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About Literature / Professional Official Beta Tester doughboycafeSpain Group :iconthewrittenrevolution: theWrittenRevolution
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DDs

Analise April, 1921
Kaysersberg, Alsace

"And we could get a little house," she continued. "Somewhere near the coast. I hear it's still nice by the coast."
"Sure," he said.
"You don't think so?"
"No, it is."
She snuggled close to him, putting her head against his chest, pressing her shoulder up in the crook of his arm. She was so small. "I always did think a cottage would be nice. In Biarritz, maybe."
"Mm."
"You're right, too many tourists in Biarritz. Maybe south, towards the mountains. We could have a nice little cottage down by the mountains. Near the sea."
"Yes, we could."
She lifted her face; her radiant, round face framed with the loose curls of white gold hair tumbling down around it. She smiled and her little pink cheeks lifted. "And we could have children."
Marc laid his head back against the pillow and closed his eyes. "Isn't it pretty to think so?"
"Do you love me?"
"Yes."
"Tell me again."
"I love you."
"Do you really have to go tomorrow?"
"I do."
"I don't see what need there
Becoming BrianThe soldier coming up on him was swaying, limping, climbing wearily up the stony street towards the terrace. He walked like an old man, thought Brian Strong, though he was scarcely older than Brian himself. He dragged himself along, tripping over the cracks in the cobblestones, hauling behind him a filthy rucksack all covered in gray trench clay. Pausing by the café, the old boy took off his garrison cap and worried it between his black-tipped fingers.
"Well, hey," said Brian Strong. "Sit down and have a drink on me."
Regarding him for a moment, the soldier conceded and sat.
Brian Strong ran his hands over a perfectly polished uniform and propped his shiny-shoed feet up on the trumpet case under his table. The fellow soldier opposite him rested his head on his hand and, though his eyes seemed hollow, Brian thought with a good night's sleep and a shave he'd be right as rain. He looked like a man who had seen things, thought Brian, and done things. A worldly man. He saw now that t

Christmas on the Border of England and Over ThereIt's snowing on Christmas Eve, and half the men I've ever known in my life are dead. But that was in the war, supposedly a long way away from Oxfordshire, where I am standing outside my brother-in-law's beautiful brownstone house watching the snow quietly cover the hillside beyond. The daylight is dying and it casts the once-white ground in pink, and the pine trees are black against the hillsides, and the truth of it is that the war is not far away because it has followed me here. I am smoking a cigarette, watching the hill, and my mind is slowly counting down the list of men that I once knew, now buried under hills and snow, all of the way from Lorraine to the Rhine. Some of them were my men.
Being an officer is like being a parent; when I left my boys in Paris, despite the Armistice, and despite how many times I reminded myself that they are not my children but in fact, grown men, I felt guilty, and frightened. Land mines don't know that the war has ended, and neither does hunger.
A Guide to Writing Combat-Related Mental IllnessComing Back from Combat: A Writer’s Guide to Combat Related Psychological Illness in Fiction
The aim of this guide is simple: plenty of people want to write about war, to explore it, to understand it and understand soldiers they know who are in it or have come from it. But, often times putting the aftermath, the pain, and the psychological impact war has on the mind into words is difficult to do well.
This guide exists to help fiction writers accurately portray psychological disorders in their work, because the people who suffer from these disorders and their loved ones deserve honesty and do not deserve to be misrepresented. The guide is here to help writers understand how these disorders come about, how they are treated, and how to think critically about how they might impact the person who has them.
I. Introduction
1. A disclaimer, and polemics.
2. Why are you writing a psychological illness into your story?
3. Terms you should be familiar with for this

And Here Is JohnParis, 1917
Here is John, beside me again. Sometimes when we meet he courtly and charming. Other times he’s tired and he can only muster up a smile as the words “Bonjour, ma belle,” fall out of his mouth. Sometimes his eyes burn feverishly, sometimes they’re dull, sometimes he’s drunk. It depends on where he’s been that day. There are only two things constant about my John: he always manages to smile, and I can always see the fear deep in every line on his face.
Paris is grim; the front is moving closer to the city, and we’re losing more battles than we’re winning. John spends his time here waiting, and afraid. He lost in these brown streets among these brown buildings, as are all the uniformed boys playing soldier.
Only they are not playing, really. Not anymore. Time is short for him, and the front lines rise up and loom in the darkness. He will meet them again soon. He is like a starving man, needing a good meal and a kind word b

And Two Years After That Night in Nasiriyah, now in storage.

