Following my rather glum last post (sorry about that folks), I have decided to spend some time on ‘research’. I use the term research advisedly. Perhaps I mean searching for inspiration? I have a few parts of my novel that need fleshing out or re-writing and instead of sitting down to just ‘see what comes’ I would really like to open myself up to new literary (and perhaps film) experiences, in the hope I will come back to my manuscript a better writer.
One thing I really want to get to grips with is writing battle scenes.
We’ve all read a few battle scenes in our time. Some are meticulously detailed, naming every part of a weapon, and every slight movement of the hero’s body and that of his foe. This approach can be very educational, but sadly also sometimes very, very dull. Other descriptions take gore to its very extreme, perhaps to shock the reader as much as to accurately express the horror of war. Sometimes an author might take the madness of war and turn their prose into something disjointed and surreal, this can work or it can be so surreal you’re never sure what’s going on.
So, how to approach this problem? Sorry that’s not a rhetorical question, I’d actually appreciate your views and any recommendations you have for novels where you feel the author has handled a scene particularly well. I’m most interested in battles pre guns (excluding field guns and canons), so pre 1900′s
(I have already been recommended Charter House of Parma by Stendahl and am currently reading it)
Looking forward to your views on writing battle scenes and any recommendations you may have. Thank you