Winter Sunlight

Swordfighting beta

Hi flist! There are two scenes in my original novel that involve one character teaching another one some basic swordfighting moves, and I am trying to find someone who knows something about practical combat who can look over them for me and tell me if I am making any really stupid mistakes. It's a tricky thing to research because it's not any specific swordfighting school and it involves a magic sword that does a lot of the work for you, and the person who's learning to use it will be wielding it against magical monsters rather than other people with swords. So it's sort of a combination of "here are some basic stabby things to do with a sword" and "staying alive in a fight 101". Level of real-world plausibility, on a scale of one to 10, is probably about a 3. *g* But I would like, if possible, to avoid giving the impression that this scene was written by a person who knows absolutely nothing about fighting.

I asked some questions about these scenes a year or so ago, when I was originally writing the rough draft of the novel, so I know there is one person who reads my journal (or used to) who has some pretty solid swordfighting knowledge (and gave me extremely useful feedback on the original post!), but I don't know how to contact you because you're anon. I'm not fishing for that specific person, necessarily, but for anyone who would be willing to review two fight-training scenes which are cumulatively about 2000 words and give me feedback on their general plausibility.

Please email me if you can help: - layla at ravenschildren dot com.

ETA: I think I'm pretty well hooked up! Thank you guys SO much!

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A lot depends on the sword you ended up using. Which of the blades did you eventually model your sword after? :-) I'm not good at visualizing things, so I'm not much help, probably. :/
I went with an early Iron Age Celtic short sword, similar to this in general shape. (Which meant going back and heavily revising all the passages that referred to or relied upon the sword's length, but all my research indicated that the early Irish just did not use long swords. A bronze sword would've been even better for my purposes, but I had already made it a minor plot point that the sword was made out of iron.)

For the most part, I'm doing pretty well on the actual fighting scenes (it helps that my protagonist has no idea what she's doing *g*). Where I'm running into trouble is having my sword expert say intelligent, experty-sounding things.

Edited at 2012-08-09 03:26 am (UTC)
Sadly I have no idea about swordfighting whatsoever. I just loooove to watch it.

So basically: Wheeee! Swordfighting!
Hee! I love watching it too. I sometimes think that if I knew a little more about it, I'd get more out of it (though maybe then I'd just nitpick it to death *g*).

I think I'm your anon! And yes, still reading your journal. :)

I'm more than happy to beta your sword scenes! I'm shooting you an email now.

(And one of these days I might actually get a LJ account. I've been thinking about it more lately...)
I'm in the same boat as you. I have swordfighting training scenes, but mine involve an axe, too. I did a lot of research online, but I just know I'm going to make an ass of myself on the page all the same. What's your novel about?

Anon above, I'd love the opportunity to get in touch with you too? If you're open? And not too busy...?
Mine is an urban fantasy novel, about an art student who accidentally acquires a magic sword ... and a whole bunch of enemies and somewhat-unwanted new friends that go along with it! (Naturally I had to write something like this when I know NOTHING about swordfighting. *facepalm*) How about yours?

If you don't get any nibbles on asking around for someone to help, there's little_details, which is mega-useful for asking research questions -- it was going to be my next stop if I didn't find what I was looking for by asking around my flist. :D

Good luck!
Thank you! I just joined Little Details. I'm looking forward to taking part in the goings-on there. :)

Mine is historical fantasy, about a prince who begins to develop strange powers during a siege, and learns he's the scion of the nearly-extinct druids. I'm sure your swordfighting will be well done! Just that you care enough to ask for feedback is encouraging. Have you thought about taking a stage fighting class? I did that once, and even though we were learning how NOT to hurt each other, felt like I learned a lot. And it was fun! :)

Do you have an author website, or any plans to publish your novel? I'll definitely buy anything you write. Mad skillz. :)
I have thought about it -- well, it was fencing that I'd thought about taking, but it seems like stage fighting would be even more useful. :D It does seem like practicing the moves would be a really good way to prepare for writing them!

And your novel sounds interesting! :D Best of luck with it - do you plan to aim for publication? I do plan to try to publish mine - I have an author website here under my real name, and my real-name LJ is here.
Fencing would probably be super helpful too. I bet trying to learn any fighting technique would bring up little issues you never thought of when only writing about it.

Thanks for your author site info! Yes, I plan on hiring an editor and self-publishing. The publishing industry is all up in the air and crazy right now, and the internet makes author-fan connection so awesomely possible. :)