Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Writing Research: How to Win a Sword Fight

It's time for another addition of Writing Research! If you missed the last two you can read the intro to this series and how to treat a leg fracture here, and you can read the second post on taking a punch here. This topic was one that I was considering and was also recommended by Lady Victoria.

Sword fighting may seem genre specific to fantasy, but here are some other situations that this particular skill could come in handy:
-Historical fiction (think pre-gun/early gun times) in regards to wars or pirates
-Fencing isn't quite the same, but shares many similarities I'm sure. This is applicable all over the place (e.g. think rich boys, or royalty)
-You could write a scene in a museum where swords on display are used in a fight
-Self defense (remember Watson's cane/sword walking stick?)
I'm sure you can come up with many other ideas for sword fighting.

There is some important things that should happen before the swords strikes:
-Draw your sword before the battle (this takes some time)
-Relax and don't tense up, being light on your feet is key
-Balance, spread your feet shoulder width apart, take big steps and try to slide your feet rather than pick up your soles when moving

The first skill to know is to always stay in ready position when not deflecting a blow or attacking. See my lovely picture that I've sketched up:
When you're in ready position your sword should be perpendicular to the ground and angled out slightly at your attacker, held with both hands. If you were to stand in a doorway you should be able to hit each side of the door frame. 

On taking a blow:
-Step into the blow, the closer you get the less force you will have to absorb
-Hold your arms close to your body, extending your arms make your counter blow less powerful
-For a blow to the head move the sword parallel to the ground over your head, take the blow towards the middle of the sword. See picture:

On attacking:
-When wanting to disarm: move the sword up and down and left and right, instead of a stabbing motion which will leave you exposed
-Don't raise the sword behind your head for a major blow this could result in a sword to the gut (Any Legend of the Seeker fans? That slow motion blow Richard does all the time, bad idea) 
-Wait for the opponent to make a mistake (like absorbing the blow to the side) to put them off balance giving you an opportunity to disarm them

There you have it! A basic explanation of sword fighting. If you want to be inspired by sword fights some of my favourite resources are the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Is there any particular sword fight that you love? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you have any ideas for topics that you'd like me to research and post about, be sure to let me know. Enjoy the rest of your week everyone (and try to limit the sword fighting to your books, tehe). 

What I'm reading: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (almost done!)
What I'm listening to: Rusty Clanton
What I'm watching: Castle 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Feb. 2013

I've been skipping out on my Insecure Writer's Group posts for the last few months, but today I wanted to get back into the game, so to speak, even if it's a little late. Lately I've been thinking about what I was feeling as a writer when I first started SOI. Seeing as the 2nd anniversary of SOI is coming up on Feb. 15., I believe that I've come a long way from that first post. I feel like I've gotten over that first wall that every new blogger has to face. That wall of insecurity is the topic I want to touch on today.

Think back to when you published your first post on your blog, for some it may have been just a few months ago, but for others it is in the distant past. I remember having zero followers and only Dessy and Kote (my wonderful, loyal blog friends) reading my posts. After a few weeks the newness wore off and I started to question what I was doing.

"Why should I write if no one is reading?" was the question on my mind whenever I looked at the empty follower box. For me, I gauged much of my success in the number of followers I had, and I had very few. I was determined to make it work, though. So I kept writing, post after post, and slowly people started following my blog. I remember getting a little burst of excitement the first time someone followed my blog that I didn't know in person. After awhile all those posts that I had written, when all I wanted to do was quit, started paying off. People were actually reading my blog! Not a lot of people, compared to others, but people were reading.

What I really want to say by telling you my little anecdote is that blogging (like everything else) doesn't come with instant success. When I see those blogs with thousands of followers, sometimes I get discouraged, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that feeling. What we must remember is to focus on our own blogs and keep working to improve them, instead of being discouraged by someone else's success. Carefully plant the little blog seeds and keep watering them and give your blog time to grow before giving up. I always get a little sad inside when I see blogs with five or six posts that have been discontinued because the author is too discouraged to continue. DON'T BE THAT BLOGGER!!

Alright, enough is enough. Good luck and don't give up!

What I'm reading: Delirium by Lauren Oliver
What I'm listening to: Frank Sinatra
What I'm watching: Suits

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Akinator, The Web Genie

While scrolling Pinterest, I found this website (it's basically the game 20 questions), but it guess people/fictional characters. It's really fun and got all of my guesses right, except for one really obscure one. It's kind of addicting, so try at your own risk. Enjoy!

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