DLDs

And Here Is JohnParis, 1917
Here is John, beside me again. Sometimes when we meet he courtly and charming. Other times he’s tired and he can only muster up a smile as the words “Bonjour, ma belle,” fall out of his mouth. Sometimes his eyes burn feverishly, sometimes they’re dull, sometimes he’s drunk. It depends on where he’s been that day. There are only two things constant about my John: he always manages to smile, and I can always see the fear deep in every line on his face.
Paris is grim; the front is moving closer to the city, and we’re losing more battles than we’re winning. John spends his time here waiting, and afraid. He lost in these brown streets among these brown buildings, as are all the uniformed boys playing soldier.
Only they are not playing, really. Not anymore. Time is short for him, and the front lines rise up and loom in the darkness. He will meet them again soon. He is like a starving man, needing a good meal and a kind word b
Yellow Brick FrontThe bakery at the end of the block had a yellow brick façade, so you could always pick it out as soon as you turned off the main drag onto the cross street, and it's what made the street famous. Between the rows and rows of look alike houses with slanted roofs and same-old red brick fronts, there stood the bakery like a golden gift wrapped box waiting to be opened.
It had everything you possibly could have imagined; the gooiest chocolate chip cookies, the sweetest pizzelles, and the fluffiest, richest bread. Half a block away you could smell you were coming up on it, and every Sunday the baker who owned it would bring his trays out to the sidewalk – as long as the weather provided – and share a few free sugar cookies and lemonade with anyone who passed by. Everyone in the neighborhood went there. They couldn't think of going anywhere else.
The baker himself was almost always behind the counter covered in flour with his big, calloused hands deep inside a pile of dough. He

Becoming BrianThe soldier coming up on him was swaying, limping, climbing wearily up the stony street towards the terrace. He walked like an old man, thought Brian Strong, though he was scarcely older than Brian himself. He dragged himself along, tripping over the cracks in the cobblestones, hauling behind him a filthy rucksack all covered in gray trench clay. Pausing by the café, the old boy took off his garrison cap and worried it between his black-tipped fingers.
"Well, hey," said Brian Strong. "Sit down and have a drink on me."
Regarding him for a moment, the soldier conceded and sat.
Brian Strong ran his hands over a perfectly polished uniform and propped his shiny-shoed feet up on the trumpet case under his table. The fellow soldier opposite him rested his head on his hand and, though his eyes seemed hollow, Brian thought with a good night's sleep and a shave he'd be right as rain. He looked like a man who had seen things, thought Brian, and done things. A worldly man. He saw now that t
The Fox BrideThe sky is a kind of periwinkle; dusky and undecided if it is lavender or blue, and the full leaves of the chestnut trees are black against the sodium backlight from the streetlamps. Ethereal is the word for them, as within the wrought iron casings are nothing more than softly glowing orange globes. They may as well be faery lanterns.
But that is my imagination running away with me again, so I bring my attention back down from the sky and the leaves and the imaginary world that lies in the space between them, back to the quiet pleasure of my company. She's done up in scarlet tonight, which is my favorite color on her, and one she so rarely wears at home, but it complements her olive skin and her dark hair and makes her shine. She's smiling at me again in that way that says she knows I was drifting and it amuses her.
"Where did you go just now?" she asks.
"Sorry, darling."
"It's alright, but do I wonder where you go."
"Oh, up among the trees."
"Is it pleasant there?"
"Yes," I smile at h

And Two Years After That Night in Nasiriyah, now in storage.

Interviews & Reviews

Being Historical with doughboycafeHistory is cool. I could try to explain why, but if you aren't already interested, there's a better way to get on board: read and/or write historical fiction. Only...I can't say anything there, I don't know anything about historical fiction!
Luckily, dA has a strong cadre of historical fiction writers. I (metaphorically) sat down with one of the outstanding, doughboycafe:
What is "historical fiction"?

I think that it is, quite simply, fiction set somewhere in history. Though it usually draws on one or more actual events, we get to make up the whos and the whys and the hows.
That isn't to say it isn't accurate, however. Historical fiction, good historical fiction, is well researched and the details of the time period, social situation, and culture should reflect real ideas, technology, and cultural values. 

If you have to do the same amount of research, why not nonfiction?

