The protagonist of my latest work is a faie knight who wields a hand-and-a-half sword, which is a specific type of long sword.
Because my story includes a sequence of battle scenes, I found myself doing quite a bit of research on plate armor, medieval weaponry, and fighting tactics. History books weren’t the best places to find the kind of detail I needed.
What did it feel like to wear plate armor and fight in it? Was it really heavy? Did the knight have a decent view through the eye slits? What specific techniques were used with the long sword? Did these techniques have names?
Fortunately, historical re-enactment is a robust hobby, and many re-enactors are passionate about historical accuracy. They were well equipped to answer some of my most fiddley questions. Additionally, the field of experimental archeology, in which historians build accurate replicas to learn about the people who built and used the originals, has grown considerably during the last few decades. This provided another rich source of answers.
Between the two, I was able to find out almost everything I needed to know.
One of the earliest sources I discovered was a video showing long sword fencing techniques. It was made by the Gladiatores, “a professional school for historical European martial arts, teaching different styles of European fencing.” The Gladiatores focuses on “tutoring a lively historical system of martial arts, combined with transferring knowledge in culture and philosophy of ancient fencing masters.”
I found the sparring sequences shown to be aesthetically beautiful as well as simply fascinating. Naturally, as I’ve started to emerge from my writing cave, I’ve wanted to share some of the cool things I’ve discovered with you.
So how is the novella progressing?
The first draft is not only done, but I’ve received feedback from my first reader, made revisions based on her input, and sent the next draft out to my second reader!
It will be a few weeks before I get my second reader’s feedback. After I make those revisions, I’ll still need to proofread the manuscript, format it, and acquire a cover. But I’d love to release it before June. Fingers crossed! 😀
Oh! One other exciting tidbit of news…
The novella has a new title.
For more about Blood Silver, see:
Plate Armor, How It Works
Cross Strike, Squinting Strike, and Scalp Strike
The Book Title
The Crooked Strike
Which Cover to Choose?
The Strike of Wrath
Rope Climbing and a Cliff
What If the Sword is Wrong?
A Song of Peace
Origin of the Story (The State of This Writer)