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how to describe war creative writing

7 Tips For Writing Realistic War Stories (UPDATED 2024)

by Writer's Relief Staff | Inspiration And Encouragement For Writers , Nonfiction Books , Other Helpful Information , The Writing Life | 15 comments

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how to describe war creative writing

Updated April 2023

Both fiction and memoir writing have endeavored to make sense of (or even see the senselessness of) violent conflict. But writing about war  can be tricky: Some readers might be sensitive about graphic depictions of war and violence; others may have a hard time understanding what’s happening if you don’t go into detail. Here’s how to write battle scenes that are accurate and effective.

how to describe war creative writing

Important Tips For Writing About War

Consider whether certain violent elements need to be included. Graphic, explicit scenes can become offensive when they’re overdone or unnecessary. Of course, you may be going for “offensive” in order to make a point about your subject, but violence that’s heavy on detail needs to have a point. The key is to be aware of your choices and why you’re making them.

Use a panoramic lens. Capture the vastness of a battle by showing us a wide view of the action. Allow your narrator a moment to look around at what’s going on so that your reader can also see what’s happening. However, remember that “epic” doesn’t necessarily mean emotionally engaging. If not handled properly, big battles can feel impersonal and lead to “action fatigue.”

Focus on the details. Whether you’re writing about the trenches of World War I or the Time-Space Wars of the Zygine Galaxy, pay attention to the little details of everyday life. Sometimes, the familiar smell of coffee and a campfire can be more emotionally powerful than the less familiar smell of a lit cannon fuse.

If your violence is comic, be cautious of subtext. Some people may laugh; others might be offended. If you need to make a choice about your character’s actions that happens to align with stereotypes of violence, make sure you do so with caution.

Understand your characters . Whether you’re writing about a perpetrator of violence or a victim, dig deep within your own personal capacity for empathy to tease out elements that will make all of your characters human, relatable, and real—even the villains. You might not respect your antagonist’s decisions, but by understanding them, you’ll bring depth and emotion to your work.

Get it right. If you’re writing historical fiction or even memoir, check (and recheck!) your facts. Confirm that your details are accurate. By spending the extra time and doing the research , you’ll have a story that resonates with authenticity and powerful details—especially if you’re writing military fiction .

Avoid clichés. While every genre has its tropes, be aware of choices that lead to scenes that are overly familiar. Falling back on clichés is sometimes the easy way out. If you find yourself writing a familiar battle scene (one soldier dragging another to safety, or one person dying in another’s arms), be sure to mix up the action with your own unique perspective.

When In Doubt, Read Military Memoirs And Fiction

If you’re not sure your battles have a realistic edge, read other books in the genre. Reading is one of the best ways to improve your writing, regardless of your topic.

When you’ve finished reading military memoirs and fiction, why not try to get published alongside them? The research experts at Writer’s Relief will help you pinpoint the best markets and boost your odds of getting an acceptance. Learn more about our services and submit your work to our Review Board today!

Whether you want to take the traditional publishing route or prefer to self-publish , we can help. Give us a call, and we will point you in the right direction!

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John L. Gibson

In response to your question, “What do you think one of the things many battle/war scenes get wrong is?” I would like to say it is the disconnection/connections between two common enemies. Many solders do not even know the real reason they are fighting. Many American solders have gone to battle under the false premise of spreading Democracy. Our enemy fight for what they believe to be the opposing cause. Yet, when the war is believed to be over, a new bicultural atmosphere has almost always been established. That is because, as humans, we all have more in common than not.

Connie Terpack

To Mr. JL Gibson: I loved your comment. I don’t imagine that many of us think of what the other guy is fighting for. I have no plans to write a novel about war, but I still believe that this article and your comment could be used for any other type of story. We all have our battles to fight whether it be for love, wealth, a job promotion, or even our own simple way of life. Thank you for the insight.


I’m writing a war story and this has been helpful.

Cole Campbell

I’m also writing my first war book too. My book is called Ghost Squad, the war I’m researching is very hard trying to put all pieces of information together so that the war itself is real, but my characters, operation groups, and seans are made up of this book. I’m worried if my information of this war would have false information in my novel. I’m still writing and researching, but so far my book is looking pretty good. If you guys have any tips for me that would be helpful.

Ivy Baker

This is some really good information about writing good war stories. My sister wants to be an author and she loves historical fiction. I liked your advice about getting it right and doing research about the time period. It does seem like a good idea to try reading some memoirs of actual soldiers.

Jesus A.

I’m going to write a battilistic war book. It’s not an American war. Another countries war. A central american one. This has been helpful.

Vincent Price

I’m writing a fictional war story, meant to focus upon the ascension of a Battalion Commander, to the ranking of General. One issue I’m having is the rankings themselves. While I can hide behind the excuse that this is a fictional war, with a fictional military that could have fictional ranking orders, I still would like to know what the actual officer ranking order is like. Google isn’t very helpful, could somebody please point me to an explicit explanation of military officer ranking ? I would greatly appreciate it, thank you! I eagerly await your reply.


Vincent, the ranks for officers are easy to find. They are: 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General, and General.


Thank you , I am a struggling writer who will indeed benefit from this

Emma B. Jackson

Thank you for the help! I am writing a book that has many military scenes. I appreciate this a bunch!


Read books written by veterans

Randy Surles

Definitely read books by veterans. And if you are writing a book about the military, it would be extremely helpful to have a veteran as a beta reader. Lee Childs doesn’t write military, but his main character, Jack Reacher, is an ex soldier – however he has so many military fact incorrect it sometimes drives me crazy. One of his main problems is that the author is British, and the character is American. In the British Army, I guess, the enlisted shine the officer’s boots and do their laundry; this is absolutely not what happens in the US Army. Also, his premise that the military police are better trained in weapons and hand to hand so they can subdue elite Rangers and green berets when necessary is crazy.

Kari Mofford

The government actually has many good primary resources in this area. I recently took over a blog written by a librarian that highlights government sources to help authors with realism in their fiction. I am still in the process of transferring, editing, and updating the older entries (which has been fascinating), but it has several military history posts:

Hope this is helpful!


Hi. I´m terrible when it comes to battle strategy. I just have my characters with the planned development, dynamics, relationships and often – fitting deaths. I have the moral questions. I have the magical system. I somehow just make the war fit my needs… Which is extremely frustrating! I have to think of stuff to fill plot holes and all the strategies don’t add up! It’s like a patchwork – a beautiful piece of art (an emotional moment, a character death, a release of a magical power) is hanging on some weak shit.

Please send help. I always get stuck on the tactics. How to master it? Or how to write smart and compelling fantasy stories without it? Even if it’s not fantasy, I have the feeling that without all these scheming and mind games my stories sound boring.


Look at what you did in the first paragraph. You have already arrived at most of the story, since story is about character and relationships. The action that arises from the characters, i.e., what each character does, moves along the plot, defines character, and produces story theme and meaning. Then, think of your story within the context of a particular moment in the war. For example, “Platoon” selected a section of a company to go on patrol in the Vietnam jungle, night and day, to tell the story of young American foot soldiers and particularly, the growth of one particular named Taylor. How does the war fit into the story? The war, or a particular aspect of the war necessary to the story is selected and used as a container to hold the entire story about Taylor.

Take a look at another war story, “The Deer Hunter”. This is the story about Russian-American steelworker friends who go off to Vietnam as foot soldiers. Each one is altered. Therefore, the writer must have planned particular moments in the war to highlight the exigencies of each character as such character encounters life-challenging and possibly, life-changing conflicts that determine what we must notice about the character.

Please don’t allow the loud and epic nature of war to scare you into giving up. Writing about war is no different than writing about a city, or school, or people on a cruise liner. The fact remains that all of those are contexts or backdrops to your story, which should always be about the human condition, i.e., our thwarted desires that lead us to the truth and beauty of realization and/or learning, if we (the characters) accept the challenging lessons, or losing, if we reject, as the author intends to depict.

Finally, a war is always about one side against the other, with a line drawn in the sand. Such could be visible or invisible. Find your war, select a context and people that context with who would be necessary for the particular story. My war story challenge tonight is to tell a story about particular soldiers on the frontline of WWI, but not across the entire several hundred miles of trenches. I selected one small area that produces the particular challenges of that area, which I feel excited about depicting., and how that place set up significant pressure on the characters to think and behave in certain ways that I believe to be necessary for telling the reader/viewer about our mysterious human condition — perhaps, even deepening the mystery.

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CrystalDreamer59 Active Member

How to describe a war.

Discussion in ' Science Fiction ' started by CrystalDreamer59 , Jul 16, 2012 .

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); So as I meantioned in a previous post I have this idea for a story about a utopian planet and a dystopian planet that are at war with each other. The story basically begins on a normal day on the utopian planet when suddenly the capital city of the utopian planet is attacked by the dystopian planet. After that I'm not that sure what should happen. How do I go about describing the attack and what should I have the utopian planet do next after being attacked.  


Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

how to describe war creative writing

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); It's your story. You tell us how they react.  
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); I imagine the ordinary people in the capital city of the utopian planet would be panicking as space shuttles from the dystopian planet begin begin bombing the capital city while the warriors of the planet work to calm the ordinary people down and create a magical barrier to protect the city (It's a fantasy world so people have magical powers). That's just how I imagine the first attack. It's a start I think.  

Andrae Smith

Andrae Smith Bestselling Author|Editor|Writing Coach Contributor

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); On this one I agree word for word with Master Cogito... He is very wise. It is your story, that is what you have to decide. it is your society, your characters your war. I ould imagine the Utopians would decide whats best for them and try to avoid war until absolutely necessary... but its your society, thats a part you have to work out and tell us.  


peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

how to describe war creative writing

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); That would all depend on the hardware ( weapons )involved , are they technically advanced or rather backward? Have the people had a war before and are they prepared? Or does this come as a frightening never-happened-before experience. Do they have the weapons or intelligence to combat the strike? Which view do you want to take. An overall view of bombs turning a city to smoke and ash with nameless people shrieking or do you want to show the terror from a select handful of characters? Do you want an air strike or a land invasion? Is this a sneak attack without warning or something the world had been expecting?  


Thumpalumpacus Alive in the Superunknown

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); CrystalDreamer59 said: ↑ So as I meantioned in a previous post I have this idea for a story about a utopian planet and a dystopian planet that are at war with each other. The story basically begins on a normal day on the utopian planet when suddenly the capital city of the utopian planet is attacked by the dystopian planet. After that I'm not that sure what should happen. How do I go about describing the attack and what should I have the utopian planet do next after being attacked. Click to expand...
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); I never thought of having the battle in space as the dystopian planet is less technologically advanced then the utopian world and has just began space exploration. As for the reason the dystopian world attacks the utopian world. They attack the utopian world because they think their culture is best and want to spread their culture. Would this be a good enough reason for attack.  


DeepBlue10055 New Member

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); It would be a fine reason, but be sure to justify it. Although I think a culture that has just begun space exploration would not be prepared to make a space-borne attack. Would we be able to land troops on Mars, even if we had a strong desire to conquer some fictional inhabitants or harvest a precious resource? Almost certainly not. At least not for another 50-100 years, anyway.  
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); Perhaps I should of clearified that the dystopian planet discovered space exporation about 50 years prior to the events of the story and that the distance between the planets is rather close just slightly further than the distance between the earth and the moon. Would this make things more realistic.  


kingzilla Member

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); Utopians would probably be in panic, as I would assume they barely have a military. A lot would surrender because they don't truly know how to fight. But, this is your book. I have to agree with Cogito and say you write it how you want to write it. The only thing I would say is keep the cultural difference between the two planets intact. That will make it interesting.  


inkdweller New Member

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); It's important I think to contrast the normal with the horror in this attack. Emphasize less the peaceful bliss, becuase this is unrelatable and unbelievable. Even in a perfect life we have our dramas and our concerns, petty though they may really be. Emphasize more the ordinary relate-able every day actions that make it peaceful and blissful. As for the actual attack, think about what would really make you gasp if an enemy attacked your planet, your country, your home. Seeing the statue of liberty, a symbol of hope and freedom, have her head thrown off by some alien monster in the movie "Cloverfield" certainly set a sinking feeling of dread in me when I watched it. When an enemy attacks a "symbol" of sorts this is easily recognized and painful for a larger audience. Watch and enemy destroy the Eiffel Tower, Great Wall of China, Empire State Building and you watch them take away something you had in your mind as eternal. Suddenly what was such a certain symbol of "hope" or "power" or whatever it is, crumbles at your feet, and the world as you know it has just been flipped irreversibly. There's no turning back now, doom is imminent. This sort of attack is less direct than destroying lives, but in this it affects a larger audience, targeting them mentally. Religion is another symbol that unifies people and can be targeted. This has happened many times throughout history, and some are dreadfully recent. Survivors are certainly instilled with feelings of anger and anguish afterwards. Dig into some research on this sort of thing, it may sicken, but all the more convincing to evoke emotion into your readers when you have that emotion yourself.  


Morkonan New Member

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); CrystalDreamer59 said: ↑ ...After that I'm not that sure what should happen. How do I go about describing the attack and what should I have the utopian planet do next after being attacked. Click to expand...
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); @inkdweller: On the utopian planet since their a monarchy a symbol of national pride would be the royal palace. I have thought very much about the dystopian world attacking the royal palace because they want to get rid of the monarchy so they can turn the planet into their own colony. @Morkonan: I will search my library for books on war, both fiction and non fiction. Hopefully this will improve my writing. However I have a book checked out right now and I want to finish that first before I check out any more books.  
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); CrystalDreamer59 said: ↑ ...@Morkonan: I will search my library for books on war, both fiction and non fiction. Hopefully this will improve my writing. However I have a book checked out right now and I want to finish that first before I check out any more books. Click to expand...

Link the Writer

Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); Don't forget Jeff Shaara's books. He covers the Mexican-American War, the American Civil War, WWI, and WWII from the perspective of a few key people on both sides. They are all very well written.  


D-Doc Active Member

how to describe war creative writing

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); This may not be a feasible option, but you can always try to join the military and experience war for yourself. I'm not saying that all of your war scenes will be poor without direct experience, but it would certainly help. Go to war and write about what you see: the smells, the atmosphere, the graphic details, the slang of the soldiers, the emotions the grab you by the shoulders and shake you until you're forced to lie down and cry. After you've experienced that, you can add or omit details and alter your experiences in war to suit your fiction. Maybe I'm going overboard here, but I've always thought that the true feeling of being in a war is something that one can't articulate genuinely unless one has experienced it himself.  


ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('funpub_d1b6c06a613ea045d332975466700564'); }); CrystalDreamer59 said: ↑ As for the reason the dystopian world attacks the utopian world. They attack the utopian world because they think their culture is best and want to spread their culture. Would this be a good enough reason for attack. Click to expand...

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Rachelle Stewart Ramirez

How to Write a War Story

So, you started writing a War story and got stuck along the way. Maybe you aren’t sure if your story meets all the obligatory scenes and conventions of its genre. Maybe you’re wondering if your controlling idea or theme addresses the overall values at stake in a War story. Maybe you’re asking, what are the core emotions, subgenres, and audience expectations of a War story? Do you even have a War story?

I’ve completed a great deal of research on War stories and I’m excited to answer these questions and more by sharing what I’ve learned.

Let’s get started.

What is a War story?

Fundamentally, a War story includes a single soldier or group of soldiers preparing for, waiting for, engaging in, and possibly recovering from wartime combat. A war story must have soldiers on a battlefield with the possibility of death. It’s important to note that it’s not every story set in time of war. It has to build and lead to a core battle, which is the equivalent of the “hero at the mercy of the villain” scene for a Thriller or the “proof of love” scene for a Love story. A wartime setting could function as a backdrop for any genre. A War story is not a history lesson on war-time conflict, a bunch of battle sequences strung together, or about a protagonist who is just a bad-ass Terminator robot. A war story is much more.

In War stories, human behavior is dramatized to demonstrate the coexistence of brutality and altruism and how extreme circumstances and trauma bring out the best and the worst in soldiers.

The story dramatizes a political perspective on war. (See subgenres and commentary on politics, below.)

What is the Global Value?

The global value at stake describes the protagonist’s primary change from the beginning of the story to the end. It’s the primary arc you’ll keep your protagonist moving along throughout your story.

The global War story turns on honor and disgrace in the context of war.

Conflict in a War story is expressed on three different levels:

External Conflict  arises from fellow soldiers and/or the environmental pressures (weather, enemy forces, terrain). The protagonist is motivated by the expectations and limitations of his team to stay alive, win the battle, and obtain honor via sacrificing for fellow soldiers.

Interpersonal Conflict  is between the antagonist and protagonist. The antagonist of a War story is usually the enemy forces and at least one member of a soldier’s own side, often a higher ranking official.

Internal Conflict  is a war within the protagonist. This usually follows a Worldview or Morality trajectory (or both) and culminates in a shift in thinking that allows the protagonist to display all their gifts while fighting in the Big Battle. In most stories, the conflict might unfold on one or two of these levels. A War story’s conflict must unfold on all three. Confusing? Let’s take a look at the infographic.

The protagonist doesn’t necessarily have to be defeated with dishonor, but it must be a possible outcome. In a War story, the “negation of the negation” is dishonorable defeat presented as honorable. In other words, trying to convince others that one’s dishonorable behavior in war was honorable is equivalent to a character’s damnation.

War stories arises from the protagonist’s physiological AND emotional needs for safety. The War protagonist’s primary goal isn’t love, self-esteem, or financial rewards. Initially their want is to win the battle and stay alive (external storyline, conscious object of desire). They come to realize their need is to believe that life is worth living but, if they must die, dying with honor is better than dying in disgrace.

What’s the Controlling Idea?

A story’s Controlling Idea (sometimes called the theme) is the lesson you want your reader to come away with. It’s the meaning they will assign to your story.

Each of the main content genres has some generic premise statements. They are either prescriptive–a positive story that shows the reader what to do–or cautionary–a negative story that warns the reader about what not to do.

War stories can have broad-ranging purposes. You need to be absolutely clear which type you’re telling.


War is justified and meaningful when waged against a truly evil enemy. (war propaganda, Pro-War subgenre)

War’s meaning emerges from the nobility of the love and self-sacrifice of soldiers for each other. (Credit to Editors Anne Hawley and Leslie Watts)

Honor is gained in war when a soldier sacrifices for their fellow soldier, regardless of victory or defeat in battle.


War lacks meaning when it is not morally justified. (Anti-War subgenre)

War lacks meaning when leaders are corrupt and dishonor soldiers’ sacrifices on the battlefield. (Credit to Editors Anne Hawley and Leslie Watts)

Honor is lost in war when a soldier refuses to sacrifice themselves for their fellow soldier, regardless of victory or defeat in battle.