I guess that all depends on your
Daily Lit Deviant - @doughboycafeDaily Lit Deviant is an article put out on a daily basis throughout the year that is devoted to showing the work and accomplishments of one writer per article and presenting exemplary pieces of their work. It is based off of bowie-loon123's series of articles of the same name.
Join me in welcoming doughboycafe as our Daily Lit Deviant for January 6th, 2014.
Nominated by Nichrysalis
:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe is the definitive resource for all things military fiction on deviantART, and her gallery exemplifies her love for crafting realistic, accurate fiction in a war-torn setting.

The guide above deals with mental illness sustained from combat, and there is nothing quite like it on deviantART. Anybody with any intentions to create a believable character should read and take something from this guide.
What

Writers of the Revolution, July 21Featured WRITER
doughboycafe
Featured by SilverInkblot
Reading work from doughboycafe is a matter of investing your time – her pieces are often dense and long, but your investment will be returned tenfold. I, as a matter of personal taste, have never cared much for war stories, be it in my literature or my movies, yet the works below sucked me right in.

Becoming Brian
"He crawled on his belly through the thick jungle of the Argonne Forest and he covered himself in the gray French clay. His fingertips went black from cleaning his rifle. He tripped while running over a field and looked up just in time to see the rest of the squad mowed down by machine gun fire - they landed one by one on the hard ground, nothing but tatters and holes. He shot a boy in the head. He ran out of bullets and gored a man with his knife, and his fing
The Saturday Spotlight for August 25th, 2012Guidelines | How to Suggest a DLD | Group Administrators | Affiliation | Chatroom | Current Staff Openings
 
Saturday Spotlight for August 25th, 2012
Daily Literature Deviations is proud to feature this special recognition article!
You can show your support by :+fav:ing this News Article. We hope this gives you some insight into
the person behind the art.
Please comment and :+fav: the features and congratulate the artist!
 
Artists will be featured in a specia

Artist Interview - DoughBoyCafeArtist Interview with Professional Travel Writer http://doughboycafe.deviantart.com/ who has received a number of DD's with a recent DD being awarded for the piece A Guide to Writing Combat-Related Mental Illness at link http://doughboycafe.deviantart.com/art/A-Guide-to-Writing-Combat-Related-Mental-Illness-383688095. We have interviewed him below on his art.
1. What type of art do you do?
I am a fiction writer. I also do non-fiction work, but it’s mostly for my work, or in the form of guides. I consider my art and love to be a writer of fiction.
2. Have you attended education for your artwork, or are you self-taught? Do you do your art professionally or as hobby?
I have never attended classes for writing, no, but I wouldn’t say I’m entirely self-taught. My background is in History and Anthropology, which really helps me in writing because I primarily write historical fiction. My school study gave me a strong background in my material, and after that, I did coursework

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Historical Fiction Workshop - Week 3, Writing

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 18, 2014, 2:48 PM


Alright Historians, time to actually start writing your story.

 

This time, your assignment first: Start your working draft. I’d like to see people get it half done by the end of the week. I assume that halfway through your stories you will start to find more things you need to research, so here is what I want you to do:

:bulletblue: Make a new scrap deviation, this will be your rough draft. Start writing it and link it back here so I know when to look at it. You can link even if you only have an opening paragraph and continue to add to it, alerting us as many times as you like during the week.

:bulletblack: In your previous scrap that has your outline and your sources, start taking note of the things you come up against while writing your story. What didn’t you research yet that you – oops – just figured out that you needed? Write it down. This list will be integral to week 4’s lesson.

I don’t think you’ll get the whole story done in one week, but please do as much as you can. You WILL have more time to write later, I promise, but still, the more working draft you have, the more you have to work with.

 

And now on to the lesson. It’s a doozy this time guys. But it’s good.

 

Your lesson this week is multi-pronged. We’ll be going over a couple things to avoid while writing your story. They are, in no particular order:

:bulletblue: How to fit in historical fact without infodumping.

:bulletblack: Using slang and period English appropriately in your story.

:bulletblue: Avoiding anachronisms.

:bulletblack: Dealing with vulgarity.

 

First comes first. Infodumping and how not to do it:

Imagine that VFreie and I are sitting around having a conversation.

doughboycafe : Wow, VFreie, it’s so nice having the internet, on which I can check my email. Look, I received an email from my mom, who lives thousands of miles away from me, but it came here in an instant!

VFreie : Yeah, the internet is truly great. I can remember fifteen years ago when we didn’t really have it. Correspondence was so slow, then!

doughboycafe : It sure was. And wow, I can even see pictures of our cats, look at this attachment!

