This is one topic I dreaded writing the most. I’ve not read much of war based books baring a couple of books. In general this is what I learnt.
1. Graphic and Gory – Some people like reading all the graphic details of a war casualty. While others prefer a much toned down version. Describing a war in a very graphic manner would help the reader visualize things as they happened. For some people, it may trigger unwanted unpleasant memories. Thus, moderation is the key.
2. Of World War II – Most of the war stories written have World War II as the setting. There is a lot of scope for story line manoeuvre as the Nazis tortured the Jews in many innovative ways. In fact I had to steer clear off such books to ensure my head was intact. Unless you have the gut to read about such human cruelty, is recommended not to pick such books.
3. Time Line Switch – Time line switch is one literary device which can be used to plot a war story. It is easier to make an aged character remember their past. Example of a typical story line would be an aged character searching for a long lost artifact or a close relative. A La Titanic.
4. The Kashmir Angle – I’ve read a couple of books based on the Kashmir conflict. The most memorable read would be Our Moon Has Blood Clots. The story involves a sadly memorable incident when Kashmiri Pandits fled their homes in fear of being attacked. this is one interesting yet sad thread of story line to be used.