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Stuck on Your Writing? > Research Sources Needed!

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message 1: by Jen (last edited Jun 24, 2012 05:45PM) (new)

Jen | 58 comments I like coming to this site for writing questions because I usually get a lot of nice feedback. :D
Anyway I am writing a story that I really want to focus on ethical dilemmas, aka how two characters go about handling situations differently.
This story has a lot of fighting/war content so does anyone know of good books/movies/articles/whatever I can read up on that will present difficult ethical choices soldiers were forced to make during times of war?


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) The Art of War by Sun Tzu (free for Kindle). The Bible (Old Testament). The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane. "All Quiet on the Eastern Front" ...

Platoon (movie), Full Metal Jacket (movie), Gettysburg (TNT Movie - made for TV). And there was one staring Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn...but I don't remember the name.

Oh, and not a book, movie or TV show, though there is plenty written about it. (and in the spirit of the 4th of July) you might want to look up Benedict Arnold and read how that came to pass for him. (there's a good documentary from the History Channel out there somewhere).

Particularly his relationship with George Washington, Ethan Allen and Horatio Gates. You might also read about the first battle of Ticonderoga and what happened to Arnold after he became the Military Governor in Philadelphia.

The Arnold Story is very interesting. He's still a villain, but he's a lot more complicated than most people know. In the beginning, he was a Hero of the revolution, but, by the end, he sold out to the British and betrayed Washington.


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) Oh, and read The Star Rover by Jack London. Particularly where he tells the story of the Massacre at the Meadows (Utah, Mormons, with Indian support, slaughters a wagon train.) London's Account is likely an accurate one, though there is a lot of controversy over that. The History books are a bit muddled on it, but Jack London's Version is likely as accurate or more accurate than any version in the current history books.


message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen | 58 comments Thank you so much!


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) Jen wrote: "Thank you so much!"

Your welcome! I'm glad this overstuffed dusty old attic of a brain could be of help to someone. And if you look up the Benedict Arnold story, his wife (Shipman..I think) is really a fun character (she should be in a book somewhere if she weren't real.)


message 6: by Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost (last edited Jun 25, 2012 06:15AM) (new)

Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) Down Range: To Iraq And Back Might also be a good read for you for research (by) Bridget C. Cantrell. I'd add "The Big Red One" with Lee Marvin to the Movie List and "Hamburger Hill."

A good one that addresses the new warior with the old warrior (not that great a movie for specific miltary details but it gives a good sense in the difference in mentality between today' solider and those of "The Greatest Generation." (Hey, put down Hitler and you get to say that.)


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) and read Balkan Ghosts. To go a different path: you might want to watch Mash with Eliot Gould and Sally Kellerman, Zulu with Michael Caine "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" John Wayne or Tuesday's Last Stand starrining Henry Fonda.

But the best movie, one of my all time favorites and the best role (acting) James Cagney ever played, The Fighting 69th.


message 8: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra Stapleton (SirisAnkh) | 21 comments You could ask a lot of our servicemen and women about those choices. Most veterans don't a chat.


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) I'm retried and I now I'm a substance abuse rehab counselor...that means getting me to chat isn't hard......


It's getting me to shut up that's the problem.


message 10: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra Stapleton (SirisAnkh) | 21 comments See! You have your resources!


message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Weldon (SarahRWeldon-author) | 5719 comments Curmudgeon wrote: "I'm retried and I now I'm a substance abuse rehab counselor...that means getting me to chat isn't hard......


It's getting me to shut up that's the problem."


I have the same problem! and M.A.S.H is funny, I like hot lips best and corporal Clinger!


message 12: by Jen (new)

Jen | 58 comments Curmudgeon wrote: "I'm retried and I now I'm a substance abuse rehab counselor...that means getting me to chat isn't hard......


It's getting me to shut up that's the problem."


Really? Wow! I imagine most people aren't as open about it.


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) Trust me, as a Counselor, I've got first hand knowledge of real "Ethical dilemmas." Is there a "for instance?" I thought my life sucked before I became a counselor. Now I know I was just a whiner. It could have been much worse.


message 14: by Irene, Moderator (new)

Irene | 2499 comments Mod
Curmudgeon wrote: "I'm retried and I now I'm a substance abuse rehab counselor...that means getting me to chat isn't hard......


