Sharp pointy things

Writing fiction is good fun. You make something up and then write it down.

Yes, it’s that simple.

Of course, there are many rules you need to follow when you write stuff down. English is like the law; there are many rules that we must follow. Of course, unlike the law, English rules are not policed very well. Except by Grammar Nazi’s.

I’m guilty of many crimes against English in my writing, and I don’t profess to be any good at it.

A while back I considered how I would describe a combat scene. I found it easier to act out the scene myself (from one character’s point of view), so it would be easier to write down, and express on a page. A blow-by-blow (pun intended) description of what happened.

Here’s a short example from Outsider: Deliverance

Duncan readied his shield and kept his nerves as calm as he could. He positioned himself to receive the creature’s charge. It hit the shield with a muffled clang, its decomposed vocal chords uttered a low moan at the outsider. Duncan used the shield to keep the monster at bay and shouldered it backwards, into the tiled wall of the temple where he pinned the ghoul against the wall. He grimaced as the creature lashed at him over the rim of his shield, but it failed to connect. Duncan ended the fight with a swift roundhouse swing of his sword over the top of his shield that decapitated the ghoul.

I do write a lot about combat; melee, brawls, fracas, fights, hostilities, and the like. In researching my work, or ‘how to write realistic battle scenes where it is actually based on something that could happen rather than something you’d see in a Hollywood film’, I came across the work of a fellow called Guy Windsor. Guy writes about, does videos and runs classes and the like on how to do stuff with swords. That’s an over-simplification, but I’m sure you get the meaning.

So, I got myself a really good sword and acted out the fights I would write about. This, I found, is an awful lot of fun.

A little while ago I had the pleasure of giving comment on a manuscript that Guy wrote. It’s called The Theory and Practice of Historical Martial Arts. Any of Guy’s work is worth a look if you’re into swords, historical combat, looking to form a club with like-minded people or if you’re like me and you’re seeking ways to make stuff up and write it down in a more realistic way.

Guy’s book. Click on the image to go to his web page thingy.

For those interested, the sword I bought was made for me by a fellow called Vaughn Morphett, who does some work out of a shop called Hammer and Hand in Salamanca Place, in Hobart. Its sharp; the blade is carbon steel. It’s a fantastic sword, if you’re in to that sort of thing. When I collected it, I remember he said, “This is a sword you could take to war.”

click on the image for a bigger view

I hope it won’t come to that, but I should be okay when the zombie apocalypse happens. Hopefully you don’t read a post in future that begins, “I cut my ear off while practicing today…”

Thanks for reading!




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