You’re probably all laughing now at the absolute absurdity of this conversation. But this is what a terrible info dump looks like in histfic too, and I swear to you all, I read dialogues and narratives this awkward and stupid all the time. Here’s why this doesn’t work:

    1.       This conversation could be had in about 2 lines.

    2.       There is no reason for VFreie and I to tell each other information that is evident. We both know what they internet is. We are chatting over it as we talk to each other, and we both lived through its advent and history, so why on earth would we need to explain it to each other?

    3.       We also don’t need to give each other our subjective opinions on something that is so neutral and commonplace that it doesn’t warrant it.

A better form of this conversation:

doughboycafe : Lol, I just got an email from my mom, but I think it’s like 2am her time. What is she even doing up?

VFreie : Sending you pictures of cats?

doughboycafe : Yep. Pictures of the cats.*

(for the record my mother does occasionally send me pictures of the cats but it’s usually before 2am her time.)

In the second version, we still get the info we needed but without all the info we don’t need. Your audience isn’t stupid. They can probably figure out a few things from context, and if they can’t, you’ll figure that out in a beta readthrough.

The best way to transmit historical setting and information is through natural speech. Things will get mentioned, or, you can talk in narrative about personal attachments someone has to a place, an action, an event, an idea, to explain that that (thing) exists. But there’s no need to over explain. Remember my stupid first dialogue and how utterly silly it sounds when writing your first draft.

 

Thoughts from VFreie :

The age you live in shows through the things you use, the physical sensations you experience (think that inebriating smell at the gas station), the way you speak, the manners you interact with other people and your environment, etc. You can make the setting work the same way in historical fiction: let it come alive through concrete details. Let it speak for itself.

Beside that, you’re going to need a lot of self-restraint. Why? Because during your research phase and well beyond the official end of it, you’ll learn a lot of really cool things, an you’ll want to tell them all... even though you don’t always need them. You have to resist that temptation to show off your newfound awesome knowledge. I know it’s hard. But you’re here to write fiction, not an essay for school; your historical knowledge should seep from your plot and your characters. Basically, it’s an advanced version of the good ol’ “show, don’t tell” rule.

In short, use the the As You Know, Bob trope sparingly. Very sparingly. As little as possible. Possibly never.

 

From doughboycafe :

And this bears repeating again guys. History is the backdrop, it is NOT your story. Don’t fall into the trap of letting the historical events do your work for you. Remember the questions we asked you in week one. Remember that your narrative has to be about your character’s internal or external change, not the events happening on the background chronology.

 

Using Slang and Period English

Here’s the thing about slang, guys; much like speaking a foreign language, if you don’t speak it well, if you haven’t spent years reading scads of novels and primary sources written in your period of choice, use it sparingly. If at all. Yes, you will need to use slang words if the modern English word is anachronistic because it wasn’t invented yet, but slang is not a condiment. You shouldn’t pepper it all over your story just for good measure. It needs to be in there smoothly, consistently, and naturally, otherwise it tastes like scrambled eggs that have small clumps of black pepper hidden inside like uncomfortably little spice bombs. Bite into one of those babies and it’s gonna be awkward.

The same goes for period English. If you haven’t spent enough time studying it to be completely comfortable with it, if you’re not aware of how it syntactically differs from modern English, you’re going to end up mixing the two and it’s going to turn out stilted, bad, or worse – laughable. It’s ok to write much older settings in modern English. You speak modern English. That doesn’t mean use anachronistic word choices, but it does mean modern language structure is ok. Normally you can just make it sound a little more “formal” and it works out.

Avoiding Anachronisms

Two cents from VFreie :

Anachronisms are tricky punks. Really tricky. Let me say it straight from the beginning: you are going to always, always get something not perfectly right. This is NOT an excuse to slack off with your research and your attempts at staying true to history, but remember that eternal incompleteness is your fate. D:

That said, you’re going to face two macro-types of anachronism:

- factual details; they can be painfully hard to get right, and make you trip over ridiculously small things, such as trifle everyday life matters – for example: was it a common custom for people in this place and this era and this social class to eat with fork and knife? And don’t even get me started on trying to track down exactly what people ate throughout history;

- mentality problems; now, this is a wider scope flaw that often ties with the problem of avoiding vulgarity and politically not correct stuff. It’s very easy to give in to gut instinct and lend your characters views and manners of thinking, speaking and behaving that are much too advanced for their era, and yes, by “advanced” I mean “blatantly 21st century Westernised”. Some of us may find it hard to sit in the head of, let’s say, an 18th gentleman who genuinely believes his beloved wife is an inferior piece of property, slave trade is just as acceptable as cattle trade, and sleeping with a 13 years old prostitute is the perfect thing to do on a night out – and still make this guy a positive character, even if not all his views on these topics are eventually changed towards our modern notions of right and wrong. I’m not saying you should roll in the muck and make your character’s world view entirely, uncritically yours; but, showing something does not equal agreeing with it. You have to suck it up, and pay very close attention to how you frame that nasty stuff.

