Originally Posted by Zenith_of_Mind
It all comes down to personal preference. For example, in the several IG yarns I have written for the BL I have tried to examine the character of my protagonist -why does he fight, what are his motives etc. You can't do that much of character development with SM's, or at least I haven't seen it done with exception of novels by Abnett or McNeill. Other authors (and not to mention many amateur fanfiction writers) simply dismiss it as irrelevant and focus on generic skull bashing, which is fine, but gets boring after some time. I don't particularly like SM because of their "obey without question" attitude combined with lack of any fun (drinking, whoring etc.). I guess it's ironic that the defenders of humanity aren't that human, after all.
Ah, but that is the fault of the BL and its authors, and probably why so many people tire of SM stories. There is no reason at all why an author cannot explore "why" a SM fights.
For example, let's look at it real fast:
Why does a SM fight - because he was conditioned to, and if he doesn't, he will be executed by his Sgt/Cpt.
Why does an IG fight? - because he was conditioned (or trained, if you prefer) to, and if he doesn't, he will be executed by his Sgt/Commisar.
Really not much of a difference in motivation.
For an IG though, overcoming things like fear can be a challenge, where a SM has no problem. For a SM, pride, arrogance, callousness, 'fear' of failure, are all issues they struggle with.
You could take the mindless skull-bashing of SM's and turn it into an IG story, and find it just as boring. You can also take the depth of IG stories (say, Gaunt's Ghosts) and turn it into a SM story (see Brothers of the Snake) and find it just as enjoyable.
More SM writers need to build up the psyche of their characters, and not just their armament. My submission for example, was my attempt to, from a child's perspective, describe everything I feel is awesome about a SM: their strength, power, nobility, sense of sacrifice, etc.
Of course I could write IG characters in exactly the same way, but I worry too much about making a 41M version of 'Rambo' - conquering all of Vietnam with a bow & arrow seems plausible for a SM, but not for an IG trooper