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September 25th, 2002, 04:58 PM
im really bored at the moment and it seems to me that i have looked at these threads before as i have nothing to do i thought i would do this.

itS basically an open topic. I just wanna chat with fellow writers about anythink.

i allready have a thread open for writers to come together and write a short story together but it doesn't seem to be getting any responces ( maybe one or two)

so plz feel free to talk about anythink


September 25th, 2002, 05:01 PM

I am writing a fantasy novel(283 pages long so far)
called "The Dragonking's Sword"
It is only a little after the halfway point, and the best stuff is yet to come:)

September 25th, 2002, 10:34 PM
Ok Marc here are a couple of posers for everyone,

Which type of fiction do you find easier or more natural to write, and what inspires you?
How much do you research for your material, and how much is pure creation?

September 26th, 2002, 03:11 AM
Originally posted by kahnovitch

Which type of fiction do you find easier or more natural to write

I suppose the answer would/should be fantasy but that is not strictly true.

Though most of my writing has fantastical elements, it is firmly rooted in "human" reactions and emotions. I like to use the fantasy to draw a picture of characters is situations that can/will change them.

Too much of "fantasy" has the character unchanged by their actions or the actions of others. They seem to walk unmarked through "hell". For me for a character to be "real" he/she has to bear the emotional scars as well as the physical.

I find it hard to write about "fantastical races" such as elves. I find if I do place such a race or creature in my work it it to refelect certain aspects of the human condition.

I have written an outline for a story that had fairies in, but fairies not as "we" know them.

The theme of posession and control of one person/creature by another is something else I am exploring. How does this affect both sides the controller and the controlled. Who is using who?

Stories with these aspects I find easier to write.....

and what inspires you?

Life? Nothing that simple you are thinking. Often for me it is. Some word, sight, sound or action of another. A hat, a coat, a ruined abbey.

Right now outside my window the dawn is struggling to break. The clouds are thick, grey. They hang round the church steeple like a shroud. An odd street light still fickers in the lower art of the village as I look down and across the roof tops.

The rumble of traffic filters in through the bricks and mortar as people stumble off to work. A lone voice shouts and a dog barks. Then it starts to rain....

See, what exists outside I hopefully can draw onto the page...

How much do you research for your material, and how much is pure creation?

I would say that it is about 50/50. If I am going to use a weapon, a landscape I research it. If I am going to inflict my characters with injuries I research them. I try to learn about "everyday items" my characters would use.

I might not detail there use, but I then can write as if my characters understand the use of a tool, item of clothing. You don't think about how the things in your life are used, clothes tools etc. So when writing you, in my opinion, have to make the characters act the same. They KNOW their world and must move freely in it.

On of my bugbears is that often folks writing fantasy arm their characters with weapons and then don't even bother to read or study anything about their use. They pluck a name from the air like "broadsword" then talk rubbish!.

Also the aspect of female warriors. Most make them "women with muscles" load of rot! A woman can use a sword well, but she must use skill not muscle strength when using the weapon.

The trouble with much fantasy women is that writers try and make them "equal" with men, instread of using a woman's natual talents, abilities and her way of thinking.

And if you don't believe a woman reacts, thinks and approaches a problem differently than a man you are living on a different planet than me.

Same goes for "swordsmen" sword play builds different muscles than "weightlifting." Most swords men are not "Arnie" look alikes. They are strong yes, but also agile. Sword work is about movement and placement of blows not hammering steel against steel.

In reality a swordsman aims for the body of his/her attacker not their sword. The aim its to kill or maim not have steel sparks flying.

Medieval warefare was like all warfare is a brutal machine for killing the enemy. In writing fantasy people forget this.

I am a firm believer in rooting the imagination in reality once a frame work of what is possible is formed, then the impossible can be drawn in.

September 26th, 2002, 03:56 AM
Not that I have anything of worth to add, but I just wanted to say - Holbrook, that was an excellent post!

