To Arms My Dear, To Arms, To Arms…


How does one decide whether to go for an epic battle in their story or just include some subtle hints of War? Do you begin gradually or fall into the fighting with a loud clash of thunder? Do you concentrate on each individual clang of a sword or blast of a bullet, or do you focus on the effect of it on your character? I always wondered what was the best way to go around the conflict in your story and wondered where the best place to experience war in literature was. I could draw from experience of what I have both read and watched but I wouldn’t know if it was quite right for my novel.

During my novel, I Cast Magic Into the Darkness, there are moments of battle throughout to highlight the eternal struggle part of my main character will always have to endure. However, I want to make the final battle epic. This may prove hard as I want to focus both on the battle and my characters feelings towards it. The question is, which should have my main focus? The battle is raging, a variation of the traditional good versus evil as you’re not entirely sure which side should prevail, and my character Aly has to get through it in her search for Lucas. At the moment I’ve concentrated more on how she feels detached from it all and can casually walk past Death and Destruction without a sideways glance. I’m unsure whether to focus more on the pain and suffering within the battle itself as well to show that the entire World is effected by this.

Another worry is that I will make the fighting itself sound corny and stereotypical. I don’t want my novel to bore people with language such as “she lifted her sword” or “her sword hit his sword.” I suppose this is part of the challenge however, making all the language used for all points throughout the novel sound interesting and be able to hook the readers. As utterly childish as this is going to sound a good source for battle transitioned into the modern Worlds audience is Xena: Warrior Princess. I never really realised before how good it is with developing their characters and by integrating believable battle scenes. In the literary World a good source of battle placed into a fantasy novel is Green Rider by Kirsten Britain. She’s able to show the uncertainty of her main character while having to introduce battle into her characters World, she having never done it before. It’s hard to establish that kind of balance but again it is all part of the challenge a writer faces.

What do you think? Thank you 🙂


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