Writing about World War II

That’s a daunting task. What hasn’t been said about World War II? Anyone over the age of forty has lived with its ramifications from memoirs, relatives, books, movies, and personal accounts. While my 1920s manuscript is in the process of publication for a November release, I’m researching World War II for the third installment of my historical fiction series about the twentieth century. My goal is to create two characters who are experiencing it. I will focus on a few aspects of the war to follow that encapsulates the universal themes. Again, I scratch my head and ponder the possibilities. Acutely aware that armchair scholars and scholars alike have heard it all before. Well, I’m always up for a challenge.

Image result for ghost soldiers book images

 

I’m reading about an epic account I have never heard about before. Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides. It chronicles “121 hand-selected U.S. troops who slipped behind enemy lines in the Philippines. Their mission: March thirty rugged miles to rescue 513 POWs languishing in a hellish camp, among them the last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March.”

I’m thinking one of my fictitious characters will be on that mission.

Image result for ted williams and how baseball in wwii won the war

The other character is female and experiencing the war on the homefront. Somehow, she will be connected to the baseball/pilot hero Ted Williams. Somehow, I’d like to include Navajo Code-Talkers, the Hiroshima Maidens, and the 422nd., the all-Nisei Regiment in the plot. Here’s an article about them from the History Channel:

Japanese-American patriots

What a tall order. How will I shape these stories into a novel? Feel free to give me advice.

27 thoughts on “Writing about World War II

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  1. I like the Ted Williams connection. Perhaps your female protagonist could be half Native American, hiding her ancestry as Ted Williams shied away from his own Mexican-American heritage…Perhaps that could be the impetus of their relationship…In any event, your premise is intriguing.

    1. Thanks, Pam. Nice suggestion. That’s certainly an angle I was thinking about with the Japanese Americans who enlisted and fought bravely in WWII. AND to be asked to visit the internment camps to seek males for enlisting!
      Baseball is the national pastime and valued during the war, although the games/teams were limited. I don’t know about Ted Williams the pilot and his connection with the Cloudbuster 9, but I can’t wait to read the book and find out. 🙂

      1. He covers the whole period from planning to two more months of fighting – from all sides. I have only covered 60 pages so far – quite a bit of technical stuff. I will publish a post on it when I have finished.

  2. Great post 🙂 Your ideas for your book sound interesting 🙂 I have not read those two books, but now that you mentioned them, I must order them from Amazon.com or rent them from a library. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

  3. My husband is an amateur WWII scholar. His grandfather fought in the war but talked to no one about it except Mr O. This lead to a fascination that has spanned endless reading and watching. He never tires of a new book or documentary which suggests that there is plenty still to be said.

  4. Even allowing for the fact Hollywood takes liberties some of the classics inspired by WWII show how brave soldiers were and the half has not been told of all that bravery. We need to be constantly reminded of sacrifices made and appreciate freedoms we have in this age because of their bravery.

  5. My Dad had a massive collection of literature on WWII. I used to look through a lot of it – mind boggling images and stories about what people went through.

    It’s almost incomprehensible what these guys went through and experienced. The grizzly truth combined with Heroic action and determination in combating people who behaved in a completely subhuman manner. Yet this is what they did.

  6. Cindy, I have a reader interested in post-war Japan and Europe in movies and books and he wants the older versions – feeling that newer ones would be too concerned with being politically correct. I immediately thought of you, especially for the movies. Any ideas? I could use some help here.

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