How to End a War Part 1

Friday, February 12

Picture by Radojavor

Ah, the epic war stories. So much fun to write, but so hard to actually resolve.
A few ways to end a war;

Death of Leader
Cut off the head of the snake. Attack the root of the problem, and all that sort of thing.

Their death usually results in confusion amongst the troops. They get frightened and usually try to flee, or they surrender in hopes of staying alive.

To make it more interesting, the troops could remain levelheaded and continue the fight. Or the leader is quickly replaced and the battle rages on (Caesar's assassination.) If that's the case, you must turn to another solution.

Think, Romeo and Juliet.

It usually takes the whole book to set up this kind of a relationship.

Two people from different sides either fall in love or become good friends.These people should be relatively important to their group; the leader's offspring, the true heir to the throne, the person the rebels have chosen to replace the king, the only one who can control the magic amulet, ect.

There's a dramatic scene where the two people openly declare their friendship.
If they're relatives of the leaders, this could either bring the two armies to a halt, or their marriage/friendship could unite the two groups.
But if the characters are important for practical reasons (only one who can control amulet) this refusal to go on fighting with throw a wrench in the army's plans, and they'll have to simply give up.

The majority of the world's wars have ended with treaties (American Civil War, World War I, Korean War).

The leaders get together and promise to stop killing each other.
However practical, it's usually not very thrilling.
And not at all satisfying if one leader is a sadistic tyrant intent on conquering the world. By signing that treaty, the tyrant is acting out of character, which is not a good thing.

In this case, the leader is captured (Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of Rome), the people as a whole are enslaved (The Jews enslaved by the Babylonians), or the capitol is occupied and its people subdued.(The Hunger Games)
This could, technically, end a war, but before too long the captured people will rebel. It's only human nature.

One army sees that victory is unachievable and hopes to save their lives by giving up.
They are slain by the victorious, enslaved, or given some land and limited rights as long as they "play along."

3 comment(s):

Anonymous,  Thursday, April 13, 2017  

Your site is great. The advice is really helpful, thanks! :)

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