You may be Walking Through a Mine Field as you Write War Stories

One thing to remember about writing someone else’s war stories, for example, one of your ancestor’s, is that you may be walking through a minefield. But, if you handle the subject with sensitivity and compassion, you will pay a great tribute to your soldier.

MINE ONE - Fact-check. Avoid inaccurate dates, clashes, locations, ranks. Cross-check your facts, and then cross-check again.

MINE TWO - Keep your opinions to yourself. Don’t include your own viewpoints or principles in the story. Your soldier’s story is not yours to judge.

MINE THREE - Handle Characters with Care. Don’t group nations into a stereotype, unless it was seen this way at the time.

MINE FOUR - Be careful using labels like ‘hero’ and ‘coward’. Only use labels in your story if you know for certain they were used by your soldier.

Your soldier was part of something larger than his own story; he (or she) belonged to a band of brothers, who ate, played, fought, and often perished together.

An episode in combat is a sacred and unimaginable experience, only describable by the person going through it, so handle these types of stories with an unassuming, and gentle heart.