October 29, 2013

Writing About: War

War is a big topic in the last book of my supernatural-thriller series, so I want to share with you the steps you can take if you ever need to write about war.


1.      How does it start? War cannot just sprout out of nowhere. There has to be events that lead up to it. In my book, terror attacks and massacres force my fictional world into war. What could happen in your book?
See: Writing About: Fictional Terrorism
2.      After the devastating events occur and the prospect of war is hanging overhead, there should be an announcement that the country or world in your book is going into war. This should be done by someone in power, perhaps by the president.
See: Writing About: A President
3.      Next, a public call for soldiers and more civilians to enlist is also a good idea. One of your characters could be watching the president on the television or listening to him/her on the radio. Your character could consider joining and then enlist. If you take this active approach, you will have to go in depth to reveal what it is like to be soldier.

4.      If, for some reason, there is not enough soldiers to build a proper army, you can even have the president (or someone in power) ask for assistance from another country. I did this in my book and it was a very powerful moment.

5.      Once the army is together the preparations and evacuations should being. I gave these two things big importance in my book because the survival of my fictional world was thought to be unlikely, so civilian families, children, and the elderly all had to be evacuated. I also mentioned some of the things my characters did to prepare for the war such as stockpiling supplies and weapons.

6.     Training. This was a HUGE aspect in my book as most of the newly enlisted soldiers had never fought in a war before; most of them were fresh out of high school. For this part, I detailed how the soldiers learned to fight and use certain weapons.
See: Writing About: A Fight
7.      Battle Tactics. War consists of battle plans. My characters devoted a good amount of time planning out what would happen in battle. But I saved most of the details to surprise my readers later.
TIP: Research past wars to figure out battle plans your fictional army can do.
8.      War doesn’t stop while all of this is going on though. Keep the action up by writing about attacks, bombings, and other types of war-like events.
See: How to Create Action
9.      If the war in your book will bring your characters to hostile territory, you will have to describe the dangerous conditions, everything your characters do to survive, and what happens to your characters when the enemies get close.
TIP: A good movie to watch is Battle: Los Angeles.
10.   How does the war end? Do the good guys overpower the enemy, forcing them to surrender? Or will there be a battle to the death to find out who wins? The latter is the tactic I took and it was epic!

Stayed tuned for tips on how to write about a battle

QUESTION: Would you be interested in reading a book about fictional war?

SHARE: Your steps to writing about war.

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  1. Great post.
    And all this time I thought of you as a pacifist.;)
    Writing need conflict, and what is a more compelling way to bring that about than a war or threat of war.

    1. Thanks!

      You'd be surprised the types of things I have written. A couple of my past posts are about kidnapping, torture, and murder. If a story calls for it, I write it! ;)

      I agree! Nothing beats the suspense and action of war.

  2. I hadn't even thought about this before, Chrys. I would definitely be interested in reading a book about a fictional war as long as the story is good!

    1. :) The story line can be a deal breaker. My series definitely called for war. There was no avoiding it. lol

  3. Chrys, great topic and I loved the pictures! Wars do start, sometimes for the oddest of reasons, Helen of Troy comes to mind. I'm with you, where ever the characters take us - we follow!

    Thanks so much for all your help in regards to the Unicef fundraiser! Such a great cause, and a group of great stories. And thanks again for hosting me on Saturday. Gary Pennick and Penny are hosting me on Halloween, Thursday, and linking back to your post. It's going to be hilarious!

    1. Thanks! The pictures are quite old, but I thought they were perfect for this post. :) Helen of Troy . . . I think if war has to come about at all that fighting for the right to be with the one you love is a good reason for it. But so many people died because of it and that is tragic.

      I love participating in good causes and you can't get any better than UNICEF! So I am very glad to help. And I am super happy to help you any way that I can. :) I'll definitely be stopping by Gary's and Penny's posts on Thursday. Yippee!

  4. Great post, Chrys! I will never realize these tips unless you pointed them out! :-)

    Hey you look good as a soldier hehe What are you wearing for this year's Halloween? ;-)

    1. Thanks! Maybe people, like you, who don't ever think of these tips or about writing these events, will one day be inspired because of my posts; that is my goal. :)

      LOL! Thanks. ;) This year I'm not really doing much, but I am putting together a hippie costume because I'm a big kid and just love to dress up. :D

  5. Great tips here. Excellent ideas to make the motivation and process of war believable.