At the Brooklyn Book Festival, Red Flags author Juris Jurjevics, Beaufort author Ron Leshem and Beneath the Lion’s Gaze author Maaza Mengiste participated on a panel about writing war stories. Throughout their talk, they shared these four handy tips to keep in mind when practicing this particular style of writing.
1. A lot of war stories are highly romanticized; be careful with your language to maintain authenticity.
2. In war, there is no good and there is not bad. The lines become blurred during war. Make sure that human complexicities are well incorporated into the story.
3. If you have never been a soldier, be a convincing actor who can tell a touching story. Do your homework by interviewing real people who have performed military service.
4. To capture the “voice of fear,” interview the loved ones who have to wait at home for their beloved soldier to return.
Can you add any more tips on writing war stories?