1. Jorn
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    Jorn New Member

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    I need some help describing a sword

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Jorn, Sep 25, 2015.

    Hi, I'm new to this site, and am need of some assistance. I'm writing a story, and I've gotten to a part where I need to describe a sword, but I'm drawing blanks on how to do so. I made it in a program called HeroMachine3, which is an amazing site. Any help would be very appreciated!
     

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  2. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Whose point of view are you describing the sword from?

    Is it the narrator's POV, which might concentrate on the way the sword looks, it's colour, size, hilt, and what metal it's made from or perhaps the character using it, in which case you might describe it from its weight, the feel of any binding on the handle under the owners grip, the way the edge glints in the light as he raises it to the sky ...

    All these factors come into play so my first questions are:

    Whose POV, and what's the situation? (battle, coronation, or has the sword just been found?)
     
  3. Jorn
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    Jorn New Member

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    It's from the main character's POV, he's just received the sword, and is cleaning it for his father. This is what I have so far:

    He inspected the rest of the sword. Touching the ornate cross-guard that spread out like a leaf, with a jewel embedded in the center. He ran his fingers across the runes filling the blade’s fuller. He had no thoughts about what the symbols meant, but felt his finger tingle as he traced their lines. The balance of the weapon was impeccable. The metal of the carved guard, and leather-bound hilt, balanced the thick, heavy blade efficiently. He gave it a few more swings, adjusting his stance to compensate for the weight of the sword, which seemed to become lighter as he became accustomed to it.

    I was going to have the sword have some magical type quality to it. Something like it grants the wielder strength as he fights with it.
     
  4. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Kinda purple is my first thought. To be honest though, if you want to meditate upon a sword for a while, it reads pretty well. Too many adverbs in places, it became heavy with them "thick, heavy" especially, I'd remove them. The last line is unpleasant, it is too thick with filtering. allow the reader a more immediate visceral connection with him fucking about with the sword.
     
  5. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I started by giving you questions for you to answer about this sword/this scene.

    I ended up rewriting it.

    It was as if the scene took ownership of me, employed me as its amanuensis when it had no hands of its own.

    Whoops, it just happened again!

     
  6. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Shadowfax is spot on but I would also combine the first two sentences as:

    Touching the ornate cross-guard that spread out like a leaf, with a jewel embedded in the center.

    is an incomplete sentence. And it also reads like he's touching the cross-guard with the leaf, when I know you mean that the cross-guard actually looks like a leaf and has a jewel in its middle.
     
  7. Jorn
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    Jorn New Member

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    Great! Thank you guys for the feedback. I also felt like the "thick, heavy" was too much, but couldn't think of anything to replace it. I definitely feel you Shadowfox, I like what you added to it. If any of you could recommend some good writing guides or tutorials, that'd be awesome too. I'm just trying to kill time on my deployment by writing, but it's definitely something I want to get in to. I just have no real background in writing other than high school English.
     
  8. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Many people don't, so don't let that stop you!
    Good luck!
     
  9. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why don't you put a longer piece up for criticism and allow us to tear it apart... ahem offer constructive criticism;)
     
  10. Jorn
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    Jorn New Member

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    I would absolutely love to! Would it still go in the General Writing forum? And I think I'll de-constructively criticize it myself first to lesson the emotional damage. HAHA!
     
  11. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    there are a few precursors, you gotta critique others work first, Writing is not a mystery but a skill, and critiquing helps you learn it. I wanna read your work tho
     
  12. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Critique the work of other writers.

    Look at it really, really hard. Work out what you like. Work out why. Work out how you'd do it better.
     

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