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Showing posts from September, 2014

Story Combat Realism Part 2--The Fearless Elite

I ended my last post with the following statement: " writing battles, it should happen sometimes that characters feel overwhelmed and surrender. Or run. Or if they don't, there needs to be something special about them that accounts for how they differ from what is in fact normal for human and nearly-human characters." One type of "something special" I'm going to discuss in this post. It turns out according the the book  On Killing , the biggest stressor human beings face in combat is killing other human beings. The sequel to On Killing,  On Combat , actually puts more emphasis on the danger of being killed, but both things haunt the human mind, largely based on the human ability to feel empathy. To feel the suffering of those we humans kill on the one hand--and to witness friends and colleagues being killed on the other, while feeling their pain as they pass on (and then worry that we are next) form the primary causes of battlefield psychological trau