Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Would this be useful?

   
Author Topic: Would this be useful?
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Prompted by a random bolt from the wide blue sky, today I have been considering writing two books designed for writers along the lines of the '. . . For Dummies.' series. In this case the subject matter would be, in the first instance, Military Formations and Hierarchies Through the Ages. and its companion volume, Strategy, Tactics and Individual Combat Through the Ages.

So, I'm just wondering if Hatracker's would find such guides written in plain English useful, or not? And, yes, I have seriously studied military history etc for over 25 years.

Phil.

Posts: 1605 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I understand the phrase "For Dummies" is under international trademark and also that the above titles are not intended to include that phrase. Just a heads up for general writers' consideration. ("For Dummies" Trademark Encyclopedia)

"For Writers" is not trademarked, though.

A collection of information about battle tactics itself has merit and appeal, though, for me, I'd be most interested in a fresh approach to how such tactics have been used effectively by writers and as a guide for development of combat and battle tactics for prose to compare and contrast with other texts.

Aristotle and Freytag discuss considerations of battle scenes as possible sensationalized spectacles that don't fit the stage; yet Freytag allows they may fit prose's larger spatial boundaries. Film was not around in their times; film does spatially accommodate battle spectacles. Lubbock does discuss how battle scenes are managed by Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace and Anna Karenina. I believe an aesthetics text for writers' benefits focused on war, battle, and combat tactics and strategies has considerable promise.

An Internet faction natter disparages so-labeled inaccurate fight and battle scenes as unbelievable for their durations, mostly, for example. Fighters' exertions are unbelievably copious for any drawn-out and intense fight. These critics also note issues with weapons durability, ammunition supply issues, pack weight-bearing issues, duration of length and delay factors of supply trains, and supply line disruptions, etc. Not to mention as yet unknown tactics, strategies, and issues for orbital, interplanetary, and interstellar conflicts, which are easily misapprehended and subject to ample invention and, hence, disparagement.

[ February 05, 2015, 02:14 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 5095 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TaleSpinner
Member
Member # 5638

 - posted      Profile for TaleSpinner   Email TaleSpinner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy old guy:
Prompted by a random bolt from the wide blue sky, today I have been considering writing two books designed for writers along the lines of the '. . . For Dummies.' series. In this case the subject matter would be, in the first instance, Military Formations and Hierarchies Through the Ages. and its companion volume, Strategy, Tactics and Individual Combat Through the Ages.

So, I'm just wondering if Hatracker's would find such guides written in plain English useful, or not? And, yes, I have seriously studied military history etc for over 25 years.

Phil.

I would imagine the writers market is not very big. Why not broaden the appeal of the books by writing for students of military history, but writing in plain language everyone can understand? Maybe make it become a standard text for military academies?
Posts: 1796 | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TaleSpinner, if writing a novel and getting it published is considered a pretty hard thing to accomplish, writing a scholarly treatise on such a subject would be about five orders of magnitude harder. It would, in fact, keep me occupied for the next 10 years, or more, more likely.

I was not planning a scholarly work, as such, but a potted version focusing on the most obvious, rather than explaining the reasons for the button arrangement on the jackets of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

For instance; the image in film and television of two lines of fierce warriors charging each other at full tilt, with pennants waving and swords carried aloft with shields before them as they crashed into each other is absolute twaddle. When they got to a distance of about twenty metres from one another, one side would just stop, stare, then turn and run. No battle, no fight, just a slaughter of the fleeing. Just happened in Iraq with Isis, in case you don't believe it. (Based in part on empirical research done by the British Army after the battle of Talavera, Spain, 1809, looking into the effectiveness of the bayonet in battle. They were surprised to find hardly a bayonet wound in charge situations--one side fled (Both British and French) rather than engaged.)

Phil.

[ February 05, 2015, 04:57 AM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]

Posts: 1605 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TaleSpinner
Member
Member # 5638

 - posted      Profile for TaleSpinner   Email TaleSpinner         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Makes sense, Phil.

I'd add your books to the bookshelf, knowing little about these things.

Good luck with it,
Pat

Posts: 1796 | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Reziac
Member
Member # 9345

 - posted      Profile for Reziac   Email Reziac         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why not contact the Dummies franchise and see if they're interested? They've published all manner of more-unlikely titles.
Posts: 742 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JSchuler
Member
Member # 8970

 - posted      Profile for JSchuler   Email JSchuler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
For instance; the image in film and television of two lines of fierce warriors charging each other at full tilt, with pennants waving and swords carried aloft with shields before them as they crashed into each other is absolute twaddle. When they got to a distance of about twenty metres from one another, one side would just stop, stare, then turn and run. No battle, no fight, just a slaughter of the fleeing. Just happened in Iraq with Isis, in case you don't believe it. (Based in part on empirical research done by the British Army after the battle of Talavera, Spain, 1809, looking into the effectiveness of the bayonet in battle. They were surprised to find hardly a bayonet wound in charge situations--one side fled (Both British and French) rather than engaged.)
Well, that seems a step up from the time of Machiavelli, where most battles tended to just be maneuver exercises, with no actual fighting.

Of course, though, just because that was how most battles were waged does not make the Hollywood portrayal twaddle. There are fights where two sides did engage. Neither the Spartans nor the Persians turned and fled at Thermopylae, for example.

Posts: 388 | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grumpy old guy
Member
Member # 9922

 - posted      Profile for Grumpy old guy   Email Grumpy old guy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Battle of Maneuver started well before Machiavelli. With the decline of the effectiveness of the armoured knight against infantry formations (culminating in the Swiss Landsknechte) and improved upon with the introduction of the musket and pike formations, armies of infantry would each attempt to outflank the other trying to avoid a head-on confrontation. Such battles being extremely costly in men and material.

Frederick the Great being the acknowledged master of the line oblique offensive formation.

As for Thermopylae, the Spartans (along with about 5,000 auxiliary troops from other various Greek city states) held a purely defensive position and waited for the Persians to come within their killing range. Nothing like the film 300.

Of course there are fights where both sides engaged in frontal combat; they just didn't charge into each other at full tilt, when they contacted each other it was usually at the walk. The exception may have been the Viking berserkers. And, just to debunk the idea that they were called this because they went into battle in a berserk rage, there is evidence that the word berserk in Old Norse actually means bare skin. The belief is that by going into battle unprotected they guaranteed their place in Valhalla should they fall.

Phil.

[ February 26, 2015, 04:01 PM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]

Posts: 1605 | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2