Stupid idea or stroke of genius?

Hey all.
Since I consider Dopers the most informed people on the internet, I’d really appreciate your opinion on one of my zany schemes. I’ve been considering for a long time the possibility of writing (and publishing) a book. I’ve come up with a storyline with quite some potential; a Japanese invasion of the United States during WWII. The book would be pure fiction, but with historical accuracies where applicable (weapon characteristics, life for the main characters in that time period, etc). I’m won’t elaborate for fear one of you will nick my idea (please don’t).
Here’s the big question though; do I stand any hope of getting it published? I’ve researched the procedure, going through agents and whatnot, and wondered whether it would be worth investing my time in it.

Thank you in advance for any replies.

Seems like there’s a market for that genre these days. Putting the idea up here for some nitpicking might not be a bad idea so you don’t leave any gaping holes in it. I’m certainly curious to hear your idea.

Oh, I’m sorry. You said “nick,” I read “nitpick.” Nevermind (I do think it wouldn’t be a terrible idea, though).

Basically, the story is told through the eyes of two characters on the opposing sides. A US civilian and a Japanese conscript. It’ll incorporate elements of action, drama, and maybe if I can get it to work a mystery sub-plot (a murder, perhaps?). No doubt they’ll also be scenes in the oval office and Japanese high command to throw some politics in there. I really think I can make a good book out of this. There is one big problem holding me back, my age (would an agent event bother to read the idea when he sees the would-be author is only 17? I do have good GCSEs and AS levels on history/politics, though).

I don’t think you should worry too much about your age.

As Marley23 said, WWII stuff is fairly popular these days. I think you should go for it.

I don’t think your age will matter either, if you can write. Which is really your first concern anyway, it’s not like you’ll get an agent or a publishing deal without a finished draft.

I think it really just comes down to two things. How well you write and how well you sell your idea.

Worry about writing the novel now, and when it’s revised and polished, worry about agents and publishers.

That’s what I was thinking originally - write the book, then sell it. But apparently that’s not the way to do it. According to SoYaWanna you need to secure an agent’s interest in the idea itself before you commit yourself to writing the book.

I’ve never tried to have a book published, though it’s something I’d love to do in the future, but at some point you do need to write the damn thing. At least do that WHILE you’re looking for an agent or you’re wasting time.


Yes, that does seem to be the most logical course of action. I’ll get the book done first, then.

It might be interesting, but you’re going to have to come up with some pretty good logical motivation to invade the US, and I can’t think of any reasonable (time and place and situation) contextual strategic interest in doing so given the challenges involved and the need for resources elsewhere.

While Pearl Harbor had some degree of strategic logic to the Japanese, I don’t think the Japanese ever saw a rational strategic interest in occupying mainland US territory, or perceived they had the ability to do so.

You’re going to have to cook up some doozy of a rationale for this.

I know the history, and I’ve come up with a pretty decent factual-based reason for the Japanese to invade the United States. I’m not sure exactly how far I can explain the plot without messing things up copyright-wise, but it involves oil and blockades.

You could start by watching Steven Speilberg’s early movie, 1942, about a bunch of idiots who think California is about to be invaded by Japan. Should give you some ideas.

You’re a year late on the movie title. :wink: