 Doorstopper novel on a full-blown (albeit non-nuclear,) war between the Soviet Union and NATO, paints a massive war in just a handful of personal POV's.

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* RedStormRising, TomClancy's ''Literature/RedStormRising'', Creator/TomClancy's 1986 Doorstopper novel on a full-blown (albeit non-nuclear,) non-nuclear) war between the Soviet Union and NATO, paints a massive war in just a handful of personal POV's. POV's.
23rd Sep '16 4:17:02 AM Morgenthaler
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* WarIsHell. As mentioned above, war is a terrifying experience full of insanity and violence and affects nearly everyone involved on some level. [[WorldWarI The Great War]] inspired an entire generation of writers and artists, for example, and it's often called the Lost Generation. The most well-known cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder occurred among veterans of Vietnam. It's not all psychological disorders and cultural confusion, though war can make people do really crazy things.

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* WarIsHell. As mentioned above, war is a terrifying experience full of insanity and violence and affects nearly everyone involved on some level. [[WorldWarI [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI The Great War]] inspired an entire generation of writers and artists, for example, and it's often called the Lost Generation. The most well-known cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder occurred among veterans of Vietnam. It's not all psychological disorders and cultural confusion, though war can make people do really crazy things.
29th Aug '16 11:16:17 AM Morgenthaler
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** AllGermansAreNazis. If the work involves the Wehrmacht, then don't automatically assign them as German=Nazi=Evil. Beware GodwinsLaw. The trope for the modern German military, called the Bundeswehr, is WeAreNotTheWehrmacht.

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** AllGermansAreNazis. If the work involves the Wehrmacht, then don't automatically assign them as German=Nazi=Evil. Beware GodwinsLaw. The trope for the modern German military, called the Bundeswehr, is WeAreNotTheWehrmacht.UsefulNotes/WeAreNotTheWehrmacht.
28th Aug '16 3:46:31 AM Morgenthaler
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** CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: This is a rather exaggerated and unfair characterization of the French to begin with. If French Forces are involved, then play them as GaulsWithGrenades.

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** CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: This is a rather exaggerated and unfair characterization of the French to begin with. If French Forces are involved, then play them as GaulsWithGrenades.UsefulNotes/GaulsWithGrenades.
27th Jun '16 9:17:35 PM naclmore
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* ArcFatigue. Don't breeze through some events while taking forever to get through the others. Skip through or just fast forward through the boring bits. Real war is long stretches of boredom with relatively brief moments of intense fear and frenzy.

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* ArcFatigue. Don't breeze through some events one event while taking forever to get through the others.another. Skip through or just fast forward through the boring bits. Real war is long stretches of boredom with relatively brief moments of intense fear and frenzy.
27th Jun '16 9:10:58 PM naclmore
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* ArcFatigue. definitely don't breeze through some things while taking forever to get through another. Skip through or just fast forward through the boring bits. Real war is long stretches of boredom with relatively brief moments of intense fear and frenzy.

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* ArcFatigue. definitely don't Don't breeze through some things events while taking forever to get through another.the others. Skip through or just fast forward through the boring bits. Real war is long stretches of boredom with relatively brief moments of intense fear and frenzy.
18th Apr '16 10:53:02 PM aye_amber
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War is a complex, controversial, and multifaceted thing. Whatever you do, don't get stuck on politics or ethics. It is one thing to have a character who doesn't agree with what they're doing or with the way things are run, but it is another to keep on dragging in the moral questions of war so that it gets in the way of the story. Show, don't tell! Remember, TropesAreNotBad, but also TropesAreNotGood. It's all about how you write and utilize tropes. If it doesn't fit the story and serve a purpose, DO NOT ThrowItIn!

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War is a complex, controversial, and multifaceted thing. Whatever you do, don't get stuck on politics or ethics. It is one thing to have a character who doesn't agree with what they're doing or with the way things are run, but it is another to keep on dragging in the moral questions of war so that it gets in the way of the story. Show, don't tell! Remember, TropesAreNotBad, but also TropesAreNotGood.TropesAreTools. It's all about how you write and utilize tropes. If it doesn't fit the story and serve a purpose, DO NOT ThrowItIn!
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