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Everything you need to know about editing a war genre manuscript

An abstract image with scribbles, representing the editing process.

Editing a war-genre manuscript can feel like planning a military campaign. You're faced with a battleground of narrative elements, each requiring careful strategy to ensure they all work together to create a gripping, emotionally powerful story. But don't worry – this guide is here to be your trusty war room, helping you navigate the complexities of the war genre. So, put on your general's hat, and let's march into the trenches of war genre editing!

Understanding the audience

Readers of war genre fiction appreciate a blend of historical accuracy, authentic depictions of combat, intense action, deep emotional resonance that explores the human condition, and the stark realities of warfare. They seek an immersive experience that transports them into the heart of the conflict, whether it's the trenches of World War I or the jungles of Vietnam. Use the editing process to ensure that the combat scenes are realistic, the emotional toll is palpable, and the realities of war are accurately portrayed.

Story structure and plot

War-genre plots often revolve around battles, political intrigue, and personal survival. The structure should reflect the chaos of war but also maintain a clear narrative that guides the reader through the story.

Character development

War genre characters often experience profound transformations due to the reality of conflict. Ensure that their growth reflects the impact of war, be it in their attitudes, values, or personal relationships.

Language and dialogue

War-genre stories often use jargon-heavy, descriptive language to capture the reality of war. Dialogue should reflect the gritty, intense reality of soldiers on the battlefield or individuals caught in war-torn situations.

Does your language paint a clear picture of the war-time setting? Does your dialogue feel natural, revealing character motivations and conflicts?

Theme and message

War-genre novels often tackle themes of honor, sacrifice, survival, and the horrors of war. During editing, ensure these themes are effectively portrayed, adding emotional depth and realism to the narrative and enhancing the impact of the combat scenes.

Crafting believable world-building and resolution

Believable world-building and a satisfying resolution are vital in a war story. Your world should be historically accurate and consistent, and your resolution should provide a satisfying conclusion to the conflict-filled plot.

In your edit, scrutinise your world-building and resolution. Is your world consistent and historically accurate? Is the resolution a fitting conclusion to the plot? Remember, believable world-building and a satisfying resolution are the keys to a gripping war story.

The importance of editing in war fiction

Editing a war genre manuscript is like planning a successful military campaign – every element must work together to deliver a story that resonates with power and emotional depth. It's about perfecting every plot point, every character moment, and every piece of dialogue until you have a story that transports readers into the heart of the conflict.