What Are the Core Emotions?

Controlling Ideas help the writer elicit core emotions from the audience. Because a War story operates on three levels of conflict, it can elicit several different emotions:

Excitement, Fear

People choose War stories to experience courage and selflessness in the face of intense fear, without actual danger. False bravery.

Satisfaction, Pity, Contempt

They may also choose War stories to experience righteous satisfaction at the proper outcome for the protagonist, whether negative or positive. They want to feel pity for the tested and contempt for the unrepentant but righteous satisfaction when the punishment comes.

What are the essential moments? 

Each subgenre has its own essential moments but here is what they all have in common:

A shock (negative or positive) upsets the homeostasis of the protagonist and disrupts their ordinary life. The inciting incident of a War story is an attack that challenges the morals of the protagonist. It must put them under pressure.

The protagonist denies responsibility to respond.

Editor Tip: In overtly refusing the call to change, the protagonist expresses an inner darkness (fear of cowardice and/or fear of uncontrollable rage) or a clinging to unrealistic ideals (a worldview that never allows for the expression of violence). Classic Hero’s Journey.

The protagonist’s refusal of the call complicates the story and the call comes a second time but in a different form, usually as a requirement to fight for someone or something else.

Editor Tip: The War story often compels the protagonist to act without much choice beyond do or die. 

Forced to respond, the protagonist and other soldiers lash out according to their positions on the power hierarchy.

The protagonist’s initial strategy to outmaneuver antagonist fails.

The protagonist learns what their antagonist’s object of desire is.

Editor Tip: The real antagonist is often on the “side” of the soldier rather than a member of the enemy forces.

There is a clear “Point of No Return” moment, when the protagonist accepts the inevitability of death.

The protagonist, realizing they must change their approach to attain a measure of victory, undergoes an All Is Lost moment. The All is Lost in a war story is usually cathartic, a moment of acceptance of fate that either compels madness or resignation.

A Big Battle is the story’s core event. This is when the protagonist’s gifts (usually the gifts of all the team members) are expressed or destroyed. They discover their inner moral code or choose the immoral path.

Editor Tip: Make sure the primary antagonist is present in the Big Battle scene of the climax with the intent to see the protagonist fail.

The protagonist is rewarded with at least one level of satisfaction (external, internal or interpersonal) for their sacrifice. They gain honor or dishonor.

What are the essential situations?

Each subgenre has its own essential situations but here is what they all have in common:

The war portrayed must be necessary to your story, not ancillary. As an example, in  Platoon , the war is what isolates the men together and forces them to act.

There is a team of soldiers on a battlefield confronting life and death stakes.

Editor Tip: Five is a common cast of predominant characters; the protagonist plus four. As  Editor Anne Hawley   pointed out, “Odd numbers of characters in any scene will generate more dynamic energy than even numbers.”

how to describe war creative writing

There is one protagonist with offshoot characters that embody a multitude of that character’s personality traits. Examples are Achilles in  The Iliad , Dienekes in  Gates of Fire,  and Chris in  Platoon .

Editor Tip: Make sure you have a foil for your protagonist within the team. This is the character who embodies the ideals and attributes opposite of your character. As in a  Status story , this character exists to show the reader the other path your protagonist could have taken. An example is Mother in A Midnight Clear who represents the emotional and vulnerable traits that the protagonist, Will, is too cynical and skeptical to show. Another example is Bunny in Platoon who represents a complete lack of moral character and thoughtfulness in opposition to sentimental Chris.

The War itself is a seemingly impossible external conflict. The protagonist confronts overwhelming odds. Often, their team is substantially outnumbered.

As in a  Horror story , physical violence (or the threat thereof) is ever present.

Editor tip: Use this to heighten the consequences of seemingly minor character actions.

The protagonist has a mentor or sidekick, for better or worse. This character may lead the protagonist astray or encourage moral behavior. In  Platoon , Chris has Elias.

The protagonist brings their past into the war in the form of memories, ghosts, photographs, traumas, representational trinkets, etc. Whether they are able to overcome these or lean on these for support in war in order to make the right choices in the end depends upon your subgenre. In  Platoon , Chris brings his emotional isolation with him. He clings to his grandmother and refuses to acknowledge his father. He comes to war to rid himself of the privileges he has at home.

The protagonist receives assistance from unexpected sources, the Herald archetypes. Some examples are the characters who tell the protagonist “the truth” such as Rhah pointing out how good and evil are battling for Chris’ soul in  Platoon  or Eldridge calling out James in  The Hurt Locker . Or they are characters who enable the protagonist, like Bunny in  Platoon .

The protagonist’s values are tested, and the test culminates in a sacrifice for the team, or, in the negative story, in a failure to make the necessary sacrifice. Platoon’s final battle scene tests Chris’s values by giving him the chance to kill Barnes. Chris chooses to sacrifice his own safety during the battle for his fellow soldiers and he kills Barnes in the name of the good of humanity.

Editor Tip: The protagonist’s self-sacrifice makes little emotional sense unless the relationships among the soldiers has been clearly shown long before this culminating scene. By the end of Platoon, Chris has stopped writing his grandmother, is connected to other soldiers, and acknowledges both Elias and Barnes as father figures.

What are the Subgenres?

Ideologically Pro-War, more externally focused stories

The core values of this subgenre ride between honorable victory and dishonorable defeat. These stories focus on the false idea that it is “us versus them” and that one side (usually American) represents the liberators and freedom fighters. “We are good. They are bad.” These stories often assert that a low status person can become a high status person and hero by virtue of their involvement in battle, that they can finally belong. Soldiers are honored and portrayed as the saviours of humanity. Violence is glorified, justified, and meaningful. Battle sequences might be under-realized and the impact of violence and the cost of war are minimized. These stories carry aspects of the Brotherhood subgenre.

Examples of this story are  The Longest Day, Inglorious Bastards, Black Hawk Down, Red Dawn,  and  The Guns of Navarone.

Ideologically Anti-War, more externally focused stories

The core values of this story range between honorable victory and dishonorable defeat. The explicit use of random violence and repeated terror, combined with characters’ heinous acts as behavioral norms within context of their humanity, dramatize the basic premise that war negatively influences behavior and damages lives. Soldiers are flawed and often behave as their own worst enemies. Suspense techniques are employed to simulate the harsh realities of combat whether there is victory or defeat. War is meaningless and horrific for all of humanity, not just soldiers. These stories include at least one  war crime scene  and carry aspects of the Brotherhood subgenre.

Examples of the Anti-War story are  The Red Badge of Courage, All Quiet on the Western Front, Paths of Glory, A Midnight Clear, The Thin Red Line ,  Dispatches  (the novel on which  Full Metal Jacket  was based),  Platoon,  and  Bridge On The River Kwai .

Editor Tip: Some critics and scholars argue that no film can qualify as an Anti-War story. For more information, check out  this link . Whether or not their assertions apply to novels as well is unclear.

Brotherhood, more internally focused stories

The core values of this subgenre are honor and disgrace regardless of victory or loss in battle. Battle sequences are well realized. The trials of War are the external framework on which the internal genre is hung. Action and battle scenes are only used when needed to drive the internal transformation of the protagonist. Scenes may be longer than those of other subgenres to allow for more dialog and the dramatization of the protagonist’s change arc. These stories carry aspects of either the Pro-War or Anti-War subgenres or both. This story has a secondary genre of  Morality  or a Morality/ Worldview  combo in which the protagonist must sacrifice for their fellow soldiers. This story type has a lot in common with the  Performance story .

Examples of this story are  Gates of Fire and The Deer Hunter.

Do you really want to tell a War story?

The challenge in writing a War story is how to innovate while remaining respectful and truthful; how to make sure the story resonates with audiences and that you don’t accidentally glorify war if you meant to damn it.

In my examination of many War stories, I saw the same story repeated over and over. If you can’t make a strong case for why you’re adding another War story to the world and clearly state how your story will be different, I challenge you to ask yourself why you want to tell a War story in the first place.

If you’re telling a primarily external genre story, you may find that your story is better told through the  Performance ,  Society , or  Action  Genre. Look at the controlling ideas and value shifts of these stories and see if they are a better fit.

If you’re telling a primarily internal story, you may find your story is better served by using the frameworks of the  Morality ,  Worldview , or  Status  Genres. Does your story even need ever present threats of violence and horror to work? As you recall, just because it’s set in wartime doesn’t make it a War story. You may even find your story is better served in a different setting than War.

So, if a War story is what best serves your idea, how do you craft it?

By now you know a War story isn’t created by stringing a bunch of battles and carnage together. You’ve seen they’re not a history lesson on the who, what, when, or where of war-time conflict. And you know you are going to have to take your protagonist to emotional extremes as a reaction to war events.

Your story will dramatize how a combat soldier is split between the person they were at home and the person they are at war. Put them through an emotional journey where they are helped by certain members of their team, fight an enemy, destroy part of themself, and suffer a real or metaphorical death and rebirth. Show how individual soldiers react to trauma in different ways, how they struggle with the expected and approved deception of combat with their sense of self and the world outside of combat where they’ve only ever been told to avoid deception. After the trials of horror and pain, they may or may not physically return to the world they came from.

Remember, a soldier isn’t a robot. The journey of a soldier is one of change the hard way. Consider taking your protagonist through the stages of the  Kubler-Ross change curve .

how to describe war creative writing

From what I’ve read, soldiers in a war zone go through four immutable stages. You could send your protagonist through all four or assign individual stages to various supporting characters.

Stage One:  This soldier just arrived. They think they’re in for an adventure and are sure they will survive. They don’t accept advice from senior soldiers or leaders. They’re special and this war gig is manageable without the need for personal change. Or, they underestimate the transformation they need to make to stay alive and honorable. They’re experiencing shock and denial. An example is Chris in the beginning of  Platoon.

Stage Two:  This soldier has seen combat and is changed by it. They recognize they’re in danger and institute caution. They implement change. Now they are accepting mentorship.  In Platoon,  Chris starts paying attention to Elias after Chris is accused of falling asleep on his shift and failing to prevent an attack.

Stage Three:  They’ve seen enough to know the brutalities of war and the rules for staying alive. They are willing to share useful information with others. In  Platoon , King, Elias, Rhah, and Lerner are all at this stage.

Stage Four : The soldier believes they are more likely to die than live through the war. They’ve seen the unexpected and horrific over a long period of time and now believe they’ve cheated death and luck longer than they deserve. In  Platoon,  Barnes reaches this state after he kills Elias.

Stage Five:  Real soldiers rarely get clear resolutions but our protagonists require them. A War story must deliver meaning by dramatizing how the protagonist comes to integrate their experiences in war, even if it is in the short-term. In  Platoon , Chris gives a monologue in the helicopter as he’s lifted off the battlefield that explains both his short-term and long-time thinking.

No matter which stage your protagonist is in, find what could disturb them via the real horrors of war. Is it their fellow soldiers raping, pillaging, killing, and burning civilians? Is it prostitution, a crisis of faith, insubordination, cruel punishment, irreconcilable moral choices? All of it? Mine those events for opportunities to create misinformation and misunderstandings for which your protagonist must contend. Your protagonist is likely hiding something crucial about themselves from their team and maybe something from their people at home. Exploit that.

Find what is truly beautiful and meaningful to the protagonist. Find ways to represent those values in external form. Some examples might be in an animal (“save the cat”), a civilian (mother protecting a child), photograph of a loved one (Betsy back home), religious trinket (pocket Buddha statue), or nature (a crushed flower). 

how to describe war creative writing

Final Thoughts?

Do your research or be consistent with your world building if your story is set in a fantasy setting. Know the following:

Social customs, landscapes, and costumes of the time period

Daily routines of soldiers, their slang, profanity, and communication patterns

Communication devices and transportation methods

Cause of the war and precipitating events

Key figures in the war and which outcome you want to highlight

Editor Tip: Spare us the weaponry lecture or gun porn (specs display). In the context of story, this is exposition and unnecessary detail. What do I mean by that? It’s boring. Good writers skip the boring parts.

On Politics:

If you find a way to avoid becoming polemic in your War story, you’ll be the first I’ve ever seen. You can try the “neutral as possible” approach to your story. After all, if you really understand the horrors of war, you won’t want to support the violence, but what about supporting individual soldiers fighting a war? Can you write a story that is Anti-War but pro-soldier? Is it possible? Or maybe you  want  to make a political point. If so, make sure you are well-informed. Know the political atmosphere and be very specific about what you want your audience to believe. Even if your story has a fantasy or sci-fi setting, politics apply.

On Moving to the Next Level in Your Writing:

Now you have the basics of the War Genre and are ready to finish that story. When you’re ready for an editor, please  contact me  for a consultation on your work.

I hope I’ve been able to help you with your story and I wish you the best of luck and hard work with your writing.

For more discussions on war stories, check out the excellent Editor Roundtable Podcasts on  The Hurt Locker  and  A Midnight Clear .

Here is a list of  War novel suggestions . I’ll add  Bring Out the Dog  to that list.

Suggested readings:   How to Tell a True War Story ,  On Writing the War , and  Write a War Story .

This post originally appeared at where I am a regular contributor for the Fundamental Fridays Series.

2 thoughts on “ How to Write a War Story ”

Thank you ever so much for providing this guidance. As you know, this comports with C.G. Jung and Joseph Campbell, as well as Oliver Stone in his approach to writing ‘Platoon’, and it resonates as sound litetary instruction to me. I’m a Vietnam Combat Vet, and the information you’ve provided I shall share with our Vietnam Veterans group. We are being encouraged to write about our experiences, and some don’t know how to go about it. This will certainly help. Thank you!

C.T. Clements

I specialize in helping people write their nonfiction stories and used to be a mental health therapist. Should anyone in your group need assistance in writing around the tough topics of war, I’d be happy to assist.

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How To Write An Epic Battle Scene

  • by Hannah Collins
  • January 18, 2017

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Whether it’s a muddy siege on a Medieval castle, rugged cowboys firing pistols from horseback, or a laser-beam shoot-’em-up in another galaxy, a great battle scene is a staple of action stories. High stakes, high body count, and – if it is in space – really, really high up.

We’ve covered the fundamentals of writing a good fight scene before , so let’s expand those ideas into the ingredients of an epic battle scene.

One battle scene is great, twelve is too many

Less isn’t always more. I, for one, prefer ‘more’ cake, for instance. But when it comes to battle scenes, this age-old phrase rings true. Why? Because they’ll start to seem like the worst thing an action scene can be: pointless and, by extension, dull. It may be tempting to fill your story with wall-to-wall, adrenaline-pumping battles in the spirit of ‘giving the people what they want’, but this level of drama is hard to maintain.

You also shouldn’t underestimate the power of breathing room in between periods of action. The best romance novels harness this power to its fullest – tantalizing readers with a slow build up of tension punctuated by short flurries of excitement, leading eventually to one or two big, um, ‘ pay-offs ’. This technique is applicable to novels with all kinds of action; it’s just that in a battle scene, the pay-off is more along the lines of slicing off someone’s head.

Define the goals and consequences

We’ve established that you should have plenty of breathing room between big battles, but what should you use that breathing room for? It may seem obvious, but a battle scene needs to have a point. Establishing your character’s goals will help you define why your battle scene is happening in the first place. What is your character’s motivation to fight? What is the end result they need from the battle? Are they going to win or lose? What does the outcome of the battle mean to them? What does the outcome mean for the story?

Determine short, medium and long-term goals for your character. If we use The Hobbit as an example, a short-term goal for Bilbo is answering Gollum’s riddles correctly or distracting Smaug long enough to steal the Arkenstone. A medium-term goal is for men, dwarves and elves to unite and defeat the orcs and wargs in the Battle of Five Armies on the Lonely Mountain. The long-term goal for Bilbo is… Well, just to get back home ASAP and put his hairy feet up. Each of these goals are character-building for Bilbo, as he truly – though begrudgingly – goes above and beyond his role as ‘thief’ in Thorin’s company, and as a result, changes the course of history in Middle Earth. Each of these conflicts also advances the narrative. They serve a purpose beyond mere spectacle.

Make the battle a personal struggle

As always, establishing empathy for your character will prompt your reader to invest in whatever perils you put them through. This is why – with the exception of sequels – starting your book in the middle of a battle is seriously risky. Without your reader knowing who any of the characters are or what the stakes are, there’s no way to make them really care about what’s happening.

The easiest way to heighten the stakes of a battle is to make them personal to both the protagonist and antagonist. Combining internal and external conflict grounds the fighting in something relatable. Huge explosions and thousand-strong armies are exciting, but they aren’t enough to fully engage us. Warring families, grudge matches, vengeance missions, and separated lovers, on the other hand, imbue a battle scene with emotional resonance.

The Battle of Hogwarts in J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a fittingly epic climax to the saga. Even though the reader knows this is a classic clash of ‘good’ vs ‘evil’, the emotional center of the drama rests on a long-awaited grudge match between two established enemies.

“Protego!” roared Harry, and the Shield Charm expanded in the middle of the hall, and Voldemort stared around for the source as Harry pulled off the Invisibility Cloak at last. The yell of shock, the cheers, the screams on every side of “Harry!” “HE’S ALIVE!” were stifled at once. The crowd was afraid, and silence fell abruptly and completely as Voldemort and Harry looked at each other, and began, at the same moment, to circle each other. “I don’t want anyone else to try to help,” Harry said loudly, and in the total silence his voice carried like a trumpet call. “It’s got to be like this. It’s got to be me.” – J. K. Rowling,  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Use perspective to your advantage

Writing an epic battle scene can be a tricky task for one simple reason: it’s a chiefly visual  event. Of course, as an author, this doesn’t need to hinder you. Rather, it should make you even more creative when you sit down to write your battle. Sure, the sight of blood splattering across a camera lens and the clashing sound of steel blades is a potent experience, but narrator-less battles can also be repetitive, confusing, and exhausting to watch. The ‘ Bayhem ’ of the Transformers movies is a good (or should I say ‘bad’) example of this.

Shifting perspective is a key tool, here. In the following action scene from John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold , Le Carré uses the third-person point of view to show us not only what’s happening around Leamus, but his own viewpoint on it.

Leamus was blinded, he turned his head away, wrenching wildly at Liz’s arm. Now she was swinging free; he thought she had slipped and he called frantically, still drawing her upwards. He could see nothing – only a mad confusion of color dancing in his eyes. Then came the hysterical wail of sirens, orders frantically shouted. Half kneeling astride the wall he grasped both her arms in his, and began dragging her to him inch by inch, himself on the verge of falling. – John le Carré, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

We are able to clearly visualize each action as it happens through Le Carré’s economical sentences, and understand the emotional weight of them through Leamus’ reactions – aided by Le Carré’s focus on sensory description. Totally immersive, even without a single robot vs. alien smash-fest.

