1. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    War themes in my novel!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Daydream, May 17, 2011.

    To start of I'm writing a sci-fi novel set about 100 years into the future. It will be slightly apocalyptic but not to the extent of there barely being any human existence or resources. I basically just want anarchy. There won't be any kind of government, military or civilian life. Instead people are divided between rich and poor almost in a medieval way. The rich being the ones still living in style with access to resources, security and land. While the poor are scavenging of the land and living in poor conditions. Also illegal immigration will play a large role.

    Thing is I need an event for all this to happen, which I have figured out but I'm having doubts whether it will work or if it's allowed. The reason of course will basically be World War 3 but I won't give away the reason for WWIII. It will firstly start with a certain event crippling certain Western countries and then certain Eastern countries taking advantage of this. The final result will of course be what I mentioned above. Worldwide anarchy, vanishing of borders between countries and of course the rest.

    So FINALLY my question is....is it allowed for an author to create this kind of setting by making certain countries attack other countries? I mean will people find this racist or something?

    I hope this isn't a stupid question but I'm still new to this >< Also I know at the moment my story sounds terribly generic but I assure you the reason for this war isn't generic :)
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Firstly, what you're describing isn't even close to anarchy...if there's still a functioning economy, classes, and a legal system (which there must be for immigration to be illegal), then it's not an anarchic society.

    But as to your actual question, if you've seen an action movie or played an FPS in the past 20 years, you'll know that it's okay for you to have whatever countries you want go to war (as long as the heroes are the Americans and the bad guys are visibly foreign and/or communists :p)
     
  3. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah thats good atleast :) But yeh thats also a slight problem for me right now...I'm having trouble creating this world. It's almost like a shadow world of ours. There will be an economy but not the same as our current one. There will be classes but it will depend on where and to who you were born to. Which is why i mentioned the medieval thing. Nevermind illegal immigration, I described that wrong. It's hard to describe properly without all the background information >< I just need a setting where all those above things dont exist. This is not the best comparison but If you've seen The Book of Eli its "kinda" like that. Some people scavening of the land and living in poor conditions while some control an entire area and have the security means to do it. I guess I need some kind of event that could ensure problems with resources, lifestyle and power. I just don't want it to happen through nuclear warfare....thats way to cliche for me :(
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The essence of speculative fiction is to hypothesize a set of conditions and explore the ramifications of those conditions/assumptions.

    Will people view the conditions you present as racist? Quite possibly. It's a risk you take when you lay out your world's rules.
     
  5. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeh I just want them to be believable, but I'm really apprehensive whether they are at this point.
     
  6. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The truth is no matter what you write, chances are someone somewhere will be offended in some way. Well maybe this isn't entirely true, but it's one of those things we have to deal with.

    Write the story and don't worry if they find something racist. Hell it might even be a reason the country attacks another. For whatever reason the country's leaders are against this race/nationality or whatever and decide to take advantage of the whole chaos and attack.
     
  7. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    The scenario you described would be more suited for a bloody global revolution than for a WW3, not a conflict between states but between social classes.
     
  8. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Many conflicts are based on racism. When nothing is left, some people will fall back on hating that "group". So racism is a good thing to generate conflict. Racism can start wars, or can just be a side effect of a desperate society.

    IMO the best way to portray racism is to show both sides of racism on both sides. Both sides will have bigots, both sides will have honorable people, show both sides in good and bad light.

    Granted, some will say one side is still portrayed worse then the other, but if you give it a good try most readers will notice.

    IMO to honestly portray organized battles you have to have a strong foundation of tactics and strategy for that period. But just showing the individual fights doesn't.

    in other words, if you get to involved in the how the battle is fought, the reader will know if you know what your talking about. But if you keep it grunt simple, they fight all enemies that stand in their way to reach their objective, it is easier to believe. (to most readers the technical stuff might get boring too.)

    Keep the tactics equal to the warriors skill. Simple farmers or workers will not know complicated military planning and tactics(unless they have military experience).

    Simple rules;

    1.The trained elite rich armies will be better trained then a group of men standing together to defend their homes. They are paid to train while the group have to work at thier job to survive.

    2.Defenders know the land better then the attackers.
    a. can have traps set to help defend their lands.

    3.Armies of the rich will more likely have the better equipment.
    a.the poor will make do, and be more resourceful in keeping things working or making them better.

    Avoid: The clean star trek deaths. No phaser that makes people disappear without a trace. If war is clean, there would be no reason to avoid it. The spotless town after the battle would not be hard to inhabit. But when a town is conquered there is a lot of clean up and body disposal.
     
  9. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    It's not racist to describe a war with other countries. Writing a story in which, say, the Chinese government is corrupt and creates a disaster is much different from writing a story in which anyone of Asian/African/Hispanic/Indian/etc bloodlines is automatically an incompetent brute. Wars happen because of corrupt governments, not because of the millions of individuals belonging to a certain racial group.
     
  10. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for all the replies guys! I was actually thinking about this at some point but also wasn't sure how to work with it. I just thought WWIII could have a serious affect on resources, borders, civilian life and the government. Enough to cripple it atleast.

    Another point I was thinking about was maybe incorporating global warming into my story instead of a world war to achieve these things. Once again though I just don't know enough about these subjects to be sure they will work...it's kinda annoying :(
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I would add one comment to what Mal posted: racism is often a convenient way for governments to incite their citizens to support a war the government has already decided to fight.
     
  12. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    So what if it is racist? What difference would that make to the plot? History is full of examples of racism being the root cause of slaughter and genocide, therefore it would most certainly make a plausible reason in your story.
     
  13. barnz
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    barnz Member

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    Just start writing and keep at it, the story will come together, and don't worry about asking permission for anything you write. That's the beauty of writing. Definitely consider some of the previous posts though, in terms of thinking through the war and tactics and stuff. Wars are started for a variety of reasons though, wasn't the Trojan War fought over Helen? In recent years the chief reason might be economic.
    Because this world is quasi-dystopian, be careful with writing didactic stories though. To some, if may seem heavyhanded and turn them off of your work.
     

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