Creating a Realistic Rebel Resistance For Your Story | PART 3 Meaningful Defiance

PART 1 - Authority & Leadership

PART 2 - Networks & Cells

Behind any great resistance, and even some failed resistances, is a worthy cause. This is the most important element ANY resistance can have.

When creating your resistance group, make sure the reason they are fighting is not just because a few random people are annoyed or unhappy. They need to be more than just attention and glory seekers. They need to want something more than just satisfaction for themselves.

Hans and Sophie Scholl lead a small group of individuals called The White Rose, a pacifist resistance against Hitler in Germany during WWII. They recognized, young as they were, that Hitler was a tyrant and his regime would ultimately destroy not only their lives, but the lives of everyone they loved.

England and France, too, recognized Hitler was taking away the basic human rights and taking charge where man was never meant to control and manipulate.

Though Hans and Sophie Scholl and The White Rose did ultimately fail, their overall cause did not. They were only a small facet that helped make a difference. They recognized what Hitler was really doing was wrong and they rose up to try and stop it. This, my friends, is why they did not fail completely. They stood up, they took the risks knowing what they were, and they tried to stop what was destroying their lives and the lives of others.

The cause your resistance is fighting for is the deciding factor in if they really do fail or if they succeed. The cause must be worthy of a resistance, a cause that would continue to be
right and just, even if the people behind the resistance fail.

To have an effective resistance means that people are fighting to preserve the right to do what they ought to do. Not to do what they want to do, but what they OUGHT to do, what is right, not relative. If you create any rebel resistance for a story, it must and should be for this reason.

How to Determine Your Rebel's Worthy Cause

Ask yourself these two questions:

Who and what are they rebelling - a dictator, injustice, forced war, tyrannical government

Why are they rebelling - for what cause are they fighting, their own or the cause of someone else. Or both.

Once you've determined who and why, study your material and ask yourself if this is truly a worthy cause to be fighting for. Is it something you would fight for?

The Sons of Liberty fought for the right to govern themselves, freedom from a dictatorship, to establish their own laws, to live in their country free from the control of kings who decided their fate.

Diet Eman and Hein Stietsma were part of the Dutch Resistance who formed "Group Hein" to supply passports to Jews to help them escape the death camps. They were both eventually caught, but did that mean they failed or that their cause was unworthy? Not in the least.

Freedom of religion and nationality, freedom of speech, and the freedom to live your life in the way you choose - these are all worthy causes. Make sure your resistance is not just a bunch of angry, unorganized people rioting in the streets. Rioting may look big and courageous, but in the end it accomplishes little.

Your rebels' cause may perhaps be the deciding factor in whether or not they succeed, in the story and to your readers. Make it a good one. Make it a meaningful defiance.

So that covers the three ingredients every realistic and effective resistance must have. Next week, we'll take a look at resistance on a smaller scale and how these three points still need to be in play for them to be realistic and effective.

PART 1 - Authority & Leadership
PART 2 - Networks & Cells
Enjoy your weekend!

Tell me what you think: What are your rebels fighting for?


  1. Hi Kayla!
    I really enjoyed this post! It really helped me think through the resistance movement in my current WIP.
    Thank you!

    1. I'm glad you found it helpful! Thank you commenting. It's always nice to hear from you all! :)

  2. I just found these articles via Pintrest, and wow! Great work! I'm finding them helpful in formulating the rebellion in my current WIP. So many great points and insights. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    1. So glad they helped out! Thank you for commenting. :)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Thank you for the tips! I would love to read about creating a resistance/rebellion on a smaller scale :)

    1. Thank you!

      And just what the doctor ordered, I HAVE written an article about resistance/rebellions on a smaller scale. I'll copy the link below for you!

      Hope you enjoy. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!


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