Keep track of your characters

If your character has to get from A to B via a war zone, you need to know how. After all, it’s probably not going to be a straightforward journey for them, and if it is, you probably haven’t thrown enough hurdles at them. Tracking your character’s path through the battle will stop you (and them) from getting lost or missing out key details, which is especially essential if you’re going to be jumping between different characters’ perspectives. How should you track them? Draw an actual map of the battle. It doesn’t have to look pretty, just functional.

This should also help you keep track of where landmarks are in relation to your characters at every point in the battle. Landmarks can be used as anchors for your reader as you move your character around the scene. If there’s, say, a castle to the north-west of where your character starts, where will that castle be when they’re at the half-way point, or at the end? How many yards or miles away is it? You may not end up including all of these details, but clear planning will help with clear description. You might want to convey a sense of chaos to your reader, but you don’t want to lose them in it.

The perfect battle scene

The major mistake that most authors make when writing a battle scene is to treat the battle itself as the focus. In written works, battles are about results, and these are far easier to communicate through individual characters.

Don’t try to communicate the chaos of warfare head on, but have it happen to your characters. Blow up their escape route, drop a building on them, and bombard them with trouble. If you want to show the battle on a wider scale, split them up, or spread them throughout the battle scene before it starts.

Spectacle is drawn from consequence – if a city the reader has never visited is overrun, they’ll struggle to care, but if they’ve been there in peacetime and know what’s being destroyed, or understand the city’s tactical value to the protagonists, then they know exactly what its loss means. The key to a great battle is in quantifying the events within it; the reader needs to know what’s at stake, what’s being lost, and what each specific event means for the overall outcome .

Why is the arrival of the cavalry always such a great moment? Because it completely alters the stakes and outcome in a way the reader understands (usually bringing the ‘good guys’ back from the brink). If you want to guarantee an epic battle scene, start with the goals of the protagonists and extrapolate moments that put those goals under threat. You’ll have a tense, exhilarating battle scene before you know it.

Do you have a favorite battle scene that’s inspired your writing? Let me know in the comments! Or, for more advice about writing combat in your story, check out Here’s How To Write A Damn Good Fight Scene ,  The 5 Immutable Laws Of Writing A Good Action Scene , and  How (And When) To Kill A Character .

  • Action , Alternate history , Antagonist , Case study , Fantasy , Fiction , Plot , Point of view , Protagonist , Science fiction , Story settings , World building , Young adult

how to describe war creative writing

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Hannah Collins

Hannah Collins

6 thoughts on “how to write an epic battle scene”.

how to describe war creative writing

Thank you, Hanna, wonderfully concise and understandable. Love that you used LeCarre to illustrate; one of my favourite scenes. You explained why, beautifully.

how to describe war creative writing

Thank you very much for the kind words! Yes, any opportunity to reference LeCarre has to be taken, IMO.

Thanks, Hannah

how to describe war creative writing

Hanna, this was good. I particularly liked (and took notes) about sketching the battle site/city/planet/dungeon. The point you made of “consequence” is spot on. Your example author, Tolkien wrote some epic battle scenes; Battle of Pelennor Fields comes straight to mind. He did just as you recommend, narrowed the viewpoint to only a few main characters and let their experiences reveal the action. One thing I’d add, if your battle comes before the Grand Kablooie, then it must have its own significant plot consequences. Main characters have to die. A battle for the sake of adding drama or action to an otherwise dull sequence will only make it worse.

Thanks for the comment and the kind feedback. Yes, Tolkien really was a master of his craft. I don’t think Peter Jackson’s adaptations would have been as strong as there were without the source material being so good.

I agree – without reason and consequence, a battle scene is all empty spectacle. A battle scene preempting the climax would – as you said – have to contain something as significant as a character death or bring closure to a subplot in order to avoid that trap.

how to describe war creative writing

Thank you Hanna, this was well made and everything I had hoped for. There are really good points to take away from this. Especially the thoughts on personal struggles, consequences for the reader and keeping track of your characters.

But I have some questions for my own story. My story starts with a battle scene, even though this is risky. It will be fairly short and not an entire intricate battle. Even though the reader does not know the character, or the stakes, I figured this a way to show what the character has gone through before he returns to the place where most of the action takes place. And it shows there will be battles and blood.

What do you make of this? Is this a viable “start with action”? Or should I keep some things in mind?

Hi Francis,

Thanks for the comment – I’m glad you found the article useful.

Starting a battle is a risky thing to do, as you said, but by no means impossible to pull off. I think keeping it fairly short – as you mentioned you would – is a good idea, just so you don’t risk losing the reader’s interest. If I were you, I would consider focussing that battle around your main protagonist(s) and use it as a device for your reader to get to know them. Personally, I don’t usually mind if I’m thrown into an action scene (or just any scene) and don’t immediately know what’s going on and what the stakes are, because there’s a kind of pleasure in discovering that as the scene continues. But what I do think is essential is connecting with the characters as quickly as possible. You want the reader to want to keep following them, even if they’re not sure of the destination yet.

Try and inject your protagonist’s personality into all of their actions and dialogue, and keep in mind how they’d be feeling during the battle – excited? Nervous? Scared? Angry? Once the battle is over, you can move into a ‘quieter’ section to reflect on what’s just taken place, which is when some key exposition will probably be needed to contextualise everything – including the all-important stakes.

I hope that helps.

For further advice on starting a story, you might find these articles useful too: // // //

Good luck with the writing!

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How to Write Powerful and Realistic Battle Scenes

Here are some techniques for creating powerful, exciting, realistic battle scenes.

1. Set the point of view

The biggest challenge in writing a battle scene is the point of view. To make the experience exciting and moving, it’s best to stick to the perspective of a single fighter. However, the individual soldier can’t see what goes on a few feet from him, let alone what’s happening at the other end of the battlefield or how the sun dyes the horizon bloody red.

Here’s a possible solution: Show the terrain before the fight begins, and have the general give a pep talk explaining the overall strategy. Once the fighting is over, show the battlefield and have your point of view character talk with his comrades about the implications.

2. Stack the odds against the heroes

Do you want to involve the reader’s emotions? Stack the odds against your heroes. The readers’ natural sympathies lie with the smaller army. The greater you can make the numerical difference, the better. The evil overlord’s army is bigger than the hero’s, and it is much better equipped, too.

Have you heard of the battle of Thermopylae (480 BC), when three hundred Spartans defended Greece against thousands of invading Persians? The Spartans knew they were going to die, and fought anyway, to gain time for their homeland to prepare further defenses. Since then, thousands of battles have been fought – and forgotten. Thermopylae is remembered. The story has been retold in many novels, non-fiction books, and films. The incredible bravery against overwhelming odds still rouses audiences’ emotions. When writing your own battle scenes, use Thermopylae as your inspiration.

3. Plan the battles like a general

Battles don’t just happen: they are usually planned. At least one side seeks the battle and is prepared.

The generals plan a battle strategy in advance, and make sure that their officers know it. In the heat of the battle, it’s often impossible to change strategy or give orders. Sometimes, soldiers are still fighting when the battle has already been decided, because they don’t know that their king is dead or the enemy general has surrendered.

Often, the location decides the outcome of the battle. Generals choose the location carefully – and so should you, the author! If the battle takes place on a slope, the army uphill has a huge advantage, because it’s easier to fight downhill than uphill, and because missiles fly further. Each general tries to make the battle happen in terrain which favours his own army, and where the enemy can’t fully deploy his.

For example, chariots are fearsome on the plain, but useless in the mountains. Foot archers can fight on any terrain, especially in the mountains. The general who has many chariots will try to force a battle on the plain, while the general who has archers will try to lure them into mountainous terrain.If one general has a small army and his enemy has a large one, he’ll try to lure them into a gorge or other restricted space where they can’t move.

Armies are organized in units either by level of skill and experience (elite, veterans, novices, untrained peasants… ) or by weapons and equipment (cavalry, infantry, archers, spearmen, chariots… ) or both.

4. Rouse the spirits of the fighters, and your readers

Before the battle, the general probably addresses the troops, firing their fighting spirit and courage. This pep talk may include depersonalizing the enemy, because soldiers are more willing to kill monsters than to kill fellow human beings. It’s easy to kill a man whom you consider a menace to your children, and difficult to kill him if you think of him as a fellow human who loves his children as much as you love yours.

Noble thoughts and ideals have no room during battle. The thinker of noble thoughts and carrier of high ideals during battle won’t survive. If you want to show your hero’s nobility, do it when the fighting is over: perhaps he gives the fallen enemies a decent burial, or ensures that his captives get medical treatment and food.

5. Bring in elements of surprise

Consider using interesting or extreme weather to make your battle scene unusual. Imagine pristine snow which gets trampled, becomes slippery, and stains red with blood. Or a strong wind which blows arrows off course. Or blistering heat and glaring sun. Or week-long rain turning the field into knee-deep mud, making it difficult for foot soldiers, let alone horses or chariots. Or fog blocking the view of the enemy.

At the beginning of the battle, both armies shoot missiles to take out as many of the enemy as possible before they get close. In a historical novel, clouds of arrows may darken the sky before the battle begins.

6. Make the fighting visceral

When the fighting is under way, describe only what the point of view character can see: this is probably only what is immediately before him, such as the enemy weapon stabbing at him.

To create excitement, mention sounds: the clanking of swords, the hissing of arrows, the pinging of bullets.

Once the fighting is over, the survivors count their dead, bandage their wounds and repair their weapons. In this section, you can inject realism.

Soon after the battle, there’ll be carrion birds (e.g. crows, vultures) feeding on the corpses. There’ll be humans (probably the victorious soldiers) gathering up re-usable weapons (because weapons are valuable) and looting the corpses. The battlefield is covered in blood, gore, and amputated limbs. The stench is awful, because in death, the bladder and bowels have opened. Plus, there’s the smell from injuries, not just blood (which starts to stink only after a while) but the content of stomachs and intestines from belly wounds. The stench gets worse after a few hours, especially if the weather is hot. After some hours, the corpses will be crawling with flies, and before long, there’ll be maggots.

If you’re aiming for great realism, you may want to spend several paragraphs describing the gruesome aftermath. If you want to create more light-hearted entertainment, it’s best to keep the aftermath section short and to skip the gory details.

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Killing innocents kills innocence and all that remains is guilt; war is not a 'catch all' excuse.
In war let us keep a warm heart and a cool head, remembering always the humanity of the 'othered' or else lose our own.
"In war," said the commander, "it is foolish to put effort into gaining ground you'll never keep. All it does it does is put at risk what you have. If we can't maintain a gain in good health and order, defend it properly, we alter our path."
Let our art of war be a love song. Let us tell the oppressed peoples of totalitarian regimes that we love them and their cultures. Let us show that we defend not attack, support not suppress and bring freedom squared.
The pope made the invaded country consecrated ground. The entire nation became the same thing as a church. One cannot murder in a church, and so we waited to see if the war would be over.
We actually do expect the literary inquisition because it happens in periods of war and instability. We expect the rounding up and "shooting" (literal or figurative - depending on where you are) of literary intellectuals because we have the power to make the world anew. The question I would like to pose though, is why? We can make a heaven on Earth. We can bring dignity and a powerful sense of sacredness to every person in the world, we can bring a good future for all mankind. We can bring the love-nexus. We can show that we care for every nation. We can make war a thing of the past. We can solve the problems that are creating poverty, misery and sickness... So, dear leaders of the money-nexus, we should be welcomed as friends who can solve your problems, provide answers and bring societal calm and cooperation. We are the solution, not the problem. We are the cure, not the disease. We have the ability to bring lasting order through positive neurological healing of populations. So... I get it... there are millions and billions of people to care for... that's a huge responsibility... so, let us help. Let us help. Because we will work all our days for that end, for every human, for all of creation. We were born for this. Not for power, yet for service and support. The pen is more powerful but we have the same objective... peace ... thriving cultures... a sustainable world... a future for everyone that has a great standard of living. That said, dear young writers, dear young intellectuals, please stand back and let the grown ups get on with this. By all means comment, make your opinions heard, it is the leaders are who are always targeted. This is the war of your parents generation. We have the life experience. We have the duty to protect the young. You own the future; let we old ones own the now. For in this battle is the truth of Generation X. Your truth will come later. You will continue the fixing of Earth long after we have passed on. Be safe, we love you. xxx
Here at the W.I.N. we show the correct techniques for release of populations from harmful elements of culture and control. Freedom is best! They must break the harmful loops and route the new comprehension via the creative empathy elements of the brain. Thus, the brain is built better and their own problem solving ability is enhanced, thus society moves toward peace! The opposite is what many politicians and conspiracy theorists have done for generations, they seek to either make harmful loops with fear, or break them but route the new comprehension via emotional indifference, anger, greed and such. While this gets fast "results" it causes long term damage to the neurology of the population - thus it tilts the axis of history to social decay, war and devolution. Yikes!! So, come be our students, dear wordsmith of talent. We are the best there is.
The drive toward variation meets the drive toward conformity for group safety in opposite directions. The relative power of these forces in the neurology of each organism and the society will determine the strength of each. Variation is favoured by safety and has the power to drive creativity and discovery. Conformity is favoured by adversity in all forms, a recipe of negative factors combined. It is, however, worthy of note, that these forces are not equal. The history of humanity is a bloody tale of genocide. Thus only the survivors are our collective ancestors. Thus the drive toward conformity is a preparation for war and is amped in power by comparison. Thus in times of fear the proper leaders must have an upper brain (PFC) capable of dominating their primitive drive and converting that amped power into solution finding over war strategy. It is a simple switch, yet all leaders must possess the ability for such.
In the love-nexus there is no war, because we evolved passed it. Until you are willing to see the role the money-nexus plays in suffering, you can't get to where we are, to the kind of society we have. We wish you well, Earth, we do. But you have all the information you need. You have all the technology you need. Do you want to save yourselves and your planet or not? It's up to you. We're going home now, back to our world.
There are better and worse versions of loss. We are aiming for the better version because then we have the strongest base possible for rebuilding. That is our victory, it is the only one on the table, and it is a painful, sad and desperately awful form of success. Society can fall a hundred stories, seventy, thirty... whatever happens, however much we win, it will be measured in how much more we could have lost than we did. I'm sorry the news is that bleak. But, there you go.
All lifeforms compete when needed resources are in short supply, the money nexus creates both artificial scarcity and concentrates need in already deprived areas. Thus both conventional war and social wars (decay) are direct results of the money-nexus system.
"It is odd, is it not?" said Lucy, "that they are so keen to socialise the funding of war and not health."
Negative actions create negative chaos, and negative chaos is destructive. Positive actions create positive chaos, and positive chaos is constructive. And when we look at the history of war and peace we see these simple truths at the heart of the matter.
For one nation to control another for their own selfish purpose, through war or intellectual domination, is a form of barbarism; the divine gifts which we have been given are there for the purposes of loving and supporting each other. Thus with love as our "supreme first principle" we will find the roads to peace and global freedom.
To promote peace, to prevent war, to bring societal health, we must reverse the artificial shortages of essential resources around the world. Food suppression must end, the technological advances that can bring an age of abundance must be developed for the benefit of the entire species in the spirit of cooperation and love.
Grandpa sighed and rocked back in his chair, his eyes showing the sorrow of the years. Emily, love, all you ever need to know about most wars is to follow the money and power interests. The stuff about religion and race is a smokescreen. The side who want the wars only use that to subdue a population, it's a variation of mind-control. Once your emotions are engaged and you're afraid, you will keep going back for more of the same, making a cage for your mind. If the public discourse is about anything other than money or power it's bullshit, sorry, pardon my french. Let's look at Afghanistan, it's all about money and power and the side who start all this they had no ability to love, and that is the mark of the devil's pawns. The war boosted sales of weapons, the population of Afghanistan became psychologically devastated and vulnerable - the exact condition the evil side wants humans in, in this state they can be made to grow drugs and be fodder for the drug trade. They are easy to exploit for human trafficking in all the various forms that takes. And they are easy to radicalise and thus extend the cycle of money and power going into the hands of the evil side. So all anyone really needs to do to solve this is to follow the money, follow the power dynamics and it'll all be over. Anyone with a good heart would have put all that money into food, education, music, dance... into reestablishing the healthy Afghan culture. War, power, money - they were all manifestations of the same thing, all of them devoid of the only thing we know keeps mankind safe - the ability to love.
Artificial resource restriction is a weapon of war, a way to cause stress in a population and enough tension to bring conflict. Restriction of any need or ability to lead a happy life will lead to war... even the most healthy of cultures will become toxic if basic needs are refused. When we see control of food, restriction of production and flow, that is a tool of war and we must be clear in our hearts and heads that it is such. To put any population into "survival mode" in their brains is to inhibit proper brain development, stopping creative thought and the development of spider neurones - (the neurone that is needed in all socially complex species). Thus the answer to war and peace once again is in the monetary system.
What is war, but the slaughter of our finest at the devil's command? How can we evolve when our best are taken? So let's stop being fooled into blind hate and rancour and reach out with the only arms God gave us in full love, in the name of, and with the bravery of, our fallen heroes of all sides.
It is when we love our enemy that they become our friends, and this is the death of war itself. When we see their children and feel the yearning to put food in their bellies and hear their laughter ring, infusing with the laugher of our own children, we make a lasting bond, a pact with love itself. This is when truth comes, and the silence is all the words we will ever need, for this is the intelligence of the heart, the language of the universe.
"Lucy, if you want sheep in a pen you need barking dogs outside. In our world, war and terrorism are the barking dogs, the pen is capitalism. And no, don't speak of communism, there is no communism as Marx envisaged, only totalitarianism and oligarchy. So, the question I ask is, who benefits from all this?"
"The roots of war are in how we communicate, from there the path is set. We fail to comprehend that language is just a crude tool to communicate a concept. Often the reply to any question is not a reply but the ruminations of the brain of the other, dealing with what was said. Most of the time our dialogues are simply different ways to express the same ideas. If we communicate like two closed fists, we are doomed to repeat history. If we open our hearts and minds our ideas can come together to create peace and harmony, like open hands coming together to overlap, the fingers weaving together. Perhaps we can't agree on climate change, but we can agree on the need to protect the ecosystems we all depend on, and doesn't that give the desired result for all? Perhaps we can't agree on abortion, but we could work together to make a society where every child has enough food and good shelter - making abortion an illogical choice unless the life of the mother is at stake. If we think that debate equals argument and success is standing your ground, we'll never turn this ship around before we hit the iceberg, and then what? Will we fight over the arrangement of the chairs as we sink beneath the icy brine?"
It was well known from the monsters of history that people didn't react to death tolls if they were too high to comprehend. One death can mobilize a community, even a nation. Many deaths, hundreds or thousands, can make a lasting impression to be used for good or bad intentions. Millions of deaths were the ticket, make it bloody enough and people will keep on eating their cornflakes and pouring their coffee. We just aren't wired to cope with that kind of devastation and so we don't, like a safety shutdown. So the path for the warlords was simple, make sure the death tolls are as high as possible. For those freaks that are able to react - shut them down with fear of the "enemy." Wicked fun. Worked every time. The only antidote was to shine a light on one dead child at a time, just one. Let the world see each God's child killed in the name of war, in the name of money and greed.
When the war came it was Goliath against David, only this time Goliath had all the toys. It was no old fashioned battle with the young men of the enemy coming to fight the fathers of our homeland, the ones who would die for their families. The smart bombs were only as smart as the person guiding them and no amount of collateral damage was too much. If generations were wiped out as they took their "surgical strike" then so be it, even of their target wasn't even home at the time. As warfare becomes more modern those who chose to kill remain isolated from the horror, and the trigger pullers are heavily trained to follow orders; yes sir, yes marm. Only the lowest ranks see the blood, the dead children and their parents, bodies lined up like fallen dominos. They have the ruined lives and the PTSD. The higher ranks live out their fantasies of power like some hollywood blockbuster "shock and awe." But I can tell you that here on the ground we live out your worst nightmares daily.
Central banks fund all sides of every war. They never lose.

Authored by Unknown , here .

Peace cannot be achieved in a system where there are people who make profits on war.
It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking.

Authored by Ron Paul , here .

The engineering of the war is something I'd like to take credit for, it wasn't easy. In this day and age it would be so easy for the populations to communicate directly, understand each other's points of view and heaven forbid, become "friends." They had to hate one another, human nature helped of course. They all wanted to be "right" and "superior." Religion was such a wonderful vehicle for all that, a way of using the best parts of their natures to boost the worst parts instead of suppressing them. I'm telling you it was genius. I guess that makes me a genius. What? Am I ashamed? Not at all. We're still on top aren't we? Life is cruel. Get over it.
War was always problematic. People just didn't want to fight. In their hearts they're all namby-pamby traders who want to take junior out to the ball park on the weekend. Even with the finest psychologists it was near impossible, those "Your country needs you" posters just wouldn't cut it anymore. We employed ivy league graduates to tell us what it would take to raise the population against our "enemy." We didn't like the answer. But what was the alternative? We needed war for our economy, to maintain our global position, but you can't rally a population around that flag. They needed to be "educated" on why the enemy is bad and fear that they or their families will personally suffer if action isn't taken. It takes years of course, but so long as the lie is big enough no-one suspects a thing - apart from the crazies. But then they also believe in UFO's and dress up for Star Trek conventions, so in a way, the louder they shout the better. It just solidifies the "normal" opinions.
The war ended when people refused to fight. The religious leaders and academics stood as one and said to turned off our media streams. They asked if every weekend we cold spend at least ten minutes meeting someone new from somewhere else on the globe - mostly on Skype - just meet them, exchange recipes and learn their children's names before we choose to drop another bomb. How can you kill people you know? Most of us aren't psychopaths. It took time of course, nothing is instant, some of it happened over YouTube. But the most powerful connections were live conversations between families. After the pleasantries we talked of the details of our every day lives, how we work to put food on our tables and survive. It was crazy, you know, but they were right. I can't kill my friend.
War came over the horizon like a slow moving tank. We became anxious, scared. Violence once confined to the television was playing out on our streets. The drama of hollywood was written in blood on the sidewalk. We choked on the liberal progress we had made to be multi-cultural, to accept different faiths and cultures like it was acrid air. No longer could we see muslims as human, only enemies, threats. Then we did what every generation has done since the dawn of time, when push came to shove we were easy to manipulate into war. Propaganda is so easy to see from the lens of the future, we think it's blatant and those folks long ago were wicked and stupid. But it turns out we haven't evolved at all. Our culture put up some resistance for a time, perhaps if we had caved to the will of the government sooner they might have stopped some of the carnage on our own soil. But we had to “learn.” So in came the brown-skinned men to slaughter our children until we bayed for the bombs...
We had enough food for the most part, housing and healthcare. We had resources and good infrastructure. So why did our young go to war? Why did their parents demand that an army be sent? They say that back then the bombardment of bad news was delivered many times a day in “news stories.” The “enemy” had to threaten our own homes, well-being and culture. They were repeatedly dehumanized and debased in our eyes, shown to be barbarous and cruel. We lost respect for them, and deep down felt glad when they died; glad because the threat to the ones we held dear had been lessened. Who benefited from this war? Not us tax-payers and not the “enemy.” We lost good people, so did they; but they lost far more. They were like David with the sling-shot and we took them back to the stone-age. I've heard people say that with pride, but I've done my own research and I know how many of their civilians died, children included.
With each bullet fired I felt nothing; my brain just shut down. I prayed the kids were alright with their mother, my love. Had I stopped for a moment to consider the awfulness of war I can't say I would have made it home at all. Every death was a man I could have loved as a brother in another time or place. The bombs we dropped killed folks I would have laid down my life for had I been given the chance to know them. But that is war. You fight and win or you die. On wintry nights when my wife sleeps, I creep out to the porch and let the bitter wind bite at my skin. It's real. It keeps me grounded when I think the memories will drown me from the inside. On bad nights I hear the screaming, see the blood, smell the gun powder. One time I saw a toddler at the end of my bed dressed in an enemy uniform. We aren't meant to kill each other, we're supposed to protect, to love. What kind of sociopaths get us into wars anyway? Kids aren't collateral damage, each one is as precious as the ones I lo
In war they say “To the victor go the spoils,” but that phrase has been out of date for so long. In war to the ammunitions and bomb makers go part of the spoils, the rest is handed out in contracts to rebuild what was blown up. Yet more is made from the harvesting of resources. It is a simple business model: the country is selected, fanaticism is sown, encouraged and trained with money that comes convoluted roots from our own elite. Then the young go of their own free will to commit the terrorism that will end their own lives, their state, their culture. They die to protest the wrongs committed to them, but ultimately only play into the enemy's hands. If I could go back in time I'd tell them that the only way to win is to show your humanity, your goodness, your love to the world. I would say the enemy dehumanizes you in order to rally their armies of ordinary citizens. I would say don't talk to the generals or the governments, but ordinary citizens with no vested interest in war.
Gordon raised his silver brows. "You are so naive. In a world with such weapons as we have there can be 'no all-out-wars.' It would be suicide for us all. Instead we win by undermining the economics of the other countries - war by another name. Once undermined, the citizens are stressed and easy prey to fundamentalism. They are "on the ropes" with their national mental health: drinking, taking drugs, or starving. Soon they are at war with one another, citizen X will kill citizen Y over a small difference of religion or perhaps a loaf of bread. Who will be our competitors then? No-one! They'll be lining up at the boarders just to be our road sweepers. So don't look at me like that you idiot, war always causes death, only this time we just supply the weapons, every shade of dogma and hold back on the things they need for basic living. Now get out; I have a war to win."
The war was fought by turning the strengths of opposing societies into the tools of their destruction. For the west their greatest strength was their liberalism, their will for all to feel welcome and included in society. All it needed was a shove into politically correct anarchy with the needs of the many being subverted to the needs of a few. For the middle east their greatest strength was their devotion to God and their enemies found it all to simple to set religious factions against one another. Why kill your enemy when it is far simpler to have them kill one another? For the poor countries it was simple to corrupt their leadership with money and power, selling the populous into slavery. But finest strategy of them all was global finance, everyone wanted money and its supply was controlled by the real masters, the ones who thought nothing a few million deaths here and there...
We solved war when we saw the simple flaws in our thinking. We thought religious tension was the cause and war, the spending on weapons, was a symptom, or result, of that tension. In reality, the war, the spending on weapons, the desire for power and money was the cause... and religious tension was the symptom. A doctor can never cure a patient if he is trying to fix a symptom, the patient will only become well after the cause is discovered. To find peace, to cure war, you must first properly diagnose the cause - money and power. So, soldiers of peace, ignore everything else except the trail of money and the power dynamics, because then solutions will become obvious. These solutions will require new and creative thoughts and ways of being loving and kind, for the only way out of a tangled mess is a new thread, be brave enough to follow it into a new and better world.

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How to Write Battle Scenes

Last Updated: April 28, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Hunter Rising . Hunter Rising is a wikiHow Staff Writer based in Los Angeles. He has more than three years of experience writing for and working with wikiHow. Hunter holds a BFA in Entertainment Design from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and a Minor in English Writing. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 11,714 times.

A memorable battle scene can add a lot of action and tension to your story, but it can feel intimidating to write since there are so many elements to keep track of. No matter what genre you’re writing, your battle should feel exciting and keep your story’s plot moving forward to keep your readers engaged. While it may take time to plan out and work on multiple revisions of the scene, you can easily include epic battles in your writing!

Outlining the Battle Sequence

Step 1 Sketch a map to help visualize the battlegrounds.

  • You don’t need to draw a map if you don’t want to, but it can be very helpful for you to understand the layout.
  • If you’re basing your story in a real location, look online for a map so you can use it as a reference.

Step 2 Define your character’s goals and what they expect from the battle.

  • Your battle should always affect the protagonist’s progress toward their long-term goals, or else it won’t feel like there were any real conflict or consequences from it.
  • Make the battle feel more dramatic by giving the character personal stakes in the battle, such as rescuing a loved one or breaking free from an oppressive ruler.

Step 3 Determine what equipment and forces each side of the battle uses.

  • Even if you give both sides different weapons or equipment, try to keep them evenly matched to make the scene more dramatic.

Tip: Try making the enemy forces slightly stronger or larger than the protagonist since it can add more tension and drama to your writing. It will also help readers empathize and root for your main character. [4] X Research source

Step 4 Design strategies for each side of the battle.

  • For example, if your protagonist is a noble fighter, they may try to attack the enemy head-on. However, the enemy forces may try to surprise your protagonist by striking from the flanks.
  • Avoid making it too easy for your protagonist to win the battle since it won’t feel as dramatic or satisfying to the reader.
  • Opposing forces will rarely have the same battle plans since they are trying to defeat each other and they’ll be viewing the battlefield from different perspectives.

Step 5 Plan out the major events of the battle.

  • Many battles only last for a few minutes or hours, so keep in mind how long the events last while you’re outlining.

Step 6 Make a change in the story world with the outcome of the battle.

  • For example, if an evil king wins a battle in a city, they may try taking over the land and imposing their own laws.
  • As another example, if your protagonist’s long-term goal is to gain power, they may gain the respect from their peers if they win the fight.

Writing Your First Draft

Step 1 Describe the terrain before the battle starts to set the mood.

  • For example, you could write, “The red sun peeked over the mountains on the east, breaking through the fog covering the plains. Finally, I was able to see the wide river to the west preventing any surprise attacks. As the fog lifted, I could barely make out the silhouettes of infantry quickly approaching.”

Step 2 Write the experiences of a single character to add more emotion and tension.

  • It’s okay to switch between characters during the scene, but consider how each one views the battle differently and what stakes they’re fighting for. For example, infantry in the front lines will have a more difficult experience in the battle than a general who’s watching it from a distance.

Step 3 Use short and actionable sentences to add a sense of urgency.

  • For example, instead of writing, “From his scabbard, he pulled out his longsword before defending himself against the knight,” you could say, “He drew his sword and blocked the knight’s strike.”
  • Long sentences can make the action seem slow so the battle won’t seem as dramatic or hectic.

Tip: Look for more actionable versions of verbs for your writing. For example, rather than using “run,” you could instead write, “bolt,” “charge,” or “dart.”

Step 4 Add sensory details to the scene to make it seem more realistic.

  • For example, you may write, “The rain mixed with the blood on the battlefield, filling his nose with the scent of earth and iron. He licked the salty sweat from his lips and continued marching forward. He could barely hear his boots squish through the mud over the shouting and screaming of the infantrymen around him.”
  • Avoid overly descriptive paragraphs that don’t contain any action since it will make your writing feel like it’s dragging on.

Revising the Scene

Step 1 Take a break from your writing after you finish the scene.

  • Try working on a different scene while taking your break. That way, you’re still writing and getting work done.

Step 2 Read over the scene and highlight any awkward or confusing parts.

  • Avoid focusing on spelling or grammar errors during your first revision since they’re minor compared to how well you comprehend the writing.
  • Print out your scene if you’re able to since it can be easier to write directly on the paper while you’re editing.

Step 3 Ask other people to read your scene to get their opinions.

  • You may also reach out to writing teachers or professors you have if you’re in school for additional feedback.

Step 4 Continue making revisions until you’re happy with the final draft.

  • It may take multiple revisions to make the scene concise and easy to follow.

Expert Q&A

  • Use real-life battles and military strategy to help you get ideas of how to structure the fight in your writing. [16] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Try to avoid editing or revising as you write your first draft since you won’t get as much work done. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Avoid directly plagiarizing other writers because you can get into legal trouble. [17] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Be careful not to over-describe the fight scenes or use confusing language since it could make the battle seem like it’s slow. [18] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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The First Draft Pro logo: a rainbow gradient over a book with text in charcoal.

A short guide to writing war novels

Five women, standing side to side in their military uniforms.

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War novels have long fascinated readers with their gripping accounts of heroism, tragedy, and the human condition. As a writer, it is crucial to understand external content genres like the war novel in order to craft a compelling narrative that appeals to readers. This guide will explore the conventions, obligatory scenes, and tips for writing a successful war novel.

What is the war genre?

The war genre in fiction focuses on the experiences of soldiers and civilians during times of war. These stories often explore themes of heroism, sacrifice, loss, and the impact of war on individuals and society. Examples of war fiction include "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque, "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien, and "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller.

The war genre is one of the external content genres , which focuses on the external conflicts and events that drive the story. Understanding the external content genre helps you develop stories that meet reader expectations and deliver a satisfying experience.

When to choose the war genre

Choosing the war novel genre for your story can be an excellent decision if you want to delve into themes of courage, sacrifice, and the human experience when facing adversity. Consider the historical context, themes, and ideas you want to address, and evaluate your familiarity with the genre to determine if a war novel is the best way to convey your message and captivate your audience.

Conventions of the war genre

The war novel genre is characterized by several key conventions:

  • Setting: War novels typically take place during a specific historical conflict or war, whether real or fictional.
  • Protagonist: The protagonist is often a soldier or civilian caught up in the conflict, facing extraordinary challenges and hardships.
  • Conflict: War novels depict the physical, emotional, and moral struggles experienced by the protagonist and those around them.
  • Themes: Common themes in war novels include courage, sacrifice, loyalty, survival, and the impact of war on individuals and societies.
  • Tropes: Expect to encounter battles, camaraderie among soldiers, military hierarchy, and the civilian experience in a war novel.
  • Tone and atmosphere: War novels often have a somber, intense, and emotionally charged atmosphere that immerses readers in the story.

Obligatory scenes of the war genre

There are certain scenes that readers expect to encounter in a war novel:

  • The introduction of the protagonist and their motivations for joining or being involved in the conflict.
  • A depiction of the brutal reality of war, including battles, injuries, and the loss of comrades or loved ones.
  • Moments of camaraderie and bonding between the protagonist and their fellow soldiers or civilians.
  • A turning point or crisis that tests the protagonist's courage, loyalty, and convictions.
  • The resolution of the conflict, whether through victory, defeat, or a return to civilian life, and the protagonist's reflection on the impact of the war on their life and beliefs.

Tips for writing a compelling war novel

To create a captivating war novel, consider the following tips:

  • Conduct extensive research on the historical context, military tactics, and cultural nuances of the era to ensure your story is authentic and accurate.
  • Develop engaging and complex characters with distinct personalities, motivations, and backstories that readers can connect with.
  • Create a vivid and immersive setting that transports readers to the front lines, using rich descriptions and sensory details.
  • Craft an engaging plot with twists and turns that maintain reader interest and build suspense throughout the story.
  • Use authentic language and dialogue that reflects the time period and the experiences of those involved in the conflict, while remaining accessible to modern readers.

To craft a war novel that meets reader expectations and allows your unique voice to shine, it's essential to understand the conventions and obligatory scenes of the genre. You should also remain sensitive to the experiences of those who have lived through war and approach the topic with respect and empathy. With dedication and careful attention to detail, you can contribute to the rich tradition of war literature and create a story that resonates with readers for generations to come.

  • Coyne, Shawn. 2015. The Story Grid. New York, NY: Black Irish Entertainment.

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Writing Beginner

35 Tips for Writing Fight Scenes (Ultimate Guide + Examples)

Writing fights scenes can be as thrilling as they are challenging.

Creating intense action sequences, engaging characters, and vivid settings requires meticulous planning and execution.

Here are my best tips for writing fight scenes:

Write fight scenes by starting with a dramatic hook and establishing stakes. Balance fast action with detailed moments. For realism, do thorough research and consider emotional aspects. In fantasy or superhero settings, define power limitations and emphasize emotional stakes.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to describe fight scenes in writing.

35 Best Tips for Writing Fight Scenes (That Readers Love )

Digital image of two warriors with axes - Tips for writing fight scenes

Whether you’re penning a historical war or an epic fantasy, the following 35 tips will help elevate your fight scenes to unforgettable experiences.

Get ready to unleash the warrior in your words.

1. Clash of Titans: The Importance of Scale

Sometimes, size does matter.

Understanding the scale of your fight is vital for delivering an engaging experience.

If it’s a skirmish between two rival gang leaders, the intimacy and grit will be the focus.

On the other hand, an epic clash between galactic empires will have monumental stakes and grandiose displays of power.

Example : In Lord of the Rings , the Battle of Helm’s Deep feels incredibly intense because of the scale.

A small number of defenders are trying to hold off an overwhelming force, making every moment suspenseful. It’s not just about clashing swords but the survival of a way of life.

2. Architects of War: Build the Battlefield

Your battlefield (or fight zone) is more than just a backdrop – it’s a character in its own right.

Whether it’s the muddy fields of medieval Europe or an asteroid in outer space, the setting affects tactics, emotions, and outcomes.

Don’t just mention it—describe it in a way that adds another layer to your fight scenes.

Example : In George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones , the Battle of the Bastards takes place in an open field but it’s the mud, the trenches, and the wall of bodies that make it memorable and affect the combat.

These features become tactical elements that characters use to gain an advantage or suffer setbacks.

3. The Echo Chamber: Sensory Storytelling

Fight scenes are a sensory overload.

The smell of gunpowder or the clang of steel, the touch of rain or the sight of blood – these details pull readers into the action.

Incorporate as many senses as you can to provide a full, immersive experience.

Example : In Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games , the arena is described not just visually but through the smells, the feeling of the ground underfoot, and the ambient sounds around.

When arrows fly or traps are sprung, all senses are engaged, making readers feel like they’re right there in the battle.

4. Quicksilver Moments: Pacing

Pacing is the heartbeat of your fight scene.

Too slow, and it becomes a slog. Too fast, and you lose emotional impact.

Break up long, descriptive passages with short, punchy sentences to maintain a rhythmic flow.

Use cliffhangers at the end of chapters to keep your reader turning pages.

Example : In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the Battle of Hogwarts varies in pacing.

It has breathless moments where spells are flying quickly but slows down for emotional depth when characters we love are in peril or make sacrifices.

5. Choreographed Chaos: Balancing Actions

Balancing the action means knowing when to detail a sword swing and when to pull back for a panoramic view.

You don’t need to describe every parry and thrust, but focusing on key actions can accentuate the drama and tension.

Alternate between zooming in for small but significant actions and zooming out to give a broader picture of the battlefield.

Example : In the film adaptation of The Matrix , Neo’s showdown with Agent Smith is a perfect blend of detailed close-ups and wide shots that capture both the intricacy of their fight and the scale of the destruction around them.

6. Masters of Deception: Misdirection and Strategy

Good battle scenes aren’t just a showcase of brute strength.

They involve strategy, deception, and sometimes even a bit of luck.

Plant seeds for surprises or turns of events that will shock the reader and heighten the stakes. When a battle looks like it’s going in one direction, a clever tactical move can flip it on its head.

Think of the fight scenes in the John Wick , Bourne Identity , or Fast and the Furious franchises.

Example : In Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Ender wins a simulated battle by doing the unexpected—attacking the planet directly instead of its surrounding forces.

It’s a shocking move that surprises both the characters and the readers.

7. Dive into the POV: Perspective and Focus

The point of view (POV) you choose can greatly affect the reader’s emotional engagement.

Close third-person or first-person perspectives can offer intimate, ground-level experiences, while an omniscient POV can provide a grand, sweeping overview of the fight.

You can even switch between multiple POVs to show different facets of the conflict.

Example : Bernard Cornwell often uses a tight third-person perspective in his historical novels, making you feel every sword clash and see every drop of sweat, grounding you in the intense emotions and physicality of the characters involved.

8. Orchestra of War: Crafting a Soundscape

Fight scenes are noisy affairs, filled with shouts, clangs, and roars.

But what sounds dominate your particular scene? The cadence of marching boots? The pop-pop-pop of gunfire? The rustling of arrows?

Identifying and incorporating a specific “soundtrack” into your scene can deeply influence the reader’s experience.

Example : In Dunkirk , Christopher Nolan uses the ticking of a watch and a gradually intensifying soundtrack to create a sense of urgency and tension.

Similarly, you can use the sounds in your battle to heighten the emotional stakes and keep readers on the edge of their seat.

9. The Dance of Death: Choreographing Duels

Individual fights or duels are often highlights in a story.

These moments need to be choreographed carefully.

Every move, block, and strike should reveal something about the characters involved, whether it’s their skill level, emotional state, or underlying motivations.

Example : In Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers , the duels aren’t just fights – they are conversations in combat, revealing character traits, alliances, and enmities.

Each clash of swords is a statement, each parry a counter-argument.

10. Bravery and Blunders: Showcasing Character Flaws

Nobody is perfect, and fight scenes are the perfect place to let those imperfections shine.

Maybe your hero misjudges a swing or the villain gets overconfident.

These mistakes make the characters relatable and the outcome unpredictable.

Example: In the Star Wars saga, Anakin Skywalker’s overconfidence becomes his downfall in his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi.

His flaw doesn’t just make for an exciting fight. It also serves as a pivotal character moment.

11. The Fog of War: Creating Confusion and Uncertainty

In real battles, confusion and lack of information are often as dangerous as the enemy.

Apply the “fog of war” to your scenes by obscuring certain facts or presenting misleading information, creating suspense and uncertainty for both the characters and the readers.

Example : In Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls , the protagonist, Robert Jordan, has to make decisions based on incomplete or conflicting information, adding a layer of tension and uncertainty to the already chaotic battlefield.

12. Emotional Highs and Lows: The Rollercoaster Ride

Battle scenes can be physically exhausting to read if they’re not broken up by changes in emotional intensity.

Moments of hope, despair, love, and loss can provide much-needed respite and deepen the reader’s emotional investment in the outcome.

Example : In the Battle of Helm’s Deep in Lord of the Rings , the emotional low point occurs when all hope seems lost.

But then Gandalf arrives with reinforcements, providing an emotional high that changes the tide of battle.

13. Art of the Underdog: Flip the Odds

Everyone loves a good underdog story.

There’s something inherently satisfying about a small or ill-equipped group overcoming overwhelming odds

If you’re writing such a scenario, focus on resourcefulness, bravery, and a bit of good luck to make the victory believable.

Example : In 300 by Frank Miller, a small force of Spartans fights against overwhelming Persian forces.

Despite their eventual defeat, their bravery and tactics inspire future generations, turning the battle itself into a legend.

14. Fleeting Moments: Capture Small Victories and Defeats

In any fight scene, there are minor victories and setbacks that occur before the final outcome.

These give depth to your fight scene and keep your readers engaged by creating a dynamic ebb and flow of action.

Example : In Saving Private Ryan , each secured building or cleared trench gives the soldiers a momentary win, but each casualty they take is a minor defeat.

These ups and downs keep the audience invested in the unfolding battle.

15. Cosmic Consequences: The Bigger Picture

Sometimes a fight is about more than just the combatants involved.

It has broader implications for a community, a nation, or even a world.

Remind your readers what’s at stake on a grand scale to elevate the emotional intensity.

Example : In Avengers: Endgame , the final battle is about the fate of the entire universe.

This broadens the scope and stakes of the conflict, making every punch and kick feel significant.

16. Stakes and Sacrifices: What’s to Lose and Gain

Physical conflict is only part of the fight.

Internal conflict can also ratchet up the tension.

Make it clear what your characters stand to gain or lose emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically, adding another layer to the physical stakes.

Example : In Les Misérables , the barricade scenes become a crucible for the characters’ beliefs, hopes, and relationships.

This adds emotional weight to the physical conflict.

17. The Aftermath: Consequences of Battle

A fight changes a landscape, both physically and emotionally.

Don’t cut away as soon as the action stops. Show the aftermath.

Whether it’s the jubilant victors, the wounded, or the dead, the way you describe what remains can be as impactful as the fight itself.

Example: In War and Peace , Tolstoy doesn’t shy away from detailing the grim aftermath of battle, describing the wounded, the dead, and the psychological toll on the survivors.

This adds a poignant, humanizing touch to the grand tapestry of war he describes.

18. Rhythm of the Fight: Sentence Structure Matters

The way you construct your sentences can directly affect the reader’s experience of the battle.

Short, choppy sentences can increase the tempo and create a sense of urgency.

Meanwhile, longer, more complex sentences can be used to describe grand strategies or intricate maneuvers.

Example : In Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian , the violence is often rendered in short, brutal sentences that mimic the abrupt nature of combat.

This contrasts sharply with longer, more poetic descriptions that capture the setting or the characters’ internal thoughts.

19. Gods of War: The Role of Divine Intervention

In certain settings, especially those influenced by mythology or fantasy elements, divine intervention can play a crucial role.

Perhaps a god favors one of the warriors, or an ancient prophecy is being fulfilled on the battlefield.

These elements can add another layer of complexity to your scenes.

Example : In Homer’s Iliad , the gods not only watch the battle but actively participate, supporting their chosen champions and even rescuing them from mortal danger.

This injects an entirely different set of tactics and considerations to the human conflict below.

20. Nature’s Wrath: Environmental Challenges

Don’t forget that Mother Nature can be as much a part of a fight as any soldier or weapon.

Elements like rain, snow, and fog can add complications that make your fight scenes richer and more unpredictable.

Example : In the Battle of Agincourt as described in Shakespeare’s Henry V , the muddy field plays a significant role in hampering the French knights, giving the English longbowmen an advantage.

The weather becomes as much an enemy as the opposing army.

21. Tragic Turns: Unexpected Casualties

Sometimes, a well-loved character’s death can serve as a dramatic turning point in the fight.

Unexpected casualties can shock the reader and characters alike, raising the stakes and adding emotional depth to the conflict.

Example: In J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix , Sirius Black’s sudden death in the middle of battle comes as a shock, fundamentally changing Harry’s experience and emotional state for the remainder of the fight.

22. Micro-Moments: Zooming into Emotional Beats

Even in the midst of chaos, small, intimate moments can be impactful.

A soldier’s reaction to an order, a shared glance between comrades, or even a quick flashback can offer a reprieve from the action and add emotional richness.

Example : In Band of Brothers , during the intense battles, there are moments where the camera zooms in on individual soldiers reacting to events around them.

Fear, a quick decision, or a moment of relief – these micro-moments make the larger battle more personal.

23. Symbols and Metaphors: Layered Meanings

Symbols, such as flags, sacred relics, or significant locations, can add deeper meaning to your fight scenes.

They can serve as rallying points, sources of inspiration, or even elements of division and conflict within your ranks.

Example : In The Lord of the Rings , the banner of the White Tree serves as a powerful symbol for Gondor’s fighters.

Its appearance on the battlefield lifts the spirits of the allies and provides a focus that transcends the immediate physical conflict.

24. The Fog Clears: Moments of Clarity

In the midst of chaos, a moment of clarity for your characters can be a powerful narrative device.

This can be a sudden realization of love, the clarity of their cause, or even a flash of brilliant strategy that could turn the tide of battle.

Example : In The Matrix Revolutions , Neo reaches a moment of clarity during his final battle with Agent Smith.

His realization about the interconnectedness of their existences allows him to make a crucial decision that ultimately ends the war.

25. Words as Weapons: The Power of Dialogue

Even in fight scenes, dialogue is crucial.

From rallying cries to verbal sparring between enemies, the words your characters choose can be as impactful as any physical weapon.

Example : In Braveheart , William Wallace’s pre-battle speech does more than just rally his troops.

It serves to crystallize the stakes of the battle and provides a focal point for the reader, establishing the emotional weight of what’s to come.

26. Unlikely Heroes: Spotlight on Minor Characters

Sometimes, minor characters can steal the spotlight in a fight.

They might save the day, make the ultimate sacrifice, or simply provide comic relief.

Giving minor characters moments to shine can add unexpected twists and emotional richness to your action scenes.

Example : In Game of Thrones , Podrick Payne, a minor character, has his moments of bravery and competence in battle.

Such moments provide depth to the larger conflict and contrast to the more established warriors.

27. Women Warriors and Mighty Maidens: Diversity in Combat Roles

Representation matters, even on the battlefield.

Including a diverse array of fighters—be it gender, ethnicity, or even species in fantasy settings—can make your battle scenes more inclusive and relatable to a wider audience.

Example : In Mulan , the titular character disguises herself as a man to fight for China.

Her presence on the battlefield challenges traditional gender roles, and her eventual triumph comes from leveraging her unique skills, rather than conforming to expected norms.

This attaches social commentary to the action.

28. The Morale Mechanism: Group Dynamics and Psychology

In a fight, the emotional and psychological state of a group can be as crucial as their physical prowess.

Describing shifts in morale, moments of collective doubt, or a sudden surge of courage can layer complexity on your scene.

Example : In Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series, the British soldiers often sing or use humor to boost morale.

The mood among the troops can shift rapidly depending on their situation, adding another element of tension and potential for reversal in the story.

29. Musical Mayhem: Incorporate Songs and Chants

In many cultures, music, chants, or hymns play a role in warfare.

From war drums to bugle calls to soldiers singing together, these can be powerful tools for setting the mood and deepening cultural context.

Example : In the historical film Zulu , British soldiers sing “Men of Harlech” to boost morale during the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.

This use of music blends cultural depth and an emotional layer to the already intense situation.

30. Tipping Point: The Moment Everything Changes

Every fight has a “tipping point”—a moment when the outcome swings clearly in one direction.

Identifying and amplifying this moment can provide a satisfying climax to the action.

Example : In the Battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows , the moment Harry reveals he’s alive is a significant tipping point.

It reignites the will to fight among his allies, making the ultimate victory possible.

31. Unseen Hands: The Role of Non-Combatants

Not everyone on the battlefield is a warrior.

From medics to messengers to spectators, non-combatants can play important roles in your fight scenes, providing new perspectives and opportunities for heroism or tragedy.

Example : In Gone with the Wind , Scarlett O’Hara is not a soldier.

But her experiences during the Battle of Atlanta provide a different, harrowing view of the conflict.

Her actions and observations add depth to our understanding of the battle’s impact.

32. A Spoonful of Humor: Light Moments in Dark Times

Even in the direst circumstances, a bit of humor can provide relief and humanize your characters.

A sarcastic quip, a ridiculous mishap, or just a moment of irony, humor can make your fight scenes more engaging and relatable.

Example : In Marvel’s The Avengers , Tony Stark’s quips during intense fight scenes serve to lighten the mood and endear his character to the audience.

His humor doesn’t downplay the stakes.

Instead, it adds another dimension to the action.

33. The David Strategy: Use of Ingenious Tactics

Sometimes, the underdog wins by using unconventional or surprising tactics.

Describing such ingenious strategies can not only make the battle more interesting but also showcase the cleverness of your characters.

Example : In Ender’s Game , Ender uses unconventional tactics to win battles in the Battle Room and, ultimately, against the alien Formics.

His innovative strategies make each confrontation intriguing and intellectually satisfying.

34. Echoes of History: Reference Real Battles

Drawing parallels to real historical battles can lend authenticity and depth to your fictional confrontations.

You can recreate a specific historical battle or just borrow elements from one.

Example : George R.R. Martin has stated that the Red Wedding in A Song of Ice and Fir e was inspired by real events like the Black Dinner and the Massacre of Glencoe in Scottish history.

These historical echoes bring a chilling layer of realism to the shocking turn of events.

35. The Final Blow: Ending with a Bang (or a Whimper)

How your fight ends can be just as important as how it unfolds.

Will it end with a dramatic final showdown or an anti-climactic whimper?

The conclusion should serve the broader narrative and character arcs.

Example: In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe , the battle ends with Aslan’s dramatic return and victory over the White Witch, serving both the plot and the underlying allegorical elements of the story.

Here is a great video about how to write fight scenes:

How Do You Write a Superpower Fight Scene?

Fights between superheroes, spellcasters, or other supernatural entities require special care and consideration.

The Spectacle: Making the Impossible Possible

Superpower fights are where you can really let your imagination run wild.

Whether it’s magic, advanced technology, or otherworldly abilities, the sky’s the limit.

However, remember that every power should have limitations or a cost to keep the fight tense and engaging.

Example : In a superhero script, you might describe a character flying at supersonic speed to intercept a falling satellite, but then struggling with the immense heat and pressure.

  • Create visually stunning moves or tactics.
  • Define limitations or costs for each superpower.

Emotional Underpinning: More than Just a Showdown

Even a fight with the most dazzling superpowers can fall flat without an emotional core.

Why are these characters fighting? Is it just to save the day, or is there a deeper, personal reason?

By grounding the spectacle in emotion, you give your audience more reasons to care about the outcome.

Example : In Marvel’s Civil War , the fight between Captain America and Iron Man is impactful not just because of their superpowers but because of their fractured friendship.

  • Insert emotional stakes or backstory to the fight.
  • Use dialogue or flashbacks to add emotional depth.

By paying attention to these factors, from the initial setup to the emotional undertones, you can create battle scenes that are not just thrilling, but also emotionally resonant and memorable.

The key lies in balancing spectacle with substance.

30 Best Words for Describing a Battle Scene

  • Devastating
  • Cataclysmic

30 Best Phrases for Describing a Battle Scene

  • “A cacophony of clashing steel.”
  • “Thundering hooves and battle cries.”
  • “A dance of death and valor.”
  • “Waves of arrows darkening the sky.”
  • “Swords drawn and spirits unyielding.”
  • “Grim faces set in determination.”
  • “A torrent of blood and sorrow.”
  • “A symphony of chaos and courage.”
  • “Where valor meets its ultimate test.”
  • “The ground slick with the blood of the fallen.”
  • “Cannons roar, shaking heaven and earth.”
  • “A storm of lead and fire.”
  • “A whirlwind of slashes and parries.”
  • “In a hailstorm of bullets.”
  • “The sky ablaze with falling embers.”
  • “Deafening blasts and piercing screams.”
  • “The battlefield strewn with the fallen.”
  • “A solemn dance on the edge of oblivion.”
  • “The air thick with smoke and dread.”
  • “A merciless rain of fire and fury.”
  • “Eyes ablaze with unquenchable resolve.”
  • “Soldiers advancing like a relentless tide.”
  • “The thunderous clash of war drums.”
  • “A wall of shields, unbreakable and resolute.”
  • “The final charge, do or die.”
  • “A desperate struggle, tooth and nail.”
  • “Each strike fueled by adrenaline and fear.”
  • “The silence before the storm of violence.”
  • “Cutting through enemy lines like a hot knife through butter.”
  • “The solemn tolling of the death knell.”

Final Thoughts: Tips for Writing Fight Scenes

Sometimes fight scenes explode into all out war or battle scenes.

Other times, they end with death, loss, and funerals. Whereover your story takes you, we have a guide to help you write it.

Check out some of our other articles below.

Related posts:

  • How to Write Battle Scenes: The Ultimate Guide
  • How to Describe Nervousness in Writing (23 Tips + Examples)
  • How to Describe a Brave Person in Writing (21 Tips + Examples)
  • How to Describe Pain in Writing: 45 Best Tips with Examples

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How to Write a Perfect Essay On/About War (A Complete Guide)


War is painful. It causes mass death and the destruction of infrastructure on an unimaginable scale. Unfortunately, as humans, we have not yet been able to prevent wars and conflicts from happening. Nevertheless, we are studying them to understand them and their causes better.

In this post, we will look at how to write a war essay. The information we will share here will help anyone craft a brilliant war essay, whatever their level of education.

Let?s commence.

What Is a War Essay?

A war essay is an essay on an armed conflict involving two states or one state and an armed group. You will be asked to write a war essay at some point if you are taking a history course, diplomacy course, international relations course, war studies course, or conflict management course.

When asked to write about a war, it is important to consider several things. These include the belligerents, the location of the conflict, the leading cause or causes of the conflict, the course of the event so far, and the possible solutions to the conflict.

The sections below will help you discover everything you need to know about how to write war essays.

