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Writing political/military fiction?

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  • Writing political/military fiction?

    Does anybody here have any advice or experencie writing political/military fiction?

  • #2
    Read other examples

    Many great novels are out there that should be read to gather ideas on such a topic. Military fiction is most likely my favorite genre to read and I suggest you read books that could provide ideas.
    Some examples might include:

    1.) Any novel by Tom Clancy - perhaps The Sum of All Fears.
    2.) Ender's game - by orson scott card - interesting future setting with child geniuses commanding an army. However, there is a subsequent series called Ender's Shadow which has far more international military strategy which I definately recommend.
    3.) Deception Point - by Dan Brown

    There's probably many more examples... I just can't think of them right now.
    "Going to war without France is like going deer-hunting without your accordion." -Other countries


    • #3
      1- don't read other authors on the same subjects.Thier work will corrupt your own. Instead read great stories in other genres so you can learn about plot flow and character development

      2- use up to date information. This is a big failing of Clancy- he only updates the good guys

      3- Be beleivable- start with an outline A through the last letter these are the events that have a nice progression. Your job after the outline is to weave them into a coherant cloth

      4- stay out of left feild, suprises should be obvious in hindsight not just randomly thrown in. Half the fun in reading is trying to guess whats next.

      5- Give the readers closure at the end, but not one page before that, and hook hard in the begining.

      6- metaphors, simialies, clorful verbs etc use prose but don't over it and make sure your prose fits.

      7- vary your delivery and tempo to fit the mood and scene.

      8- technology is nice but readers are more interested in the pilot of the B-2 than in its weapon load.

      9- 80,000 words max 60,000 words minimum for a marketable paperback

      10- write test paragraphs and short stories to develope your voice ie don't bite off more than you can chew.

      An example... hope you like

      Everyman a rifleman, a short story

      Seirra Alpha 10, Seirra Alpha 10 do you copy, this is Limelight 6. The voice in my ear let me know the SAR (Search and Rescue) Seahawk helicopter was within 20 miles of my location. Very slowly I peered up over the hulk of some old pick up I had been using as cover slash shade and looked around me. It seemed the bedoiun herders were drifiting away from both me and my birds funeral pyre, and I didn't see any tell tale dust clouds headed my way from the crash site where the haji's were probably celebrating by the sound of the gun fire coming form that direction.

      With no obvious threat I glanced down at Mike, he still hadn't woken back up after passing out once we got here, I think he was busted up inside. I keyed my mike, Limelight 6 authenticate Bravo-Delta-Niner. And then I waited, the haji's might or might not be able to spoof our communciations but after what they did to that Army Kiowa crew I sure as hell wasn't taking any chances with them.

      The SAR guys got back to me quickly and with the proper authentication and I began to relax, I was going to live after all. Soon enough I heard the familiar whomp whomp whomp and saw some specks on the horizon, although I did notice the firing had stopped coming from the crash site I assumed the insurgents had split- they really don't like tangling with the Marine's Cobra gunships. Well you know what they say about assuming... I sure felt like an ass.

      One minute the Seahawk was flaring for landing and then wham an RPG slam's into the damn thing and it starts occilating like midway titlawhirl smoking and spluttering like crazy before slamming into the desert, luckily the girl didn't explode on impact. And that was the best part of the suprise I landed in. My pickup truck cover started taking fire from the east, light machine gun by the volume of pings, thunks and zips going by above my head. It was a classic double ambush and my day just got a hell of a lot longer.

      Jeez, what a life- shot down, then pinned down taking fire, one buddy wounded and KO'd next to me, more buddies caught in a fresh crash, and who knows how many bad guys wanting to make my naked corpse Al Jazeera's lead story. Well you know what they say every Marine's a rifleman, I hate it when they're right.


      • #4
        If when you get around to writing make sure the details are correct to anyone semi knowledgable on the subject. Recently read a book in which a U-2 was landing on the chase car because it had ejected its wheels on take-off. Read a book in which a hummer was refered to as an armoured personal carrier. I won't be picking up either of these authors again in the future.


        • #5
          My advice is to research and do more research because is key in writing fiction about the political/military fiction. Most ideas and plots tend to come from something you've read or watched or heard. Next, head down to your local war museum or search their website's archives to gather as much info as you can. Bureaucracy can be a wonderful thing if you let it work for you!


          • #6
            Oh, the kittens.
            No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

            To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.


            • #7
              And the Hot Dead Chick.

              The thread is over 5 years old. NBC anymore, why would someone reply?
              Attached Files


              • #8
                It's a question for all time.
                To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Doktor View Post
                  Oh, the kittens.
                  Why would you want to write about kittens?


                  • #10
                    How do you go about researching a non sci-fi military novel?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RJones95 View Post
                      How do you go about researching a non sci-fi military novel?
                      Read about battles in the period you are going to write about. Read biographies of military and civilian leaders. While one need not write historical fiction (i.e., giving voice to real life characters), I'd offer up Ralph Peters novels on the Civil War as being at the top of the genre.
                      "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RJones95 View Post
                        How do you go about researching a non sci-fi military novel?
                        Study history, politics, geogrpahy and read biographies of your historical characters.