Hi! So let me preface this by saying that I am an actual swordswoman. I fence competitively and have done so for about twelve years. I know what you’re thinking, fencing isn’t the same as real life combat, but although I may not be killing anyone when I fence it’s still quite similar. I use a lot of upper body strength and need to be quick on my feet. I know a lot of people, men and women, who’ve injured themselves and continue to fence despite their injuries. I’ve also seen handicapped fencers kick other people’s asses despite their handicap. Someone I know injured her right arm and she was told she would never be able to fence with that arm again, what did she do? She switched arms and her weapon hand is now her left hand.
So what I am trying to say is that even if you’re character lost her dominant arm/hand in battle there are a lot of ways to compensate for it and you do not have to change the kind of weapon she uses. I don’t know what kind of earthly weapon you are fashioning your alien swords after, as there are many different types all held and used in different ways, with different hands, but I can tell you that your character’s capabilities with a sword now will depend a couple of things:
Her physical abilities, which are completely up to you. If they are quite close to human here’s a handy guide from our tags on physical capabilities when fighting. There is also a very helpful tag on swordfighting which has some good terms as well as an article about how people die and don’t die in sword fights. We also have a nice little guide on different kinds of words. Although it does not have a description for each kind of sword, we also have a guide with different sword types here. You can very, very easily find information by just Googling the name of any type of sword on that list and find out more about the style and if they were used with one or two hands.
Her previous experience. You have to think about her past history, like did she use a shield in battle before? Maybe she did and not being able to have a shield may cause some anxiety. There is also the issue of balance. In modern fencing we use our non-weapon hand as an aid for balance. However, your balance depends a lot more on your legs than your off-arm, so concern yourself a bit more with her stance when fighting. You mention she is already a seasoned swordswoman, if she lost her arm during battle she at least has the rest of her body trained to react in battle. All she needs to do is train her other arm to wield a sword, which can be difficult but not impossible, especially not for someone like her who seems to be very perseverant.
The type of sword/fighting she was to used before. The way she fights now and how she transitions will have a lot to do with the style of fighting she was accustomed to before she lost her arm. If she used something like a longsword, which requires two hands, she will have to change the type of sword she uses. You can think of making this part of her character development because transitioning into using one hand will prove to be a bit more challenging at first. She might have to switch to something like a short sword, which can be used with a single hand.
One example that came to mind immediately that you can check out is Jaime Lannister, a character from A Song of Ice and Fire, who loses his dominant hand and is forced to fight with his left hand. Although he struggles he does pretty well, probably because he learned to fight with his left hand during training. In real life, I imagine, that fighters were trained at least a little with both hands as you might have to pick up and use your other hand to fight in a pinch. Anyway, here are a few things that might be helpful as well:
An article on sword fighting and a historically accurate sword fighting project created by Neal Stephenson, writer of Snowcrashand The Diamond Age (a personal favorite of mine).
A guide on how to write sword fights which is actually quite helpful and has literary examples as well as examples from TV and film. I can’t speak for the rest of the content of the site, but this guide is quite helpful.
A guide on single-handed and two-handed sword fighting, which is short but helpful.
Last, but not least a video on Single-handed sword fighting technique. Personally I’m a visual person and having visual reference really helps me when I write.
the most important thing to me ever is bi kids knowing that it’s ok to be 10% attracted to women and 90% attracted to men or 10% attracted to men and 90% attracted to women and still feeling ok to identify as bi, and still feeling like their identity is valid, and still feeling like they can lead fulfilling lives with both (or other) genders. like that’s just so fricking important.
Oh wise words. It’s fine in whatever ratio.
Third and final parallel session! It’s a short one, too, just two papers. After this is just the “International Perspectives” and the keynote.
This talk was given by Junko Nishimura, the Japanese translator for Howl’s Moving Castle. In it, she examined the way sound and sound description was used in the book and compares it to the movie. I would rather she talked about her translation process, but a few people asked her questions about it later and she was like “Uh…that was twenty years ago…so I don’t really remember.” But the second speaker gave a talk about translation, so I’ll save that for later.