An essay about war can take many forms, including:

  • Expository essay ? where you explore the timeline of the wars (conflicts), losses/consequences, significant battles, and notable dates.
  • Argumentative essay . A war essay that debates an aspect of a certain war.
  • Cause and Effect essay examines the events leading to war and its aftermath.
  • Compare and contrast a war essay that pits one war or an aspect of the war against an
  • Document-based question (DBQ) that analyzes the historical war documentation to answer a prompt.
  • Creative writing pieces where you narrate or describe an experience of or with war.
  • A persuasive essay where use ethos, pathos, and logos (rhetorical appeals) to convince your readers to adopt your points.

The Perfect Structure/Organization for a War Essay

To write a good essay about war, you must understand the war essay structure. The war essay structure is the typical 3-section essay structure. It starts with an introduction section, followed by a body section, and then a conclusion section. Find out what you need to include in each section below:

1. Introduction

In the introduction paragraph , you must introduce the reader to the war or conflict you are discussing. But before you do so, you need to hook the reader to your work. You can only do this by starting your introduction with an attention-grabbing statement . This can be a fact about the war, a quote, or a statistic.

Once you have grabbed the reader's attention, you should introduce the reader to the conflict your essay is focused on. You should do this by providing them with a brief background on the conflict.

Your thesis statement should follow the background information. This is the main argument your essay will be defending.

The introduction section of a war essay is typically one paragraph long. But it can be two paragraphs long for long war essays.

In the body section of your war essay, you need to provide information to support your thesis statement. A typical body section of a college essay will include three to four body paragraphs. Each body paragraph starts with a topic sentence and solely focuses on it. This is how your war essay should be.

Once you develop a thesis statement, you should think of the points you will use to defend it and then list them in terms of strength. The strongest of these points should be your topic sentences.

When developing the body section of your war essay, make sure your paragraphs flow nicely. This will make your essay coherent. One of the best ways to make your paragraphs flow is to use transition words, phrases, and sentences.

The body section of a war essay is typically three to four paragraphs long, but it can be much longer.

3. Conclusion

In the conclusion section of your war essay, you must wrap up everything nicely. The recommended way to do this is to restate your thesis statement to remind the reader what your essay was about. You should follow this by restating the main points supporting your thesis statement.

Your thesis and the restatement of your main points should remind your reader of what your essay was all about. You should then end your essay with a food-for-thought, a recommendation, or a solution. Whatever you use to end your essay, make sure it is relevant to what you have just covered in your essay, and it shows that you have widely read on the topic.

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How to write a war Essay? ? The Steps

Several wars have taken place on earth, including:

  • World War I and II
  • Russian Civil War
  • Chinese Civil War
  • Lebanese Civil War
  • Syrian Civil War
  • The Spanish Civil War
  • The American Civil War
  • Afghanistan War

The list of wars that have happened to date is endless.

Writing a war essay is never easy. You need to plan your work meticulously to develop a brilliant war essay. If you are assigned to write a war essay or paper, follow the steps below to develop a brilliant essay on any conflict.

1. Read The Assignment Instructions Carefully

You must know precisely what to do to write a brilliant war essay. College professors typically provide multiple instructions when they ask students to write college essays. Students must then read the instructions carefully to write precisely what their professors want to see.

Therefore, when you get a war essay assignment, you must read the instructions carefully to understand what is needed of you entirely. Know exactly what conflict your professor wants you to focus on, what aspect of the conflict (the origin, the chronology of events leading to the war, external factors, etc.), what sources they want you to use, and the number of pages they want.

Knowing what your professor needs will help you to develop it nicely.

2. Do Your Research

After reviewing the war assignment instructions, you should research the topic you?ve been asked to focus on. Do this by Googling the topic (and its variations), searching it in your college database, and searching it in scholarly databases. As you read more on the topic, take a lot of notes. This will help you to understand the topic better, plus its nuances.

Once you understand the topic well, you should start to think about what precisely your essay should focus on. If you like, this will be the foundation of your essay or the thesis statement.

Once you settle on the thesis statement, read more on the topic but focus on information that will help you defend your thesis statement.

3. Craft A Thesis Statement and Create an Outline

At this point, you should have a rough thesis statement . Once you have read more information on it as per the previous step, you should be able to refine it into a solid and argumentative statement at this point.

So refine your thesis statement to make it perfect. Your thesis statement can be one or two sentences long but never more. Once you have created it, you should create an outline.

An outline is like a treasure map ? it details where you must go comprehensively. Creating an outline will give you an overview of what your essay will look like and whether it will defend your thesis statement. It will also make it easier for you to develop your essay.

Ensure your outline includes a striking title for your conflict essay, the topic sentence for each body paragraph, and the supporting evidence for each topic sentence.

Related Read:

  • Writing a compelling claim in an essay
  • How to write sound arguments and counterarguments

4. Start Writing the Introduction

When you finish writing your essay, you should start writing the introduction. This is where the rubber meets the road ?the actual writing of your war essay begins.

Since you have already created a thesis statement and an outline, you should not find it challenging to write your introduction. Follow your outline to develop a friendly compact, and informative introduction to the conflict your essay will focus on.

Read your introduction twice to make sure it is as compact and as informative as it can be. It should also be straightforward to understand.

5. Write The Rest of Your Essay

Once you have created the introduction to your war essay, you should create the body section. The body section of your essay should follow your outline. Remember the outline you created in step 3 has the points you should focus on in each body paragraph. So follow it to make developing your essay?s body section easy.

As you develop your essay's body section, ensure you do everything nicely. By this, we mean you develop each topic sentence entirely using the sandwich paragraph writing method.

Also, make sure there is a nice flow between your sentences and between your paragraphs.

6. Conclude Your War Essay

After writing the rest of your essay, you should offer a robust conclusion. Your conclusion should also follow your outline. As usual, it should start with a thesis restatement and a restatement of all your main points.

It should then be followed by a concluding statement that provides the reader with food for thought. You should never include new information in your conclusion paragraph. This will make it feel like another body paragraph, yet the purpose of your conclusion should be to give your reader the feeling that your essay is ending or done.

7. Proofread and Edit Your Essay

This is the last step of writing a war essay or any other one. This step is final, but it is perhaps the most important step. This is because it distinguishes an ordinary essay from an extraordinary one.

You should proofread your essay at least thrice, especially if it is short. When you do it the first time, you should look for grammar errors and other basic mistakes. Eliminate all the errors and mistakes you find. When you do it the second time, you should do it to ensure the flow of your essay is perfect.

And when you do it the third and last time, you should use editing software like to catch all the errors you might have missed.

When you proofread your war essay in this manner, you should be able to transform it from average to excellent. After completing this step, your war essay will be ready for submission.

Related Articles:

  • How to write an essay from scratch
  • Writing a reflection essay on any topic (including war)

Tips for Writing a Brilliant War Essay

Follow the tips below to develop a brilliant essay.

  • A brilliant topic is always vital.

When you are assigned a war essay, you should do your best to choose or create a brilliant topic for your essay. A boring topic focusing on something discussed and debated a million times will never be brilliant.

  • A strong thesis statement is essential.

Along with a brilliant topic, you need a strong thesis statement to make your war essay brilliant. This is because a strong thesis statement is like a lighthouse ? it will guide safely to the harbor (conclusion).

  • Do not be afraid to discuss the tragedy.

Sometimes war details can feel too graphic or gruesome, leading to hesitance on the part of students when they are writing articles. Do not hesitate or be afraid to discuss tragedy if discussing tragedy will add to the substance of your essay.

  • Be impartial.

Sometimes it can be challenging to write an impartial essay, especially if you relate to or strongly support one side in a conflict. Well, this should never happen. As a researcher, you must be as impartial as you can be. You must inform your reader of all the facts available to you without bias so they have an accurate impression of whatever you are talking about.

  • Ensure your work has flow.

This is one of the most important things you must do when writing a war essay. Since war essays sometimes discuss disparate issues, ending with a disjointed essay is straightforward. You should do all you can to ensure your workflows are well, including using transition words generously. 

  • Proofread your work.

You should always proofread your essays before submission. This is what will always upgrade them from ordinary to extraordinary. If you don?t proofread your work, you will submit subpar work that will not get you a good grade.

  • Explore unexplored angles.

Chances are, whatever war or conflict you write about has already been written on or reported on a million times. If you want your essay to be interesting, you should explore unexplored angles on conflicts. This will make your work very interesting.

War Essay Sample to Inspire your Writing

Here is a short sample of a war essay on the Russia-Ukraine War.

The most affected cities in the Russia-Ukraine War 2022

The Russia-Ukraine war has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions across Ukraine. It has also led to the destruction of civilian homes and infrastructure across Ukraine. The eastern cities of Bakhmut, Kharkiv, and Mariupol are the most affected cities in the Russia-Ukraine War 2022.

Bakhmut in southeastern Ukraine is the site of the bloodiest and longest-running battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces. The city is strategic as it is close to supply routes that the Russians use in the occupied territories of southern Ukraine. It is estimated that as much as 90% of Bakhmut has been destroyed in Russia?s bid to take over the city.

Mariupol is a Ukrainian port city between Russia and the Russian-occupied Crimea. Russia decided to take the city early on to deny Ukraine a foothold close to its border and operation areas in the south. Yet the city was defended by a fanatic Ukrainian military battalion that swore not to give it up. This led to Russia bombing much of the city to the ground. In the end, Russia won the battle for Mariupol and now controls the city and the surrounding area.

Kharkiv is Ukraine?s second biggest city. It is less than 45 minutes away from the Russian border. Taking the city was one of the top priorities for Russia at the start of the war because of its proximity to Russia. Nevertheless, Ukraine deployed much of its army to defend the city and has managed to do so. Nevertheless, this has come at a cost. Much of Kharkiv?s infrastructure is destroyed. Its power lines, highways, roads, railways, dams, and industries are destroyed.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has affected much of Ukraine, especially the eastern cities of Bakhmut, Kharkiv, and Mariupol. All three cities have suffered tremendous infrastructure damage in the past few months. Efforts must be made by the two state parties and the international community to prevent further destruction of Ukrainian cities in this conflict.

War Essay Topic Ideas

Not sure what to write about in your war essay? Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

  • Causes of Russia-Ukraine conflict in 2022
  • What led to Russia?s annexation of Crimea in 2014?
  • Causes of Tigray conflict in Ethiopia
  • Somalia-Kenya border conflict
  • Conflict in eastern DRC
  • Secessionist movements in the UK
  • Western Sahara versus Morocco
  • Causes of the Libyan Civil War
  • The American war of independence
  • The American civil war
  • The English civil war
  • The Napoleonic wars
  • The French invasion of Russia
  • Causes of the crusader wars
  • The German invasion of Poland and its consequences
  • The battle of Stalingrad and its bearing on the cause of WWII
  • The causes of World War I
  • The Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia
  • What caused America to end the Vietnam War
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis
  • The fall of the Berlin Wall
  • The Arms Race
  • Role of the cold world war in shaping the world we live today
  • The causes and consequences of the Syrian Civil War
  • The role of propaganda in the Iraq War
  • Implications of the Syrian Civil War

As you Come to the End, ?

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30 Best Adjectives For War

It is helpful to know the different kinds of war and how to describe it if you are writing about war. Here is a list of adjectives for war.

Although it’s not a subject one likes to think about too often, war is a reality in our world and has always been .  Whether you like it or not, wars have profoundly shaped our world. Apart from geographical changes, wars have radically influenced ideologies, economies, politics, and societies. Therefore, human development and history cannot be studied without considering the impact of war.

The Ukrainian-Russian war has once again reminded us that we have not been able to eradicate conflict and war as a global society. Therefore, I thought writing an article that lists adjectives for war and other relevant words might be relevant. 

Here are the adjectives that will be discussed in this article:

2. Military Operation

3. civil war, 4. cold war, 5. espionage, 6. psychological warfare, 7. proxy war, 8. alliance, 9. limited war, 10. total war, 11. ceasefire, 12. armistice, 13. guerrilla warfare, 15. terrorism, 16. cyber warfare, 18. endless, 20. horrifying, 22. relentless, 23. fearful, 24. chaotic, 26. senseless, 27. unprecedented, 28. murderous, 29. triumphant, 30. patriotic, top 30 adjectives for war.

Adjectives for War

If you are writing an essay, article, or blog post on war, these 30 descriptive adjectives can help you describe the kind of war and its experience.

Example: It would appear that despite all of Putin’s rhetoric, what is happening between Ukraine and Russia right now is a full-scale war.

Example: Putin has refused to call his unprovoked invasion of the Ukraine war, choosing to describe it as a special military operation instead.

Example: The American Civil War, which took place between 1861 and 1865, caused the most significant number of fatalities in the country’s history.

Example: The term Cold War was not used before 1945, when the infamous Cold War between the Western bloc, led by the U.S., and the Soviet bloc, led by the Soviet Union, started.

Adjectives for war: Espionage

Example: Espionage was widely used during the Cold War between the Western Allies and the Eastern Bloc to gather information that could be used against each other.

Example: During the Cold War, Russia and the U.S. engaged in psychological warfare by means of espionage and the manipulation of information.

Example: Although the U.S. and other NATO members are not willing to admit it, their support of Ukraine in its current war against Russia through the military aid they provide looks very much like a proxy war.

Example: The two major alliances that formed the warring sides in WWI were the Triple Entente, consisting of Britain, France, and Russia, and the Triple Alliance, formed by Germany, Austria, and Italy.

Example: An example of limited warfare in history includes the Korean War, in which U.S. President Harry S. Truman chose to contain North Korea instead than destroy it.

Example: Apart from the two World Wars, history contains many other examples of total wars. These include the Mongol invasions, the Crusades, and the Third Punic War.

Example: During WWI, pockets of British, Belgian, German, and French troops held impromptu ceasefires on Christmas Eve in 1914. This event has become known as the Christmas Truce.

Example: WWI ended with an armistice in which both sides agreed to lay down their arms and permanently seize all military operations.

Example: The Boer raids against the British during the South African Wars, also known as the Boer Wars, are examples of Guerrilla Warfare.

Example: The Trojan War, during which a dozen armed Greek warriors emerged from a large wooden horse outside the gates of Troy after pretending to give up the battle, is a famous example of an ambush.

Example: The September 11 attacks, commonly referred to as 9/11, are an instance of international terrorism.

Example: In the current war between Ukraine and Russia, the Russians have been accused of various state-level cyber attacks.

Example: During WWII, the Germans executed a new military tactic, named blitzkriegs, to quickly gain control of the enemy’s territory.

Example: The war feels endless; will it ever be over?

Example: War can be cruel; warfare is not kind.

Example: Warfare is horrifying for everyone involved; the deaths and lives lost are horrible.

Example: The fighting was grim to witness, both sides were violent, and the results were gory.

Example: The bombs were relentless and kept coming and didn’t stop until the whole town was rubble.

Example: We are all fearful of the war that rages on; it is a scary reality that we are living through.

Example: The fighting was chaotic, there was no strategy, and we all went in blind.

Example: War is a no-win situation; we all lose; violence and warfare do not solve the problem, it only causes horrifying destruction and loss of lives.

Example: The senseless killing of innocent people is the reality of each war; there are no winners, only senseless death and destruction.

Example: The current war in Ukraine has created an unprecedented crisis of food shortages and a lack of resources for the people of Ukraine.

Example: The war rages on, and the murderous dictator orders his troops forward into the town of civilians.

Example: We emerged triumphant from the war after successfully invading and conquering the country.

Example: It is our patriotic duty to protect our country and nation during war and destruction.

If you are interested in learning more, check out our round-up of 400 descriptive words !

how to describe war creative writing

Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.

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Helping writers become bestselling authors

Setting Description Entry: Desert

August 30, 2008 by BECCA PUGLISI

how to describe war creative writing

A landscape of sand, flat, harsh sunlight, cacti, tumbleweeds, dust devils, cracked land, crumbing rock, sandstone, canyons, wind-worn rock formations, tracks, dead grasses, vibrant desert blooms (after rainfall), flash flooding, dry creek…

Wind (whistling, howling, piping, tearing, weaving, winding, gusting), birds cawing, flapping, squawking, the fluttering shift of feasting birds, screeching eagles, the sound of one’s own steps, heavy silence, baying wild dogs…

Arid air, dust, one’s own sweat and body odor, dry baked earth, carrion

Grit, dust, dry mouth & tongue, warm flat canteen water, copper taste in mouth, bitter taste of insects for eating, stringy wild game (hares, rats) the tough saltiness of hardtack, biscuits or jerky, an insatible thirst or hunger

Torrid heat, sweat, cutting wind, cracked lips, freezing cold (night) hard packed ground, rocks, gritty sand, shivering, swiping away dirt and sweat, pain from split lips and dehydration, numbness in legs, heat/pain from sun stroke, clothes…

Helpful hints: –The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1: When I started my journey across the winding dunes of sand, the sky was clear blue glass. Now, as I stagger toward mountains growing no bigger despite three days of walking, that blue glass is marred by flecks of swirling ash…vultures waiting for their next meal…

–Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: The dust devil swirled across the canyon like a rattlesnake on the hunt. (Simile)…

Think beyond what a character sees, and provide a sensory feast for readers

how to describe war creative writing

Setting is much more than just a backdrop, which is why choosing the right one and describing it well is so important. To help with this, we have expanded and integrated this thesaurus into our online library at One Stop For Writers . Each entry has been enhanced to include possible sources of conflict , people commonly found in these locales , and setting-specific notes and tips , and the collection itself has been augmented to include a whopping 230 entries—all of which have been cross-referenced with our other thesauruses for easy searchability. So if you’re interested in seeing a free sample of this powerful Setting Thesaurus, head on over and register at One Stop.

how to describe war creative writing

On the other hand, if you prefer your references in book form, we’ve got you covered, too, because both books are now available for purchase in digital and print copies . In addition to the entries, each book contains instructional front matter to help you maximize your settings. With advice on topics like making your setting do double duty and using figurative language to bring them to life, these books offer ample information to help you maximize your settings and write them effectively.


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers —a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling.

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Reader Interactions

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March 10, 2020 at 4:15 am

Wow this helped me so much on my essay thanks I have altleast 20 things down for it from this website 😊❤️✨

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October 7, 2019 at 5:11 pm

this is a very helpful extract where I could pick out some descriptions of the desert and how the climate is Thank you very much for doing this because it gives me the feel and the imagination that I am there now in the desert

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February 23, 2019 at 9:35 am

helpful school work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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October 7, 2018 at 1:43 pm

this has helped me so much for my gcse exams.that i am glad that somebody helped me

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September 7, 2017 at 1:56 am

Such vivid descriptions creates a desert picture in my mind. Feel like am already there. Was doing last chapters of my novel wanted to write something about cold deserts. I come from the tropics and have no idea about cold deserts, any information will see me through.