It's getting me to shut up that's the problem."


You sound like my great uncle, there are somethings he won't talk about (which is understandable) but he's up for talking most of the time and be prepared to sit for a while if you do ask.


message 15: by Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost (last edited Jul 09, 2012 04:08PM) (new)

Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) That's about it.. but.. Oh, mercy! please don't compare me to a Great-Uncle! (sigh)...I'm not that old...am I?

You kids these days!

(I'll try to practice brevity.)


message 16: by Jen (new)

Jen | 58 comments Curmudgeon wrote: "Trust me, as a Counselor, I've got first hand knowledge of real "Ethical dilemmas." Is there a "for instance?" I thought my life sucked before I became a counselor. Now I know I was just a w..."

Basically I'm writing a high fantasy novel which involves a rebellion but I want the two main characters to clash as much as possible when it comes to dealing with situations. The only problem is I'm having trouble coming up with situations when it is nearly impossible to point to one character or the other and say, "he's right." It seemed much easier to do that when I started in on the first draft but I don't know. I can't really explain why it's so hard now.


message 17: by Irene, Moderator (last edited Jul 09, 2012 07:42PM) (new)

Irene | 2499 comments Mod
Curmudgeon wrote: "That's about it.. but.. Oh, mercy! please don't compare me to a Great-Uncle! (sigh)...I'm not that old...am I?

You kids these days!

(I'll try to practice brevity.)"


Sorry, the Great Uncle it is as no one else in my family who has been in the service and talks about it (no reference to age there though and he isn't old, he's in his mid sixties). Although I could say my boyfriend's older brother as he is in the service and he will talk ocasionally and only about certian things.


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) Spartacus. the movie with Kirk Douglas. Natalie Wood Peter Eustanoff (sp) and Tony Curtis. And you might want to research Masada in Isreal. (Movie on that too.)

Reasearch Attila The Hun. Movie on that too. Julius Ceasar by Shakespeare and McBeth. The war of the Roses Lancaster vs York... Ceasar vs Pompeii (histories account). If course Camelot....Lance and Aurthur.

Aeneas. (The Aneid)
Zulu- movie staring Michael Caine.

Historical accounts of the First Crusade.


and Star rover by Jack London. - there is a story in there about an ancient tribe who fight to the last man but when the realize that they can't win they have to decide if they will kill their wives or let the conquerors "have" them.

The true story. ... historical accounts of the Battle at The Alamo.

The end of the movie She Wore a Yellow Ribbon where John Wayne has to leave his yong protege' officer to hold the Ford against overwhelming odds while the rest of the Cavalry escapes to get reinforcements.

Memphis Belle the movie. the part where the squadron commander explains to John Lithgow why he doesn't want to have a celebration for the Belle if they make it back.

And of course The Battle of Thermopolae... Leonidas and the Spartans.


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) And I think it would serve you well to watch the documentary by The History Channel on Benadict Arnold. That's a rich story for potentially fun inspiration for other stories.


message 20: by Jen (new)

Jen | 58 comments Curmudgeon wrote: "And I think it would serve you well to watch the documentary by The History Channel on Benadict Arnold. That's a rich story for potentially fun inspiration for other stories."

Okay thanks. :]


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) Your welcome, and the reason I'm so fascinated with Arnold is that up to the point he gets stuck with Horation Gates, he's arguably a bonified Hero of the Revolution. Something happens between him and Gates. He turns into an almost storybook villain when he becomes the Military Governor of Philadelphia. Then he meets Shippman and changes sides.

Shippman gets off the hook because George Washington, Remarkable Hero of the Revolution that he was, also turns out to be a bit Male Chauvinist and doesn't think a woman is capable of such treachery. The relationship between Washington and Arnold is interesting too.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Art of War (other topics)
The Star Rover (other topics)
Down Range: To Iraq and Back (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Sun Tzu (other topics)
Jack London (other topics)
Bridget C. Cantrell (other topics)