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Posts Tagged ‘swords’

Busy today tidying up (though in truth I can only make a small dent in the tidying that needs doing). As I slide books back into their slots on my bookshelves, I noticed the great number of stories that have swords or blades in them.

My favorite swords are the lightsabers of the Jedi knights of Star War’s fame, King Arthur’s Excalibur, and the famed sword/s of The Lord of the Rings. There is always the debate whether Arthur had one or two swords. One pulled from the stone and a different blade given to him by the Lady of the Lake seems to indicate two different swords, but there are other takes on these mythical events.

As for The Lord of the Rings’ sword/s, I refer to Narsil, the blade broken into shards during battle. Isildur, son of the king, used the hilt-shard to slice the finger with the One Ring from the hand of Sauron. The Ring takes quite a journey, eventually ending up in the spindly hands of Golem, then in the pocket of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. From there, the Ring is placed in the care of Frodo, and finally is destroyed in the lava of Mount Doom. Now, back to the Shards of Narsil. These broken bits of sword, are re-formed into a new blade which is renamed, Anduril – The Flame of the West, and given to Aragorn to use. And yes, JRR Tolkien geek that I am, I didn’t need to research these names!

I found an interesting list of 15 Legendary Swords which not only includes my favorites, but a dozen more. By the way, I find the inclusion of William Wallace’s sword a novel idea. I wonder if it would have been on the list prior to Mel Gibson’s movie?

Skean copy In my fantasy novel, The Enchanted Skean, the blade mentioned in the title is a boot knife, though I do have Beck use a fighting blade, too. As I work on the sequel, I’m toying with the idea of introducing a magical sword — but I worry it’s a cliché’. What do you think?

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aleshapic2 Thanks to author Alesha Escobar for stopping by and sharing some tips on writing fight scenes in fantasy. Enjoy!

Punch, Duck, and Roll: Coordinating Your Fighting in Fantasy by Alesha Escobar

Some of the best parts about writing (and reading) fantasy stories are the epic battles that take place. It could be a swordfight between a hero and his nemesis, magic wielded between mages, or the clash of an army. As a fantasy writer, I love these types of scenes, and they are certainly fun to watch on the TV or movie screen, but when it comes down to actually writing a fight scene, it can be just as daunting as writing a good love scene.

So what can be so difficult about having your hero wielding his sword, leaping over chasms, or landing the perfect punch? Well first, you have to get your terminology down. In real swordplay, swords aren’t “swung.” You make a strike, cut, thrust, or parry (block). If you browse training videos of real swordfights, you’ll also see that many swords aren’t as light and twirly as Hollywood would have you believe. The way you balance and position yourself with your sword is key–it can mean the difference between defending yourself or getting stabbed by your opponent.

Besides using accurate terms, another important aspect to writing a fight scene is the physics of it all. Often, a fist fight is over in seconds–but as writers we have the opportunity to slow things down because this scene will be read and played out in the reader’s mind. Because of this, we can’t have our hero doing two simultaneous fighting moves that don’t make physical sense or may even be physically incompatible with our bodies. We also must take care to describe who is doing what, when they’re doing it, and where the opponents are in relation to each other (are they up close, a few feet away, or hiding behind barricades?)

Tower's Alchemist Cover Finally, don’t forget to round out your battle with emotion. What’s going through the hero’s mind? How does he feel? Is this fight just inserted into the story for the sake of action, or is there something at stake? What does the hero’s fighting style and choices during a fight tell us about him or her? If you have a hard time writing fight scenes, or if you want to make them seem more grounded, these are great questions to take into consideration as you build your fight scene. Happy writing!”

For more information on Alesha Escobar and her books: http://www.aleshaescobar.com and http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAleshaEscobar To connect on twitter: http://twitter.com/The_GrayTower And check out Alesha’s Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/aleshaescobar

Thanks again to Alesha Escobar for her guest post. Watch Whimsical Words for more guests, blogs from me, and Readers & Writers Recipes. Have a creative day! – Vonnie

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