How to write a WAR

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Wars are all over genre fiction. Fantasy, contemporary, sci-fi, historical, etc. The way war and battles are portrayed in summer blockbuster films is usually not how it is. War too often gets romanticized. People miss logistics such as how they get food to a 15,000 personnel army. There are a lot of little details authors screw up or miss, and that will piss off every war veteran who picks up their book. Don't piss off the war veterans people. Do your research!

You can research battle strategies to the moon and back, but the human aspect of war, what it feels like to stand in the middle of a battlefield with IEDs going off and the thunder of heavy artillery, the tunnel vision, the chaos, not knowing what the hell is going on except you have the one task you HAVE to accomplish, even though you don't know why. Seeing your friends dying around you, the fierce desperation to survive so you can go home.

Then what it feels like to come home after that and everyone expects you to be normal, to be okay.

These are all details you can only learn by listening to veterans tell their stories. Google is your friend. Or talk to some actual vets face-to-face. I don't care how you get your info, just do it.

War is not fun or glorious, but a lot of genre fiction tends to portray it as such.

I started some threads on Scribophile on this, and the answers I received from war veterans were absolutely humbling and eye-opening. Unfortunately, you'll need an account to see the responses; I don't have permission to post them here, so you'll have to head over there to see. But it's seriously worth it. I learned SO much in the past few hours. The first link talks about the personal aspect of war, and other mistakes writers tend to make when writing a war into their story. The second highlights what veterans go through when they come home and some of the habits they bring back from the battlefield.

http://www.scribophile.com/forums/writing/75280/

http://www.scribophile.com/forums/writing/75392/

(they're posted as links in the first comment below so you can click them)

(but seriously, if you want to learn how to tell a damn good story, join Scribophile. That place is writing boot camp, and you will improve your writing leaps and bounds if you really put in the effort there. Even if you can't afford a membership, at least lurk the forums and the groups, which have so many resources and articles and opinions. It's like this guide, only dozens of other opinions weighing in on the same concept.)

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