For whatever reason I've become inspired and want to write something that mimics the tales of great heroes and adventurers going on quests, except I'd like to pervert it. I want to write about grim, realistic, combat and make the heroes fail miserably. I'd like the entire story to come off as oppressive, defeating, and have the heroes' quests be ultimately futile. Thing is I don't really know how I can pull this off, and if I did, who would even want to read it? And yes, I am anticipating all the jokes about how this is a great start to writing about defeatism. How do I advance the story if everything is hopeless? Maybe the characters could just barely get by in everything, but that is a sort of victory. If I could chart out a story line in which the heroes fail in increasingly terrible ways, what audience wants to read about hope being crushed over and over again when I don't have anything that interesting to say like some great Russian writer? I guess what I'm asking is what steps would some of you more experienced writers take in order to achieve this goal? I understand the importance of 'just writing the damn thing already' but at the same time I've never really written anything other than very short stories and humor, so this is a major switch for me.