When We Fall (Or Girl Of Glass, Not Sure On Title Yet) Pitch

Okay. So I was watching Expedition Unknown last night and got the idea for my next novel. (As you can already see, it’s kind of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants thing here.)

It’s a WW2 historical fiction, something I’ve wanted to get into for a long time. I don’t know how it will end, or all the major plot points, I just hope I can get some advice and direction here.

It’s 1944 at Pointe Du Hoc bunker, France. 15-year-old psychic Liselotte has been helping the German army for two years with her ‘seeing’ skills. Some things she sees, some things she doesn’t. When she ‘sees’ the battle of D-Day, The Invasion Of Normandy two days before it happens, she’s forced to make a choice: tell the generals so they can move their forces and defeat the Allies, or let the Allies use their benefit of surprise and win the battle. She firmly disagrees with Hitler’s ideals, and knows the evil being done to the Jewish citizens needs to stop, but she also has a brother, a friend/half-sorta-love interest named Ernst as well as other people she cares about in the German army. Aside from that, Germany is her home and her country. She knows that if she chooses to keep quiet, she along with Ernst, who has a wife and baby daughter, will die. There’s a lot more to it than that, but I’m trying not to make this confusing. So the story goes back and forth, one chapter set where she is now at Pointe Du Hoc, then one in her past as we tell the story of the things she’s done to survive and how she got where she is now. The story is her journey as she struggles to find the humanity in herself and her country as she debates whether or not to save them, if that makes any sense.
Yeah, I think I need some help.
(Please don’t judge me I’m new to this whole pitching thing.) Thank you a million times to anyone who can help me out!

Heyo!

This isn’t a story pitch, which includes a fully fleshed out summary of the plot. This is more of a story idea or concept. It is somewhat interesting, although when you’re treading into the mindset of people who aided the Nazis I highly recommend doing a lot of in-depth research on this subject because it is very difficult to get right.

If you do change this into more of a complete pitch, let me know and I can review it.

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Hi! Sorry, like I said, my first time trying this stuff. Thanks for the opinions!

Yeah, I figured as much. (sigh ) do you know any good resources for information like this? Again, thank you for your time and thoughts, I really appreciate it!

Sorry to interrupt I would recommend potentially looking into Oskar Groaning. He was the ‘Accountant of Auschwitz’ and spoke about his experiences and his mindset for supporting it all. You might be able to find interviews on YouTube

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You would need to get a lot of history novels and accounts, particular around the trials and the memoirs. You can try something like this, since it gives an overview and also contains a lot of reference material you could then continue down:

But if this isn’t a space you feel very comfortable in, I would not recommend diving into it. This is a very dark subject with a very dark approach to societies and the human psyche because it’s just the nature of evil or how we can become evil. It’s also very useful to generally learn from and apply towards general characters and how nobody is a cartoonish villain, but it’s very difficult to consume if you’re not prepared.

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Oh, thank you! Research is defintitely my least favorite part of writing and I really appreciate having help. (Especially with a topic like this.)

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Thank you so much, this was very helpful. I’m aware that this is a pretty touchy subject that I’ll have to be careful with, so I really, really appreciate any little bit of help.

I’m a big war nerd so if you need a had , feel free to message me

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Oh my gosh thank you, thank you so much! I might have to do that sometime. This is my first time writing about war, and it’s pretty daunting starting at the bottom. Really, thanks!

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No problem! Drop me a message whenever!

Sorry for slightly derailing the thread, Nick xD

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If this is your first time writing about war, I would strongly advise against writing the Nazi-sympathizer mindset because of how complicated that space is. I would also recommend doing a couple of short stories to give you a sense for war writing and what it looks/feels like without the pressure of having to nail it for tens of thousands of words.

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Okay, I understand. Thank you for the advice. If the mc is not a Nazi sympathizer, do you think that changes anything? Obviously since it’s Germany 1944 there will be many around her, but the POV would not have a pro-Nazi mindset. I’m completely willing to step down and practice and do research first before attempting something this big, just curious.

I’m using Nazi-sympathizer a bit loosely. Someone doesn’t necessarily have to say “I’m okay with this” in order to be supporting. They just have to not actively oppose. So to have a character who is of the mindset “on the one hand, I don’t like this whole no jewish people thing, but on the other hand, people in the army are nice and shouldn’t be killed in arms so I should help them” is getting into that space.

Part of the post Nazi world (as you’ll see in that video) was a really intense exploration of how exactly regular people got swept up in this evil event. The general takeaway was that they must be evil or different or something has to explain it. The findings were mostly that they were quite normal, all it takes is the right amount of logic or self-convincing and it happens.

You could also check out this one for a larger exploration of this concept:

Kind of like being a bystander. If you’re asking your readers to get into the head of somebody who is at least not entirely opposed to doing awful things or supporting those who do, you’re getting into a very hard space. I’m not saying stories can’t be written in that space, they really should (the cartoonish depiction of good/evil is part of what contributes to the “one bad apple” culture of today instead of viewing systemic problems), it’s just that they’re very difficult and risky and need a lot of effort and research. You can go for it, if you want and think you’re up for the challenge. If it’s your first war novel, this is the hardest path so I wouldn’t recommend it, but that’s your choice.

The other option you also have, since you already have espers, is to fictionalize the whole thing, since no part of it technically relies on the actual history, similar to something like Spy x Family or Valkyria Chronicles which are clearly based on the World Wars but take place in some fictional world that’s kind of similar, so you don’t have to worry as much about being historically accurate.

In terms of me evaluating your concept, just so you know, I think the idea of an esper working with the Nazis who has the choice between saving people she loves or perpetuating crimes against humanity is very powerful. This situation makes me think of a couple of ideas I’ve always had sitting in the back of my head. I’ve tried to start them a time or two, but it’s never the right time yet. I’m not yet a good enough writer, or skilled enough for those particular stories. I’ll get there, eventually, until then I sit on them until I feel ready. Maybe that’s what will happen with this one, or maybe you put in the work and get there and make it happen. They’re all good paths.

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That makes sense. Thank you for clearing that up and for all your help–it really means a lot to me. I think I’ll start small and slow and do a lot of research, and maybe consider other approaches to the story. Thank you for taking the time to include these videos and clear everything up, it was incredibly helpful. If I ever have a complete story pitch, I’ll be sure to come here again for guidance. Thanks again!