1. aryaputra1314

    aryaputra1314 New Member

    Sep 19, 2020
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    I need some help describing a sword

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by aryaputra1314, Sep 19, 2020.

    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. Any help would be very appreciated!

    I need to describe this sword from narrator's POV, Character POV and friend/enemy pov. And because this sword come from sword tattoo on his right hand (it's like summoning sword from tattoo). Need advice too!

  2. Underneath

    Underneath Member

    Sep 10, 2020
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    Describe the blade. The hilt. Whether it is forged from steel or silver or iron or whatever magical mysterious element takes the place of these. Is the blade inlaid with a pattern? Is it well-weighted? Is it a master-forged work of art? Or something hastily made, like the cast-downs of a stressed blacksmith? Maybe the quality of the blade, the elegance of the steel, the comfort of the hilt — reflects the mental state of the caster. Anger would result in a jagged edge. Fear would decrease the length of the blade. So on.
  3. PaulaO

    PaulaO New Member

    Sep 19, 2020
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    One place to get the lingo going is to visit Tod's Workshop on YouTube. Swords, bows, arrows, armor, etc.

    The Arma (http://www.thearma.org/) is another good research place.

    Society for Creative Anachonism (https://www.sca.org/)

    Understand what makes a sword - it's parts, it's terminology, how it is made, what one can or cannot be made of. If it is important enough to worry about how to describe it, then you'll need to know all the verbage surrounding it. If writing it then comes easier to you, the reader will feel that confidence.
  4. Thom

    Thom Active Member

    Jul 24, 2009
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    You could describe it clinically, saying how long it and its style, if any. A blunt instrument so-so long with a straight cross guard, etc.
    Or in action, his hands gripped the long hilt as he powered the curved blade toward his foe...
    You could also sprinkle in details here and there. As he honed the blade, sunlight shone on the delicate engraving long the blade, the garnet in the hilt shining like fire.
    Best thing is just play around with it a little bit. See what works, set it aside and do another part, then come back and see if it still looks good.
  5. Delphine the Delphox

    Delphine the Delphox Member

    Sep 11, 2020
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    Also be careful not to get too descriptive. Give enough detail so the reader will be able to identify it whenever it comes up, but you don't want to bog the story down either. There's always a happy middle ground.
  6. Mana_Kawena

    Mana_Kawena Member

    Sep 21, 2020
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    Since so many others have already touched on writing about the specifications of a sword, allow me to touch more on the POV elements and the fact that you are describing this from multiple characters...

    For example, is this the first time your protagonist/narrator has summoned their sword? Consider tinting their observations of it for the first time with awe, taking some extra time to describe the amazing thing as it emerges from their own body... does it feel completely natural and like an extension of their own hand and like an old friend? Or does it feel like an awkward weight pulling their body to one side, some strange new entity emerging from somewhere unknown, making them feel unsure even of how much they know about their own body and self?

    Consider also from the perspective of a foe. Does the appearance of a giant sword fill them with awe at its glimmering edge? Or does it fill them with dread to think that such a terrifying weapon was hidden on their enemy? Do they perhaps feel jealousy, rage, or even despair?

    Rather than just describe as if from a manual, tint the emergence of the sword with the individual's perspectives; what do they feel upon seeing the sword? Describe the sword and its emergence from that angle, and you'll have as many unique descriptions as you have characters (particularly since not all characters will have an intimate knowledge of the precise pieces and parts of a sword; that's one place where many writers overstep the bounds of perspective by not actually considering how much a *character* knows about something when they describe things from their POV).

    Best wishes and happy writing!
  7. Proficere

    Proficere Member

    Jun 26, 2020
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    My first impression is holy. So Cross comes to mind. Religion. Righteousness. Justice. Angelic. Etc. Maybe mix some of those descriptive words with what everyone else has already suggested?

    It also depends on the knowledge of the character's POV. So if they know a lot, and the details are important, they should probably say a lot about it.

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