Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wargame Preparations

I've taken a few days off from writing to prepare for Cold Wars, a historical wargaming conventions I go to every March. I've mentioned my wargaming before. This year I am teaming up with Matt Iverson for the 1000 point Field of Glory doubles tournament. I've faced off against Matt a few times in tournaments before, but this year we will be partners. This works out well for me as he is one of the best wargamers in the country (and he always beats me).

What does this have to do with writing? A lot, actually. I really strive for historical, technological, and military realism in my writing. You won't find any Conan-like warriors single-handedly wading through an army of goblins in my novel. The action in Eternal Knight is gritty and realistic. The armies behave like real armies would on a battlefield.

Anyway, I'm off to finish painting some generals.


  1. I think that could be a problem with my story. I'm worried that my army's actions just aren't real or gritty enough. Maybe I should start playing wargames or such, just to give myself a better idea of how things should be. They say you should write what you know, and if you know about war tactics then that's a problem solved. Good luck with the game. Hopefully you'll return to writing with a fresh and enthusiastic head.

    The story of Hadde sounds great by the way...

  2. Thanks for the comment, DRC.

    As a huge military history buff (wargamer, reenactor, military history teacher, and former army officer) nothing makes me cringe more thank unbelievable action/battle scenes.

    I have no problem with magic or space opera technology in novels. These elements do not in themselves make a novel unbelievable. HOWEVER, the magic and technology need to be consistent. Once you have created rules for the magic or technology in your world, you must stick with those rules. Break them and you lose the reader's willing suspension of disbelief. Once that willingness is gone, you risk losing the reader entirely.

    I also believe in beating up your protagonists. Don't make life easy for them! Don't make them too powerful! Make them suffer, and make the reader suffer along with them. It will make the victories that much sweeter.