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May 6, 2017 at 3:13 pm

This was very helpul for my essay, love it.

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May 7, 2017 at 3:41 pm

I’m so glad it was timely!

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September 4, 2008 at 8:08 am

I do have one story that’s set in a desert land. But the greatest influence on me – in terms of living in so many different places – is that I always have people of different cultures and species having to live together, cooperate or deal with the various tensions that arise from their varying natures and customs. It’s a lot of fun. And because these stories are fantasies, they can be bizarre while still being realistic.

September 1, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Wow Marian–what a great culture to draw on. Does your work ever reflect where you lived?

And yes please–if you have descriptiors to add, go for it. Often I think of stuff after the fact, and each setting is so vast, there are infinite ways to describe!

Thanks everyone as always for visiting and commenting!

September 1, 2008 at 1:26 pm

I liked the low crime rate (because of the draconian penalties). It was so low that once, when my mom arrived at work to find the office open and burgled, 21 police officers showed up in response to her call (probably the most excitement they had had all week). The forensics people had to shove their way through the crowd.

There’s also the lack of taxes. So provided you’re an indoor person, which I am, you might find it tolerable. Oh, and women always got to go to the front of any line (e.g. at the post office), and had the front seats of buses reserved for them.

One thing I didn’t like was the censorship, which at times bordered on the ridiculous. For instance, the single government-owned ISP wouldn’t let you access the site , which contains lots of useful information about markets in publishing. Why? Because there’s some prominent Israeli whose last name is Ralan. It’s not the same person, but no one bothered to check before blocking the site.

Television programs censor kisses or references to making love, and when I bought a scientific book on human anatomy, the naughty bits were blacked out with a Magic Marker. I once smuggled a Boris Vallejo book into the country and felt very daring. 🙂

So it wasn’t a completely unpleasant experience, but I escaped to Canada as quickly as I could, and I prefer it here.

September 1, 2008 at 6:17 am

Am starting to catch up on these wonderful posts! Is it OK to mention things I would include in your list of sights? Reptiles: snakes, lizards etc. Insects: spiders, biting ants, beetles etc. And sounds? The slither of sand sliding under the belly of a snake or lizard.

Great stuff. Bish

August 31, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Gosh, Marian, that sounds intense. Did you like it there?

August 31, 2008 at 4:56 pm

I actually lived in a desert (well, in the Middle East) for twelve years. Unbearable heat during the summer, up to 45 degrees Celsius, and equally unbearable humidity, since we were on the Gulf Coast.

Since I didn’t have a car, I used to go grocery shopping after sunset, thinking it would be cooler. But the pavement had been baked in the sunlight, so the heat rose off it like a solid wave. And during the day, objects in the distance shimmered, it was so hot. Sometimes I would walk past stores just so their automatic doors would open and I’d feel cool air for a moment.

The least little wind would raise puffs of dust, and a full-out sandstorm was a nightmare. Of course, one good thing about the heat and dryness was that the place was remarkably sterile. You don’t get too much insect or rodent life in an oven. The few plants that grew wild tended to be small, shrubby and tenacious.

Now, of course, I am living in a country that is the exact opposite and I shiver my way through the endless winter months. 🙂

August 31, 2008 at 10:05 am

Thanks for all of your detailed posts!

August 31, 2008 at 12:04 am

I love how I feel like I’m getting mini lessons here! Do ya’ll give out diploma’s? ;0)

thanks for all your work!

August 30, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Angela thanks you, Pema! Or, I’m sure she will when she gets back ;).

And PJ, thanks for the reminder. When Angela’s gone, this place just goes to pot…

August 30, 2008 at 10:18 am

Perfect! I have deserts, too! And how I remember to spell it right – with dessert you always want more, so there are two s letters. With desert, you want less, so there is only one. Hey – Please add this to your sidebar! I know you will, but I use your blog like every day and never want to forget something. It ROCKS!

August 30, 2008 at 8:33 am

Your words are so descriptive, it almost sounds like you’re posting this entry from the Arabian desert! 😉

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Creative writing involving war

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Tom Burgess Yr 10 set 1                English Coursework

                                         Creative Writing

The wailing sirens struck fear into the struggling crowd of panicking civilians. The adrenaline rush filled me as I barged passed all the strangers and knocked an old man off his feet, he tripped into the puddle beneath him launching muddy water into the others surrounding. Nobody cared, I could not help unless I wanted the same to happen to me, but as I turned around an aircraft shot past, a thundering rumble followed and shook the ground. As the old man searched for his walking stick in the marshy ground something caused an explosion; obliterating the helpless man and propelling rock and mud towards me at unbelievable speeds. Everything went black as a heavy rock belted into my face, I lay unconscious between two mangled bodies.

I woke up to the same noise; aircraft shaking the earth, bombs breaking the earth and incessant screaming that sends a chilling sensation to your bones and then is silenced by an explosion. Only now the average volume was quieter, the loudest noise was two men shouting at each other. I kept my eyes closed to try and understand exactly what was going on and listened intently.

        “Open the door what are you doing!?” yells an Arabian man,

The other person responded calmly, “We have enough people in here and we don’t need anymore blood around the place.”

        “What you’re just going to let them die!?”

        “It looks like it doesn’t it?” their quarrelling was silenced from a ground shuddering detonation. The screams outside were silenced for longer than normal and everybody stayed quiet listening for any life outside this mysterious room.

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I stopped pretending to be asleep and opened my eyes slowly. In front of me stood a beautiful woman, leaning against the wall in silence but not depressed, there were four people other than me in this room. I watched the women and she caught my eye before the others and walked towards me, her dark hair swayed gently and she knelt beside me looking at me with those shockingly blue eyes, her face was strangely untouched, no bruises or scratches from the bedlam and had no sign of discontent from these catastrophic events.

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        “Are you alright?” she asked but I ignored the question and said,

        “What’s your name?” she giggled and replied,

        “I’m Sally, what’s yours?” I didn’t answer I just thought about what was happening, how could she be so happy at times like this? Who are these people? Where am I and what hell is going on?

My back clicked several times as I sat up next to Sally against the cold stone wall, I looked around and realised the obvious; I‘m in a bomb shelter. I saw the two men still arguing about seven metres away and asked with a croaky voice,

        “Why are they fighting?” Sally looked at them and explained,

        “The tall blonde man is John”, she gazed at him the same way I did to her. “He did something terrible…” Sally told me what happened; that John had closed the bomb shelter door on a crowd of people escaping the carnage and left them to die outside the shelter. I was shocked by what John had done but at that moment I didn’t really care; the main problem was my difficulty in breathing and the throbbing pain in my face and chest. As Sally explained the details of the event I looked around the room. There wasn’t much to look at except the women sitting in the dark area of the room crying, her tears rested on her cheeks glistening in the dim light, Sally realised I was ignoring her and stopped talking.. The girl’s weeping seemed to pollute the room, causing others to feel the same. I hadn’t noticed the women in the corner before and felt as though I should do something, her name was Felicity; I heard someone mention her name. I always felt uncomfortable in front of crying women. I left her alone and stared hopelessly at the blank ceiling.

I never thought about how I got here, all I remember was the adrenaline rush, the running for my life and the old man receive a direct hit from a missile. Somebody must have carried me here, whoever it was saved my life and must have risked theirs.

My thoughts were interrupted by a feeling of warm liquid running up my throat, I coughed loudly and everyone turned towards me as I spurted thick blood out of my aching nose and mouth. I could feel everybody looking at me and kept spitting the oozing liquid into the ground beneath me. On my hands and knees I bent over the small pool of blood and saw my reflection. There were grazes all over my cheeks; blood was seeping out of the gaping wound beside my eye. My face was battered; my left eye was bulbous and stuck out of my head like a tennis ball. I looked at my bruised lip as red saliva dripped out of a deep cut. It didn’t feel so bad; it felt like I had been thumped in the face but looked like I’d been hit by a lorry. I shifted my hands back towards the stone wall and felt a cold liquid pour between my fingers, I was lying in a puddle of my own blood, I had only just realised how severe my injuries were. I was struggling to keep conscious and couldn’t stand the shock and pain, cold ran down my body and I felt another liquid rush up my throat.

We spent hours in the putrid bomb shelter, luckily there were enough rations for at least ten people but medication was becoming scarce. Everybody knew that we would need the medicines for later and I felt like I was being greedy. I looked around the room, hoping someone would break the silence, I caught the eye of Felicity but she looked away, she seemed disgusted by my wounds and blood. I felt like a living dead body.

I could tell my wounds had healed slightly and I tried to stand up, people watched me with the corner of their eyes; obviously not trying to be rude. I pushed my hands against the walls, and felt the large scab on my armpit reopen and I let out a restrained cry. Everybody turned around feeling sorry and Sahid strolled towards me as I struggled to rise, his arm reached out in front of me offering aid. I accepted, lifted my wrist from the ground and grabbed his arm, the pressure moved to my legs as we both pulled in opposite directions, my knees stretched painfully as I rose to my feet. I looked towards Sahid with an uneasy grin on my face, he grinned back and I realised who it was that must have risked his life for mine during the bombings.

In the past seven hours I had thought and talked a lot, mainly to Sahid and Sally as John and Felicity were very quiet. My thoughts about Sally had changed, she was clearly fond of John and he seems very dangerous to be involved with.

We hadn’t heard any explosions in hours and Felicity had finally stopped crying, my wounds seemed to have healed unbelievably fast and everybody appeared to be slightly happier, I felt as though it was time to get out of this room and return to the surface. I glanced at John as he rose to his feet; he was studying the giant, thick door and reached towards it. He rested his chubby wrist on the handle for a while; probably thinking about what he had done before. The handle let out a moan as he pushed it down, he tugged at the door and it opened with a loud sucking noise from the compressed air. Everybody faced him as the strong wind from the outdoors brought a giant gust into the shelter; my nose froze momentarily from the wintry rush of air. It brought a foul smoky smell along with it, we all rose to our feet and stared at the narrow corridor, it was a relief to see an exit. John was the first to step out, he sauntered straight past the battered door, the fat metal hinges were almost completely ripped, the other side of the door was dented and black. Suddenly the door caused a thunderous groan, it toppled forward and John yelled as it came towards him. His shout was silenced and bones were crushed when the huge door landed on him; there was no chance of survival. I turned to face everyone, the walls started to cave in and floor rumbled, I fell on the ground and gazed towards the corridor, giant plates of rock fell from its ceiling burying the exit. Along with the exit our hope was buried too.

While I was lying on the cold ground the shaking finished and I analysed the room. We were completely entombed.

Teacher Reviews

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay.


Laura Gater

There are sentences within this piece that are very imaginative and successfully create very strong imagery for the reader. At times the communication isn't as clear as it could be and the structure needs to be more cohesive. 4 Stars

Creative writing involving war

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  • Word Count 1524
  • Page Count 3
  • Subject English

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Master List of Ways to Describe Fear

Master List of Ways to Describe Fear #master lists for writers free ebook #master lists for writers free kindle #master lists for writers free pdf #describing fear in a story #description of fear #great fear #how to describe fear #words describing fear

People have been asking me for this list for such a long time! If you write horror, suspense, mystery, or any kind of fiction with a scary scenes, you need to know how to describe fear.

This list can get you started. It’s a lot of phrases describing fear, including physical reactions, physical sensations, facial expressions, and other words you can use in your novel or in other creative writing.

I’ve included some that can work for uneasiness or anxiety, but most of these are for real terror. You can alter them to fit your sentence or your story, and they’ll likely inspire you to come up with your own descriptions.

Bookmark or pin this page for your reference—it might save you a lot of time in the future. I’ll probably add to it now and again!

Master List of Ways to Describe Fear #master lists for writers free ebook #master lists for writers free pdf #master lists for writers free kindle #describing fear in a story #description of fear #great fear #how to describe fear #words describing fear

fear paralyzed him

his terror mounted with every step

she fought a rising panic

fear tormented her

her heart was uneasy

her heart leaped into her throat

his heart hammered in his chest

his heart pounded

terror stabbed his heart

his heart jumped

her heart lurched

a fear that almost unmanned him

his body shook with fear

she trembled inside

he suppressed a shiver

panic surged through him

her fear spiked

he was in a complete state of panic

she could feel nothing but blind terror

his legs were wobbly with fear

she sweated with fear

his hands were cold and clammy

she was weighed down by dread

dread twisted in her gut

his stomach clenched

fear fluttered in her stomach

her belly cramped

he felt like he might throw up

she was sick with fear

she was frightened down to the soles of her shoes

he was icy with panic

her body went cold with dread

raw panic was in her voice

her voice was thick with fear

his voice was edged with fear

terror thundered down on him

fear caught her in its jaws

fear clawed up her throat

terror sealed her throat

fear gripped her throat

his throat tightened

then she knew real terror was

he was frantic with fear

she was half mad with terror

the color drained from her face

his face was ashen

she blanched

dread gnawed at his insides

dread had been growing in him all day

fresh terror reared up within her

fear choked him

terror stole her words

he was mute with horror

her voice was numb with shock

his voice was shrill with terror

her defiant words masked her fear

her body felt numb

his blood froze in his veins

terror coursed through her veins

fear throbbed inside her

his panic fueled him

adrenaline pumped through his body

adrenaline crashed through her

fear pulsed through him

her scalp prickled

the hairs on the back of her neck stood up

his mouth went dry

his bones turned to jelly

her bones turned to water

she froze with horror

he didn’t dare to move

terror struck her

he was too frightened to lift her head

she was too frightened to scream

his mouth was open in a silent scream

he cringed with fear

she cowered

he shrank back in fear

she flinched

a bolt of panic hit her

terror streaked through him

her terror swelled

his panic increased

anxiety eclipsed his thoughts

panic flared in her eyes

his eyes were wild with terror

her eyes darted from left to right

she feared to close her eyes

he lay awake in a haze of fear

she walked on in a fog of fear

his eyes widened with alarm

she tried to hide her fear

he struggled to conceal his shock

fear crept up her spine

fear trickled down her spine

panic seized his brain

she felt a flash of terror

fear took hold of him

fear flooded through her being

she ordered a drink to drown the panic

he arranged and re-arranged the items on his desk

a nameless dread engulfed him

Master List of Ways to Describe Fear #describing fear in a story #description of fear #great fear #how to describe fear #words describing fear

I bet you came up with other ideas as you were reading!

For more writing lists, check out my book Master Lists for Writers , if you don’t have it yet! A lot of writers use it to make writing go faster, especially when it comes to descriptions.

how to describe war creative writing

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50 Spooky Writing Prompts and Horror Story Ideas #horror writing ideas #horror writing prompts #scary story prompts #Halloween writing prompts #dark fantasy story ideas #suspense story plots

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30 thoughts on “ master list of ways to describe fear ”.

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Thank you, Bryn. I can certainly use this list as I go through and clean up my novel. There are some places that need a stronger element of fear.

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Hi Bonnie! So glad this was coming at the right time! 🙂

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Love the book and the above list! Thank you for taking the time to compile all of it. So appreciated!

Oh thank you! I’m so glad you like it!

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I just love your lists. I often refer to them when I’m stuck. That book is right next to the dictionary and thesaurus when I write.

I’m so glad you like them, Erin! I’m honored. 🙂

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I was searching for the perfect list to describe fear. I stumbled across your blog and I am glad that I did, you literally saved my butt out there!!? I got an A* because of you ! Thankyou!!❤❤

Aww, I’m so glad to hear this! 🙂

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Thanks for compiling this list. Much needed.

Aw thanks, Ezekiel! So glad you like it!

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What a terrifying, fantastical list. Thank you, Bryn

Haha, thanks, Bryan! When I read back over it, I did feel a little creeped out. 🙂

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I have a scene coming up that this will be perfect for. Thank you for sharing. Bookmarking now!

Hi Sarah! So glad it’ll be useful! Sounds like you have an exciting scene coming up 🙂

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This is a great list! Thank you, Bryn.

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Wow! When I read it, I was SO / COMPLETELY creeped out!???

Ha! You know what, when I make these lists, I always start feeling the emotions, too!

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I’m thankful for your help. It is great to see these lists. Many blessings ❤️

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I have been a bibliophile since long, but never before did I read so many blogs in a sequence. I am really amazed to have found them.Thanks a ton . Superb work .

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You saved my life ! Thank you a lot ???

So glad to hear that! Happy writing 🙂

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Thanks… It’s good to know tath someone is making life easier for those interested in writing.

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ohhh ,how grateful i am for this list it will come in handy so thankyou

  • Pingback: Master List of Actions That Show Fear

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Thank you so much for this list! It is exactly what I was looking for. I ordered the book 🙂

Thanks for ordering the book, Laila. I hope you like it! And glad this list worked for you!

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This is an amazing list. I saw in your other comment that you have a book…?

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I wanted to tell you that I often return to this page when I am stumped coming up with a way to write some specific reaction. Sometimes I just use one of the ideas you offer directly, and other times something here gives me an idea I riff off of to create something new. Thank you so much for compiling this list!

I riffed this time (last line): “Still feeling the sadness of Manzoa’s fate and wondering what this place was and why he was here, Goff cautiously walked over to the desk. A quill still wet with thick black ink rested next to a sheet of parchment filled with writing in a language he couldn’t read. Crude drawings made with heavy strokes were set within the words. Some of them were disturbing — a bleeding hand cut open with a knife and a person floating lifeless below a ghoul with black eyes poised to attack. He stared at the words, hoping that just like when he traveled back in time to Monstraxen, he would be able to understand them. As he stared, the ink on the page disappeared like water soaking into a sponge. A spider of panic crawled up his spine.”

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10 Words to Describe the Sound of Gunfire

By Brittany Kuhn

words to describe the sound of gunfire

Are you writing a  battle scene  in your book? Here are 10 words to describe the sound of gunfire that will help to electrify the scene you’re working on.


  • Sharp noise, as if hit hard.
  • Booming , loud.

“The  banging  of the gunfire woke him up from a dead sleep.”

“She could shake the  banging  of the gunfire from her memory.”

How it Adds Description

Bang  is the onomatopoeia we most associate with gunfire. Describing the sound as  banging  allows the reader to use their already known ideas of gunfire to help imagine the scene. It also suggests that the sound is loud and happens repeatedly, like someone banging on a wall or door.

2. Reverberating

Echoing  or reflected back.

“The  reverberating  sound of the gunfire filled the room, forcing her to shrink further and further into the floor to escape it.”

“He knew he had gotten close when he could hear the gunfire  reverberating  off the alley walls.”

Gunfire is loud, so describing it as  reverberating  shows the way the sound echoes throughout the environment. A reverberating gunfire creates an oppressive feeling in the scene, as if the characters are surrounded by the gunfire and will soon be overwhelmed by it.

