Writing conundrum

I’m at an impasse and until I figure this out, I can’t move forward.  I’m about to yank my hair out at the roots from obsessing over it.

Here’s the gist – I’m writing a novel that takes place during World War II.  Two best friends are about to go off to war but I absolutely cannot decide what unit I’m putting them in.  It is imperative, though, that they see some form of action as early as possible for the story to progress properly.  See my notes below for those I’m considering or not:

  • 1st Armored Division – was one of the first to see action in the war.  Also, training was done in Fort Knox, Kentucky, which is close to towns in southern Indiana where the novel takes place (Bethlehem, Charlestown, New Albany, etc.)
  • 3rd Infantry Division or 9th Infantry Divison (Army) – saw some of the earliest American-involved action.
  • 82nd Airborne (Army) – was activated before the 101st, involved in several campaigns in 1943.
  • Marines – I don’t know much about the Pacific theater (because Europe has always been my focus of studies) but some of what the men experienced was so brutal that I’m afraid it might damage the psyche of my character(s).  They did, however, enter the fray quite early.
  • Navy – this is an option I haven’t really explored much… perhaps I should?

So the question is, where do I send two farm boys from southern Indiana that, up until that moment, had lived a pretty quiet, idyllic (albeit poor) life?  Their division/unit isn’t the focal point, of course, because the novel is actually more of an affair of the heart as well as a growing up/coming of age story for my heroine but still, I have to know where I’m sending the boys because I need to research troop movement.  I need to be historically accurate.

I can’t make a decision!!!!  *sobs*


3 thoughts on “Writing conundrum

  1. Go with what your gut tells you. I know how you feel because I set my novel during the 1920s during a heated political election. To understand politics of the time, I learned it was a big show of personalities and lies. Anyways, go with your gut. I research too. I chose the location for my story based on my access to research materials. For example, if I know I can go to the South Caroliniana Library to find original documents and newspapers detaling a town; I go there. History isn’t easy especially when we as writers want to be both accurate and portray the emotion.

    • You’re certainly right. My gut screams 1st Armored Division for a lot of reasons. This novel was originally going to be set in Chicago and then I opened my eyes and realized that we had a wealth of World War II history in the area where I grew up and I decided to move it. It’s amazing how much research and planning goes in to a work of fiction when it’s historical in nature! But you’re right about wanting to be accurate and portray the emotion – capturing the appropriate emotion of the time is imperative! Thanks!

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