History SoYouWantTo / WriteAWarStory

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!
10th Apr '16 10:56:12 PM aye_amber
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* Tobruk is an example from RockHudson.

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* Tobruk is an example from RockHudson.''Rock Hudson.''
10th Apr '16 10:55:49 PM aye_amber
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* ObjectiveBurma although this is somewhat controversial.

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* ObjectiveBurma ''Objective Burma'' although this is somewhat controversial.
10th Apr '16 10:55:26 PM aye_amber
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* CoolGuns. Different from RareGuns in that many of these weapons are AwesomeYetPractical while being produced in numbers great enough to be issued to whole militaries and therefore plausibly show up in a story.

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* CoolGuns. Different from RareGuns in that many of these weapons are AwesomeYetPractical ''Awesome Yet Practical'' while being produced in numbers great enough to be issued to whole militaries and therefore plausibly show up in a story.
24th Feb '16 5:33:53 PM Dravencour
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* [[GunPorn Guns, lots and lots of guns.]]

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* [[GunPorn Guns, lots and lots of guns.]]guns]] are a must for any modern day conflict.



** To drive home the idea that the guns TheSquad is using are top of the line elite weapons, make them black. However, this is fairly standard nowadays for military firearms. Having the guns painted a camo pattern would likely work better.

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** To drive home the idea that the guns TheSquad is using are top of the line top-of-the-line elite weapons, make them black. However, this is fairly standard nowadays for military firearms. Having the guns painted a camo pattern would likely work better.
15th Feb '16 5:58:55 PM rodsantos
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Added DiffLines:

* 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.
27th Dec '15 2:06:47 PM Willbyr
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* DoNotDoThisCoolThing. It is very difficult to make a work that is both entertaining to the audience and effectively conveys an antiwar theme. WarIsHell is not the message one gets from a work full of awesome badassery or completely earnest militarism. Trying to throw an antiwar message on at the end goes over poorly. At best itís a BrokenAesop. At worst, itís a DarthWiki/{{Wallbanger}}. Also, be extremely careful to avoid hitting {{Anvilicious}}.
* {{God Mode Sue}}. In war, people get hurt and die all the time, and [[AnyoneCanDie no one is exempt from it]], not even the main characters.

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* DoNotDoThisCoolThing. It is very difficult to make a work that is both entertaining to the audience and effectively conveys an antiwar theme. WarIsHell is not the message one gets from a work full of awesome badassery or completely earnest militarism. Trying to throw an antiwar message on at the end goes over poorly. At best itís a BrokenAesop. At worst, itís a DarthWiki/{{Wallbanger}}. Also, be extremely careful to avoid hitting {{Anvilicious}}.
* {{God Mode Sue}}.GodModeSue. In war, people get hurt and die all the time, and [[AnyoneCanDie no one is exempt from it]], not even the main characters.
7th Sep '15 4:05:00 AM JamaicanCastle
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* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: Even if your opinion is that [[WarIsHell war is the absolute worst thing that can ever happen]], and even if your audience agrees with you, you'll find a very small following indeed if your story is ''completely, unremittingly bleak''. Even in the worst situations, [[InUniverseCatharsis people find ways to keep their spirits up]] -- do the same for the story and it will benefit. A BreatherEpisode or CurbStompCushion can make a bleak plot more bearable, and a TokenGoodTeammate will help people find someone to root for even if ArmiesAreEvil.



** Just because the general is good doesn't mean ''everyone else'' has to be. Start with a great (but justifiable) strategy, but [[PoorCommunicationKills the plan doesn't make it to the heroes intact]], or a [[DidntSeeThatComing minor but critical detail is off]] or a unit of {{Redshirt}}s doesn't fulfill their part of the mission and [[XanatosSpeedChess the strategist has to scramble to make up for it]].



* If your series is about vehicles, ''know them''. Make sure to research (or write background for, in a fictional setting) its capabilities, {{Cool Maneuver}}s, crew responsibilities, and so forth. Know what the crew would be expected to think of it -- especially if it's [[TravelCool really, really nice]], or (more likely) [[WhatAPieceOfJunk kind of a rustbucket]], [[TheAllegedCar actually a rustbucket]], or [[ArmoredCoffins an active menace to the heroes]]. Know your TankGoodness from your MookMobile.



** If you do go the way of the FiveManBand, then here's the general rule

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** If you do go the way of the FiveManBand, then here's the general rulerule:



** Dueling superior officers (not literally -- usually) are also great. Put the ReasonableAuthorityFigure at the top with TheNeidermeyer in between, or vice versa, so that the heroes are never completely sure how HQ will act.



** On a lighter note, a brief subplot about a CrazyCulturalComparison, FriendInTheBlackMarket among the natives, or even a BarBrawl while off-duty can serve as a flavorful BreatherEpisode.



** Having a StrawCivilian (reporter, political officer, scientist, etc.) tag along as TheLoad is a cliche, but can be done well if the civilian meshes well with TheSquad. Spice things up with [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass some unexpected talents]] or [[PlotTailoredToTheParty a problem they can solve]], but don't go overboard.
* [[InterserviceRivalry Soldiers from another unit, branch of service, or nation]] can make for great fodder for drama and comedy alike -- especially if they're expected to serve with the protagonists in the field.




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* If your story is about tanks, planes, or some other kind of vehicle, throw in a CoolManeuver or two. Even in more realistic stories, there are plenty of real-life examples to dazzle the audience. In action-style stories... go wild.
9th Aug '15 2:59:43 PM Prfnoff
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*** Characters could get intimate with the townsfolk, but only for a fling, or brief affair. Have a HookerWithAHeartOfGold on hand for some PlatonicProstitution, or to give the FreshMeat NaiveNewcomer his first taste of sex [[MustNotDieAVirgin before he goes off to battle.]]

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*** Characters could get intimate with the townsfolk, but only for a fling, or brief affair. Have a HookerWithAHeartOfGold on hand for some PlatonicProstitution, or to give the FreshMeat NewMeat NaiveNewcomer his first taste of sex [[MustNotDieAVirgin before he goes off to battle.]]
6th Aug '15 9:58:31 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''{{Film/Stalingrad}}'' and ''{{Film/Downfall}}'' are definitive German films which take place on the Eastern Front.

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* ''{{Film/Stalingrad}}'' ''Film/{{Stalingrad 1993}}'' and ''{{Film/Downfall}}'' ''Film/{{Downfall}}'' are definitive German films which take place on the Eastern Front.
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