3. Explosive

Violent  outburst .

“They were surrounded on all sides by  explosive  gunfire.”

“He was shocked by the  explosive  gunfire he could hear in the distance, getting closer every minute.”

If you want to focus on the act of shooting a gun, describing the gunfire as  explosive  will make the reader imagine the power and explosion that must take place for the bullet to escape. You can also use explosive gunfire to get the reader to focus on the violence and drama of the scene.

4. Whizzing

  • Humming  or hissing quickly.
  • Fly or move through the air with speed.

“She turned her head sharply as the  whizzing  gunfire whipped past her ears; that was a close one.”

“The  whizzing  gunfire moved through the trees, sounding more like bees than bullets.”

Whizzing  describes the sound of the bullets as they move through the air. If you want to focus on a character running from the gunfire, use  whizzing  to help your reader hear the bullets pass as your character would.

Humming  at a low volume.

“In the empty valley, he heard the  buzzing  of the gunfire long before it caught up with him.”

“It was the  buzzing  of the gunfire that stuck with him after he came home from the war, constantly in his ears.”

Like  whizzing ,  buzzing  focuses on how the bullets sound when they are moving through the air unimpeded. Buzzing sounds also suggest a sound that keeps hanging around, like a bee flying around one’s head. Use  buzzing  if you want to show a character struggling to forget the experience of a gunfight, like in the second example above.

6. Thudding

A dull  thump , as of hitting dirt or ground.

“He could hear the  thudding  of the gunfire on the other side of the brick wall.”

“She bolted up at the  thudding  sound of the gunfire from the floor below.”

Thudding  shows how bullets sound when they hit a hard surface and can help describe how the bullets sound once they’ve hit their target, whether that’s a wall, the ground, or a vehicle.  Thudding  is especially useful when describing a bullet hitting a person, especially in those thicker parts of the body like the head or chest.

  • Padded  so as to conceal from outside view.
  • Softened sound.

“She winced at the  muffled  gunfire, worried someone might have been close enough to hear it.”

“With one  muffled  gunshot, he was dead, and nobody was the wiser.”

If you are writing a spy story or a crime drama, using  muffled  shows the reader that something has dampened the sound of the gun going off, like a silencer or a pillow. This is the most common way to describe a ‘quiet kill,’ and many readers would easily identify with it.

8. Discharging

  • A sharp, quick  releasing  of electrical or explosive energy.

“The  discharging  sound of the gunfire was overwhelming, as if a thousand fireworks were exploding at once.”

“He jumped at the  discharging  sound of the gun going off in his hands.”

Discharging  suggests a loud, fast sound, similar to a bang but with more weight behind it. Use  discharging  when you want to relate the sound of gunfire to the backfiring of a car or firework, as all three sounds are discharges of similar explosive energy.

9. Bursting

  • Sudden  eruption  of sound.
  • Filled to such an extreme as to be forced open from internal pressure.

“He couldn’t seem to escape the  bursting  sound of gunfire all around him.”

“She could tell from the  bursting  gunfire that she was dealing with professionals with assault rifles, not some loner with a shotgun.”

Bursting  suggests lots of little explosions, like firecrackers going off. Describing the gunfire as  bursting  would make the reader imagine a gun going off quickly and rapidly, like a machine gun, or a lot of guns going off at once and in close contact with the target.

10. Shattering

  • The sound of something  breaking  into pieces.
  • Destroy completely.

“It was the  shattering  gunfire that finally stopped him in his tracks; he was caught.”

“At the first sound of the  shattering  gunfire, she dropped to the ground and covered her head to protect herself.”

Describing gunfire as  shattering  suggests that the bullets sound almost like broken glass pieces, falling to the ground. If you want to emphasize how the bullets are ruining the area they are being shot into, use  shattering  to show them destroying everything in their paths and really enhance the intensity of the gunfire and its purposes to your story.


Francis Ford Coppola Was Fired For Writing One of His Most Famous Scenes

  • Coppola's tumultuous career, from winning an Oscar for Patton to being fired, depicts a rollercoaster ride of success and setbacks.
  • Despite being fired from Patton, Coppola's script was eventually restored, paving the way for his success with The Godfather .
  • Coppola's journey in Hollywood showcases his resilience and his unique approach to filmmaking.

There are ebbs and flows, and then there is the career of Francis Ford Coppola . The legendary writer-director's uphill battle to triumphant victory parallels his fall from grace. Coppola's career trajectory is one of ancient kings and queens. Before he ever made the most celebrated film of all time, The Godfather , or orchestrated the most disastrous production in cinematic history in Apocalypse Now , Coppola's humble beginnings saw him win an Oscar for writing the Best Picture-winning Patton . In Coppola-esque fashion, he was fired from Patton due to a creative difference that is now the film's everlasting image 50 years later.

The World War II phase of the career of controversial American general George S. Patton.

Release Date April 2, 1970

Director Franklin J. Schaffner

Cast Albert Dumortier, Carey Loftin, Michael Strong, Stephen Young, Karl Malden, George C. Scott

Runtime 172 Minutes

Main Genre Biography

Genres Biography, Drama, History, War

Writers Edmund H. North, Omar N. Bradley, Ladislas Farago, Francis Ford Coppola

Tagline The Rebel Warrior

'Patton' Got Francis Ford Coppola Started

As an artist and business mogul, Francis Ford Coppola is an ambitious individual . Still today, with the impending release of his lifelong passion film, Megalopolis , he aspires to construct the world as he'd like it to be, rather than accept the natural limitations. Coppola's cinematic enterprise is covered in the new biography by Sam Wasson , The Path to Paradise: A Francis Ford Coppola Story . Coinciding with the New Hollywood movement emanating throughout the industry, Coppola, in the late 1960s, signed a deal with Warner Bros. to control his own independent studio, American Zoetrope , which would cultivate idiosyncratic talent and projects that rejected the norms of the studio system. Coppola's batch of unique visionaries included future Godfather sound designer Walter Murch , Apocalypse Now writer John Milius , and George Lucas . By the early '70s, Coppola and company faced the unfortunate realities of art as commerce , as American Zoetrope shut down and Coppola was left with insurmountable debt.

Coppola, as Wasson's book details, always viewed himself as an outsider in his family and professional life. However, he understood that he had to occasionally play the game of Hollywood to establish himself. Patton , the film based on the military career of the esteemed army commander, George S. Patton , was produced by World War II military general, Frank McCarthy . Coppola, looking to adapt Patton's story, met with McCarthy. According to Coppola, in a sit-down with Deadline for the 50th anniversary of The Godfather , he was hired by the film's studio, 20th Century Fox, because of his military background. This was true, as Coppola did attend military school during his youth, but only for a brief year-and-a-half window before he went AWOL.

Coppola's script, co-written by Edmund H. North , was based on a Patton biography, Patton: Ordeal and Triumph , and A Soldier's Story , a memoir by Omar Bradley , a senior officer in WWII. Rounded out by an epic vision by director Franklin J. Schaffner and a titanic performance by George C. Scott , Patton was an all-around financial and critical success, especially at the Oscars, with all major parties winning awards. While the Academy is fond of all-encompassing, cradle-to-grave biopics , Coppola's treatment of Patton's story did not placate the typical norms of the genre. It focused on abstract philosophies of warmongering , and, as Coppola cited, reincarnation. The writer recalled that "the script was very controversial when I wrote it because they thought it was so stylized."

Why Was Francis Ford Coppola Fired From 'Patton'?

Undoubtedly, the most impressive stylistic flourish presents itself in Patton 's opening scene, with the titular subject appearing like a larger-than-life figure while speaking to his army in front of an American flag draping the scenery. Accompanied by a rapturous Jerry Goldsmith score, this scene was immortalized as a classic within the opening seconds. Cutting between close-up shots of Patton's merits and decorations on his uniform, his pistol, and the four-star designation on his helmet, the magnitude of the general is rounded out by a wide shot that makes him feel minuscule against the backdrop of the American flag. Scott rattles off a speech that triggers jingoistic feelings, enabling the war-loving sentiments of America and our innate desire for victory . In its execution, however, the speech slyly operates as sobering commentary on the destructive nature of the military and our shallow appetite for domination.

This indelible opening scene was paramount to the film's epic scope and quiet observations surrounding Patton's legacy in American history. Before Francis Ford Coppola or George C. Scott ever won Academy Awards for their respective work, another star was set to portray the famous general. All the hottest names in Hollywood were considered for the part , including Rod Steiger , Lee Marvin , Robert Mitchum , and John Wayne , but initially, Burt Lancaster was cast as Patton. Problems arose when Lancaster balked at Coppola's script, particularly the reincarnation undertones and the in-media-res nature of the story (starting it when Patton was already an accomplished general, rather than showing him as a young man). Lancaster "didn’t understand why I just hit the audience in the face with him as a two-star general," Coppola told Deadline . In a stand-off between Burt Lancaster, a legend among legends, and Coppola, who had written or directed nothing close to The Godfather during this time, the studio sided with the actor, and Coppola was shown the door.

In the aftermath of Coppola's exit, Lancaster's creative differences continued. He eventually left the film, leaving the role of Patton to George C. Scott. For Coppola and the American Zoetrope company, desperate times awaited. Barely scraping by financially, Coppola and George Lucas rented out filmmaking equipment from various studios, including Fox, his previous employer. Fox was borrowing a horizontal editing machine from American Zoetrope, and upon receiving a call for a mechanical issue, Coppola went down to the studio, filling in for an absent mechanic. In a fortuitous turn of events, Coppola happened to witness scenes from a certain film that looked familiar. Despite his exit from production, scenes from his original script for Patton were filmed . The new star, Scott, disliked the revisions implemented under Lancaster's demands. As a result, the studio pivoted back to Coppola's vision, restoring his script after all.

'Patton's Success Helped Coppola With 'The Godfather'

This lucky break did not carry any momentum for Coppola's professional career, at least not initially. His hope and spirit threatened to come crashing down once he began his duties as director of The Godfather . In the 50 years since the legendary film's release, media coverage surrounding its tumultuous production has been prevalent , even inspiring a miniseries on Paramount+, The Offer . The director battled with Paramount and its top executive , Robert Evans , over everything: the 1940s period setting, the runtime, and the casting of Marlon Brando and Al Pacino . It's a miracle that Coppola ever escaped the firestorm of the Godfather production . If not for his work on Patton , the classic film would have accepted an entirely different offer.

The Francis Ford Coppola Epic That Clint Eastwood Turned Down

Wasson's biography chronicles Coppola's thought process during this hectic period. He was certain that executives were conspiring to sabotage The Godfather 's production and subsequently get him fired. Needless to say, he was not in the right mindset to attend the 43rd Academy Awards on April 15, 1971. That night, Patton won Best Picture , and he won Best Adapted Screenplay. Watching the telecast from his couch with his friend and New Hollywood peer, Martin Scorsese , Coppola was given inspiring assurance. "I don't think they're going to fire you now," Scorsese told him upon watching Coppola's Oscar be accepted. Scorsese was right. Not only did Paramount never fire Coppola, but the director finally took control of his set by executing Machiavellian schemes best practiced by Michael Corleone, exemplified by when he fired everyone who was conspiring against him .

One thing is for certain, despite his artistic acumen, Francis Ford Coppola never makes film production look easy. His pair of modern American classics, The Godfather and Apocalypse Now , are defined by their behind-the-scenes drama. Even minor outputs in his career, such as The Cotton Club , went through the usual Coppola wringer. Before he was embraced as an auteur, Coppola's first break as a screenwriter saw him outside the inner circle, only to be pulled back in at the last minute when his script for Patton was reinstated into the final cut. Coppola's career in Hollywood is one-of-a-kind.

Patton is available to rent on Prime Video in the U.S.

Rent on Prime Video

Francis Ford Coppola Was Fired For Writing One of His Most Famous Scenes


  1. P1Q5 Writing to Describe: War

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  3. KS3 KS4 Writing to Describe War Image prompt AQA Paper 1 Q5

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  5. Creative wririntg- describe/ narrate- GCSE /KS3- War image- rated

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  1. What Words Describe War in a Powerful Way?

    When you want to describe war in a way that has a powerful impact, you may want to consider using a word in a language other than English. alalazoo (Greek) - raising a battle cry ato de guerra (Portuguese) - act of war bellum se ipsum alet (Latin) - the war will feed itself blitzkrieg (German) - rapid attack entrer en guerre (French) - go to war

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    … Creative Writing - War. Creative Writing - War. AS and A Level History Creative Writing - War We all heard the disquieting crunch, off in the far distance. For a few seconds, we remained still, sinking deeper into the mud, anticipating another sound to calm our nerves. Instead, a fraudulent silence followed.

  3. 7 Tips For Writing Realistic War Stories (UPDATED 2024)

    Important Tips For Writing About War Consider whether certain violent elements need to be included. Graphic, explicit scenes can become offensive when they're overdone or unnecessary. Of course, you may be going for "offensive" in order to make a point about your subject, but violence that's heavy on detail needs to have a point.

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    The brown earth, the torn, blasted earth, with a greasy shine under the sun's rays, the earth is the background of this restless, gloomy world of automatons, our gasping is the scratching of a...

  5. How To Describe A War

    For myself, I've read a few war-biographies to gain a better understanding of the sort of highly personal combat that was experienced during the World War II, Vietnam and Korean wars. While the American Civil War and World War I both had close engagements, combat was on a somewhat grander scale with large unit maneuvers being the order of the day.

  6. How to Write a War Story

    In a War story, the "negation of the negation" is dishonorable defeat presented as honorable. In other words, trying to convince others that one's dishonorable behavior in war was honorable is equivalent to a character's damnation. War stories arises from the protagonist's physiological AND emotional needs for safety.

  7. How To Write An Epic Battle Scene

    Use perspective to your advantage. Writing an epic battle scene can be a tricky task for one simple reason: it's a chiefly visual event. Of course, as an author, this doesn't need to hinder you. Rather, it should make you even more creative when you sit down to write your battle.

  8. How to Write Powerful and Realistic Battle Scenes

    How to Write Powerful and Realistic Battle Scenes Writer: July 21, 2016 Table of Contents Here are some techniques for creating powerful, exciting, realistic battle scenes. 1. Set the point of view The biggest challenge in writing a battle scene is the point of view.

  9. style

    6. For starters, avoid getting into details. This is true generally, and even more so during battle. People are moving quickly! It is no time for details. I've read a battle-scene where the author described specific attacks, and the impression I had was that the fighting was happening in slow motion.

  10. War

    In war let us keep a warm heart and a cool head, remembering always the humanity of the 'othered' or else lose our own. By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, October 25, 2023 . "In war," said the commander, "it is foolish to put effort into gaining ground you'll never keep. All it does it does is put at risk what you have.

  11. Simple Ways to Write Battle Scenes: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

    1 Sketch a map to help visualize the battlegrounds. Make a rough drawing of the terrain where you want the battle to happen so you get an idea of the layout. Be sure to include any landmarks, such as mountains, rivers, cities, or castles, since they can influence how the characters fight during the battle.

  12. How to Describe an Explosion in a Story

    Are you writing a scene where two armies are at battle with each other? In this post, you'll get some tips on how to describe an explosion in a story through 10 descriptive words. 1. Blast Definition. An explosion. A sudden strong rush of air. A sudden loud noise. Examples

  13. 10 Words to Describe the Horrors of War

    1. Traumatizing Definition Having trauma inflicted. Examples "The war had been a traumatizing experience for all the soldiers, and they needed a lot of help returning to a normal life when they got back home."

  14. How to Describe a Soldier in Writing

    Are you writing a war novel? In this post, we're going to help you by explaining how to describe a soldier in writing via 10 great adjectives. 1. Fierce Definition. Someone that's very passionate, fearless, or aggressive. Examples "The group battled through the jungle together, but the fierce soldier took the lead."

  15. A short guide to writing war novels

    To create a captivating war novel, consider the following tips: Conduct extensive research on the historical context, military tactics, and cultural nuances of the era to ensure your story is authentic and accurate. Develop engaging and complex characters with distinct personalities, motivations, and backstories that readers can connect with.

  16. 35 Tips for Writing Fight Scenes (Ultimate Guide + Examples)

    Whether you're penning a historical war or an epic fantasy, the following 35 tips will help elevate your fight scenes to unforgettable experiences. Get ready to unleash the warrior in your words. 1. Clash of Titans: The Importance of Scale. Sometimes, size does matter.

  17. creative writing

    While functional, this statement is rather thin. A gunshot should be a jarring thing in a story. It often represents someone or thing dying. So more description would add intensity and punctuate the event. The gunshot transforms the world. I would involve more senses into the event and extend the duration.

  18. How to Write an Essay About War (A Guide with Example)

    The body section of a war essay is typically three to four paragraphs long, but it can be much longer. 3. Conclusion. In the conclusion section of your war essay, you must wrap up everything nicely. The recommended way to do this is to restate your thesis statement to remind the reader what your essay was about.

  19. 30 Best Adjectives For War

    1. War Example: It would appear that despite all of Putin's rhetoric, what is happening between Ukraine and Russia right now is a full-scale war. 2. Military Operation Example: Putin has refused to call his unprovoked invasion of the Ukraine war, choosing to describe it as a special military operation instead. 3. Civil War

  20. Setting Description Entry: Desert

    Setting is much more than just a backdrop, which is why choosing the right one and describing it well is so important. To help with this, we have expanded and integrated this thesaurus into our online library at One Stop For Writers.Each entry has been enhanced to include possible sources of conflict, people commonly found in these locales, and setting-specific notes and tips, and the ...

  21. Creative writing involving war

    Creative writing involving war. GCSE English. Tom Burgess Yr 10 set 1 English Coursework. Creative Writing. The wailing sirens struck fear into the struggling crowd of panicking civilians. The adrenaline rush filled me as I barged passed all the strangers and knocked an old man off his feet, he tripped into the puddle beneath him launching ...

  22. Master List of Ways to Describe Fear

    It's a lot of phrases describing fear, including physical reactions, physical sensations, facial expressions, and other words you can use in your novel or in other creative writing. I've included some that can work for uneasiness or anxiety, but most of these are for real terror.

  23. 10 Words to Describe the Sound of Gunfire

    If you are writing a spy story or a crime drama, using muffled shows the reader that something has dampened the sound of the gun going off, like a silencer or a pillow. This is the most common way to describe a 'quiet kill,' and many readers would easily identify with it. 8. Discharging Definitions

  24. Francis Ford Coppola Was Fired For Writing One of His Most Famous ...

    In the aftermath of Coppola's exit, Lancaster's creative differences continued. He eventually left the film, leaving the role of Patton to George C. Scott. For Coppola and the American Zoetrope ...