The first thing Nishimura mentions is that sound descriptions are used very sparingly in the book. Hat-making, after all, is not a very noisy process. It is not really until Sophie goes outside for the first time in months and is overwhelmed by the sounds of Market Chipping.
(Nishimura also gave us a handout with all the quotes she cited, so I don’t have to dig through my book)
Sophie felt as if the past months of sitting and sewing had turned her into an old woman or a semi-invalid … When there came a sudden volley of bangs from overhead somewhere, Sophie thought she was going to faint.
Here we can see how sound is used to create a sharp contrast between Sophie’s emotions and her surroundings.
Sound can also be used to draw similarities. For instance, when Sophie meets Calcifer:
Sophie saw its purple mouth move as the words came. Its voice was nearly as cracked as her own, full of the spitting and whining of burning wood.
Here, the familiar sound of an old woman’s voice is used as a reference for an unfamiliar sound, that of a fire demon’s voice.
Nishimura did talk a little bit about translation difficulties after that. For instance, the scenes in the countryside were difficult because Ingary is described as having a lot of rolling hills, but in Japan, “countryside” is usually flat land covered in rice paddies. Then there were metaphors like “the shop bell tolled like a funeral” which would most closely match Buddhist temple bells in Japan, except that Ingary does not appear to have any religious institutions.
The next section (because Nishimura had section headings, and a powerpoint, and all sorts of organization) was entitled “Din and Howl,” which seems fitting enough. The green slime scene comes to mind.
Huge, cloudy, human-looking shapes bellied up from all four corners and advanced on Sophie and Michael, howling as they came. The howls began as moaning horror, and went up to despairing brays, and then up again to screams of pain and terror…
They hurried through the town, pursued by the throbbing screams…In spite of the fact that the fog had now become a seeping sea drizzle, everyone made for the harbor or the sands, where the noise seemed easier to bear.
Howl’s magic, in most cases, is quite not. Not surprising, as most of his power comes form a fire demon. Everything he does involves flashes and bangs and explosions. Sophie, on the other hand, has a quieter sort of magic, that of everyday speech. She is just as effective with a whisper as a shout, though her magic is also sound-based.
Lastly, Nishimura discusses some of the differences in sound usage in the movie and the book. In the book, Ingary is essentially a fairy-tale land, locked in a state of perpetual medievalness. Here, Howl acts as an invasion of the modern world upon that setting, with his loud and fast-paced ways. The movie, however, makes Ingary a more steampunky setting, a land already at war and not merely under the threat of it. There was a another paper, I think it was Vashist and “Worlds at War” that called Howl the embodiment of the war or something. That is actually a pretty good comparison when you examine the book and movie side by side. Book Howl has all this boiling conflict just under the surface,as Ingary prepares for war, but movie Howl is very outwardly conflicted, shown by his periodically turning into a bird, in a world already at war.
Buffy Summers meets Mean Girls
Here are your lesbian literary teens, in chronological order.
Behold the awesomeness that is Long Ma the fire-breathing dragon-horse, the latest creation by French artist François Delarozière and his art production company La Machine. The 46-ton kinetic sculpture stands almost 40 feet tall and features articulated limbs that can gallop, rear up, and fold beneath him when he wants to sit down. His neck rises and falls and his wonderfully expressive face features eyes that open and close. Best of all, his chest swells from the pressure building in his lungs before he exhales fantastic plumes of smoke from his nostrils and jets of fire from his mouth.
This marvelous interactive sculpture was just debuted in the French city of Nantes and will soon be traveling to Beijing where he’ll be presented in October as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China. Long Ma is based on a creature from Chinese mythology, Longma, a fabled winged horse with dragon scales, and will be the hero of a performance entitled “Long Ma Jing Shen” or “The Spirit of the Horse Dragon” during which he’ll face off against a giant spider.
Visit the La Machine Facebook page for additional images.
marvel movies that need to be made, stat.
i can’t believe it’s 2014 and there’s still no gay romantic comedy about vin diesel and dwayne johnson falling in love
They raise a gaggle of kids undercover working for a gov’t agency together
i would pay multiple dollars to see vin diesel and dwayne johnson portray a cute affectionate couple