In World War II it would have been impossible not to have your life affected by the conflict that was raging around the world. It changed the way in which men and women were regarded in the workplace, education and in relationships.
The knowledge that when your man went to war he might not come back again was there in every girl’s mind. And if you lived in London, or Berlin or one of the industrial centres in range of the enemy bombers you could go to sleep one night and simply not wake up. That sort of knowledge changes the way people think and live their lives.
During the cold war that sort of immediate peril changed to a sort of all-pervading paranoia. The fear that a siren would sound and everything you knew could be incinerated in a moment.
That kind of pressure eased when the Berlin wall came down and for the first time in years, possibly the first time in the history of mankind we forgot that wars constantly rage around the world. I think we started to become a bit decadent and some of us have started taking what we have for granted.
We’re at war now, but unless you or your family are on the front line there is no constant threat of loss. Wars for western nations are fought hundreds or thousands of miles away and unless we have a 9/11 or a 7/7 to remind us what a brutal thing armed conflict is we regard it almost as just another news story.
Global conflicts are horrible, as are local ones, but I can’t help wondering how intense the relationships would have been back then. Smart uniforms and living for the moment are all very sexy until you add in the danger and real terror that must have existed.
The reason that I’m musing on this is that I always feel I have to create people not characters when I write my erotic fiction. Erotic fiction deserves quality characters as does any other sort of fiction.
As Hemingway said: “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”