Let’s Get Physical

Writing fantasy often requires a detailed description of physical movement, particularly if your plot includes a war.  Most of the time I can picture something in my head and describe it from the image I see; occasionally, I will need to sketch an elaborate dress or a building’s floor plan before finding the words to put it on paper, and I once drove 4 hours to attend a Renn Faire when I was having trouble writing the details of the fictional one in my book.  When it comes to the physical, I am not ashamed to say that I have recruited help and acted it out.

My husband once took up his “sword” (a wrapping paper tube) to help me stage the pattern of a sword fight.  I had gotten to the first time the swords actually met and could not mentally figure the physics of where the swords would go next.  A coworker worked out the details of a cat-fight with me, two girls squabbling over a dress.  I’ve even added action to dialog alone, stalking across a room, kneeling near a chair, or banging my fist onto a table.  It helps me to put the reality behind the words, to make it possible for others to ‘see’ the same thing I did when I first imagined it.

I’m still not sure how I’m going to act out the upcoming mid-air battle between two dragons for my new novel, as I can’t fly.  Maybe plastic toys?