September 26th, 2002, 09:59 AM
Well actually, if you talk about the broad sword, which can mean a heavy single handed sword used often conjunctively with a shield or possibly a two handed sword, then strength is almost an important attribute as skill. You see with sword duelling, often a lock can come down between the two combatants between the blade and hilt (the T). At this point strength is very much in demand as you are directly opposing your opponants force. Of course if you have a shield at this point you could use it to strike the opponant's midriff (or neck if shield shape is appropriate) but strength has to be had to hold such positions. In todays sword fighting (essentially martial arts or fencing) the blades are much different (either with no side strength such as fencing blades) or much sharper than blades you are describing (such as katanas). Of course neither side take into account of shields during combat. Shields are of course a principle attacking weapon as well as for defence

Of course skill comes in the straight parry, and feigned attacks as well as actual strikes. Interestingly, weapons such as the long shafted two handed hammer require surprisingly little strength. Their effective power comes from momemntum and timing is essential in releasing it. Women would have to fight very differently from men with swords. I imagine a more beneficial weapon setup for them would be a shorter sword along with a long dagger. With no piercing weapons, agility would be maximised...........

September 26th, 2002, 01:40 PM

Broadswords in fantasy are a misnomer, in fact the word itself is erroneously used to describe, the great sword or long sword, which has an overall length of ranging fro 44 ins to 55 ins of which 7 ins is hilt. These weigh in at 3 to 4 pounds.

Single handed swords are not heavy at all and weigh in between 2 and 3 lbs. The one I handled at the Royal Armouries, at a private showing this summer, a beautiful 14 century blade, weighed in at 1 lb 12 oz....

You see with sword duelling, often a lock can come down between the two combatants between the blade and hilt (the T). At this point strength is very much in demand as you are directly opposing your opponants force.

I don't mean to be rude, but where on earth did you get this from??? And the piece of metal you refer to as a T is called a "cross" or "guard."

You are actually saying two swordsmen stand toe to toe pushing at each other's blades locked at the hilt?

The manuscripts such as Talhoffer, Ringneck, Fiore show no such moves. One disengages by either moving away or pushing your opponent's blade with your free hand, even grabbing it. Only the lower two thirds of a medieval blade is sharpened. Such a "lock" as you describe would not come about in sword and shield work, though buckler work, the small round shield some 12 inches across can be used to push, bind and lock your opponent's blade.

By two handed Hammer, do you mean a war hammer which weighs in at approx 5lbs with shaft or a pole axe or bill hook which is nearer 7 lbs? These take a great deal of skill to use and more strength than a sword.

Please don't take what I am saying as insulting and personal, but I have been studing medieval weapons armour and sword manuscripts for a number of years. I also have worked with a number of study groups recreating medieval swordplay and I am not referring to renactors, but serious historians.

September 26th, 2002, 02:19 PM
I'm finding this discussion of weapons rather interesting.

I think one problem that arises quite often in fantasy writing is a conflict between the emulation of realism in the classical medieval setting and the romance of the story.

While on one hand it may be true that swords were handled in one manner in say twelveth century combat, it also is quite possible that this may conflict with the idealised vision of the "Conan" warrior hero who carries a sword that most people couldn't lift to save their lives. What is a writer to do?

My answer is to remain consistent and develop logical combat sequences based on well-researched information. This is after-all speculative fiction. The problem is that in a fantastic world, it can be difficult to research someting that is made up. How for example would dragons be employed in a large scale conflict? I suppose this depends on your definition of a dragon. You might have to read up on how flame thorwers are used in combat, and maybe how elephants were once used a kind of heavy cavalry.

September 26th, 2002, 05:09 PM
You medieval...

Seriously, I was going to have a good go at you for not understanding classical tactics and stuff but you are obviously medieval in ideology. So, after you read up about Greek, Persian, Indian, Roman, Germanic and mongal tactics and for me a similar medicine of French, British and Italian medieval tactics this is always going to come into conflict.

Two things though

1/ You can never lock in the middle of battle and it happens only for a few brief seconds when duelling only with single swords. It leaves you too open to counter attack from the next person n the line or the opponants knee (if you are not wearing appropriate armour or more seriously a shield in the neck.

2/ A T section was used to prevent confusion with modern (say epee hilts) As a master fencer I know what a hilt is. Cross is also an acceptable form I imagine although it sounds a bit medievally christian to me. I'll let this past before I embarass myself..

I will certainly send you my battle chapter as soon as Ive reached it to check as expert opinion is only good. Any work of yours you want to recommend.

September 26th, 2002, 05:12 PM
Oh yes and general conan stories are based upon germanic customs and all that. Women fought alongside men in battle, imitating their tactics, but note lack of armour for both sexes. That meant mobility was more important than strength to lug armour around.

I would fight dragons probably close to water with large shields and lots of arrows. Best way possible unless you got another dragon...