I’m at an impasse and until I figure this out, I can’t move forward. I’m about to yank my hair out at the roots from obsessing over it.
Here’s the gist – I’m writing a novel that takes place during World War II. Two best friends are about to go off to war but I absolutely cannot decide what unit I’m putting them in. It is imperative, though, that they see some form of action as early as possible for the story to progress properly. See my notes below for those I’m considering or not:
- 1st Armored Division – was one of the first to see action in the war. Also, training was done in Fort Knox, Kentucky, which is close to towns in southern Indiana where the novel takes place (Bethlehem, Charlestown, New Albany, etc.)
- 3rd Infantry Division or 9th Infantry Divison (Army) – saw some of the earliest American-involved action.
- 82nd Airborne (Army) – was activated before the 101st, involved in several campaigns in 1943.
- Marines – I don’t know much about the Pacific theater (because Europe has always been my focus of studies) but some of what the men experienced was so brutal that I’m afraid it might damage the psyche of my character(s). They did, however, enter the fray quite early.
- Navy – this is an option I haven’t really explored much… perhaps I should?
So the question is, where do I send two farm boys from southern Indiana that, up until that moment, had lived a pretty quiet, idyllic (albeit poor) life? Their division/unit isn’t the focal point, of course, because the novel is actually more of an affair of the heart as well as a growing up/coming of age story for my heroine but still, I have to know where I’m sending the boys because I need to research troop movement. I need to be historically accurate.
I can’t make a decision!!!! *sobs*
As a writer, my biggest dilemma is almost always the same: do I write in the contemporary setting or do I place the story in the 1940s? The fact is, I am obsessed with the World War II era. I can’t help it. Every single time I start working on a contemporary piece, I get distracted by something from the 40s era and am drawn back to that time period. The reason my goal is to write contemporary is simple: contemporary fiction (romantic or otherwise) is often easier to get published than historical fiction. It simply has broader appeal. Not everyone likes historical fiction (although I cannot fathom why.) The problem I encounter, though, is that my heart and soul belongs to a bygone era. So do I take the easier route and write in the modern era or do I write what I feeds my soul and work a lot harder to find acceptance in the publishing world? It’s not an easy question to answer.
I’ve written and posted two short stories that take place during World War II.
I’ve always been a writer. From the time I was old enough to know how to spell, I’ve had a story in my head clamored to be told. From the stories I wrote about the members of New Kids on the Block when I was 10-years-old (*facepalm*) until this very moment, I’ve never loved doing anything as much as I do writing. The problem, though, is that life is currently trying to pound me into the pavement. When I started writing heavily again 2.5 years ago, it was because I needed an escape from the ugly parts of life that were bearing down on me. For the longest time, escaping into the lives of the characters I wrote about was quite a healing balm. Now, though, the dark part of my life that seems to be trying to surround me like a net and suck me under is just too strong. It pushes away my concentration, my drive, and my very need to write. It forces me to surf Netflix for an hour trying to find something to watch (and escape into) before I inevitably decide that Netflix is useless (as usual.) It pushes me to watch stupid videos on YouTube because they take my mind off that unanswered email or that text message that I’ve put off until later because I simply can’t deal. I guess the whole reason I’m rambling on this new blog is because I need to find my way back to words. I have two very vivid novels inside my head and I know that I have the talent to make them happen. I just don’t know how to dig down deep, past all the darkness and misery that is clawing at my heart, and find the words again. I have to try, though, right?