Valid for both points: try to read up some cultural history, history of ideas and history of mentalities about the eras you’re researching. Aside from bits of shine on material culture, they can be of great help to get your characters’ mindset right. An example: you’d think there were no such things as books on the history of domestic life in Europe throughout the modern age, right? Oh, but there is..

 

Dealing with Vulgarity

From doughboycafe

And this dovetails nicely into dealing with vulgarity. First off let me say: guys, most of your stories are dealing with heavy concepts. Stay on them. Sure, use dA’s maturity filter if you have to, but stay on them. Don’t back off of scary, awful things. It is your duty, your moral obligation as a writer and as historian to tell people what really happened way back when. If you don’t, if you sugarcoat something or water it down, you’re denying those that actually lived through those awful things their chance at recognition for their pain, endurance, and courage.

If in the course of writing your story someone complains at you for telling it like it is, come and tell me immediately. I don’t want any one of my participants getting blasted for telling the truth, I will not take that kind of crap.

So, about vulgarity. The simplest way to put this: Vulgarity happens in history. Soldiers swear. Ugly, nasty things can happen between people. Depending on your time period, racism is probably present. Rape might be present. Injustice, false execution, crime, murder, religious war, it’s all in there. Don’t shy away from these things because they are horrible to us now.

The biggest issues I see with people who do histfic is that they feel ashamed to research or show what really may have happened in a given time period. There are a lot of very terrible subjects that become intrinsically tied to certain time periods, and sometimes it’s important to know they are there, even if you don’t care to show them.

Remember that throughout most of history: Soldiers went to brothels. Prostitutes had abortions. In most of history, rape was common. There was segregation of all kinds of people for their skin color. Until more or less the 20th century, homosexuality was a crime that warranted imprisonment and sometimes death, especially in a military setting. And during tough times, like famines, wars, occupations, or economic depressions, people suffered psychological breaks, and until relatively recently, those things were simply not recognized, let alone treated. It’s really hard to deal with, even harder to fight the urge to romanticize it. But you have to, because you really shouldn’t ignore it, no matter how frightening or politically charged it might get.

If we’re not telling the truth, then we’re just lying to ourselves, and that doesn’t get anybody anywhere.

But on the flipside, do not make vulgar what was not vulgar at the time; this means, for example, if you are writing a war, do not demonize the enemy using hindsight. I can tell you now from the amount I’ve read that there were no ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ in a trench, just guys, all hungry, all tired, all surviving. Good people do bad things, or things that are acceptable for their times.

Be true, be true, be true. That’s the mantra to repeat.


 

Alright guys, that was a huge lesson, but hopefully it’s enough food for thought right now. Let’s get to writing.



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doughboycafe

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"You spend all your time talking, not working. You're an expatriate, see? You hang around cafes."
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historical fiction workshop participants- is there anything you guys need right now? 

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5 deviants said Nope, I am good for now.
17%
1 deviant said Yes! - I am having trouble finding sources on some aspects of my story. (comment and explain)
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I herd u liek archaeology

ok is really paleontology but whatevs, I don't know the difference :P

acadadelaide.wordpress.com/
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Professional Writer
Dude. Paleo is pre humans and archaeo is humans D:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Just checking :eyes:
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Professional Writer
But this still looks cool :o
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(1 Reply)
:iconrovanna:
Rovanna Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014   Digital Artist
Thank you very much for suggesting me for DD. :love:
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Professional Writer
Very welcome :)
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:iconoboe-wan:
oboe-wan Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Congrats on the new Daily Deviation!
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Professional Writer
:heart:
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:iconninitynine:
ninitynine Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Student General Artist
hi, say, in your how to write mental illness and war related guides you mentioned some books that could help but I can't remember them, could you tell me someo f them, please?
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Professional Writer
the mental illness guide has a complete bibliography. since i think you have it in favs, probably just best if you scroll to the end of it.

as for the other, I wrote it a while back so I don´t remember exactly what examples I used without going to check myself, but I suspect it was probably All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Maria Remarque) and I Had Seen Castles (Cynthia Rylant). Probably also If I Die in a Combat Zone (Tim OBrien) wouldn´t go amiss.
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