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Old 02-04-2013, 08:09 PM   #1
Jaegur
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Help on character visual/Weaponry

Hello all! Ok, so I am in the midst of a YA Fantasy novel. One of my MCs is a young girl, 16-17 years old. She stands around 5'2, and is slim enough to be passed off as a boy at a distance. She has control over air to an extent, which had her commission a boomerang-esq type of weapon from a friendly slave.

Now, the weapon is two pieces of metal, folded to about 27 inches in length, roughly the length of her arm. Unfolded it is double that, so a little over 4ft, which would probably have it coming up somewhere around her shoulders.

The weapon itself has two parts. One it unfolds from its resting mode to form a loose 'L' shape, the boomerang portion. It can be further unfolded until it is a straight line, the sword portion of the weapon.

My question is this: Even though my story is a fantasy, would a weapon this size be too big for her? She's already stated it's weight and the fact that she can throw it, using two hands, barely fifteen feet. She thinks that by practicing with it daily she will gain the strength she needs to wield it more easily.

When I was writing it, the image of this slight girl with this big sword/boomerang fighting appealed to me, but I don't want it to seem so inconceivable that it takes the reader out of the story.


Any thoughts, opinions, or general help?


Oh! And since my original thought was just a boomerang type thing to begin with, I've thought of just cancelling out the sword portion all together, shrinking it down, and just make it an unfolding boomerang. Still cool, to me, but... big sword?


Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
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*Cough* Shangri-La *Cough* Though, I love Murata's designs as always.

Make it out of a material that's light and strong. Hell, find a mythical animal who's bones are stronger, but also very light. Have her describe the weight as "light as air". And training can help. As long as its not solid steel, she can wield it. But you have to figure out a way to make it light so she can throw it.

I like the idea of weapon that can fold away. She can hide it under her shirt or something. It might be good to keep it folded for close range and in tight areas. All you have to do is use a certain key term or sequence for her to unfold it. "She drew her boomerang and it unfolded and snapped into shape."


Will, a weapon nerd.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:39 PM   #3
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http://sphotos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphoto...85872545_o.jpg<--- My shoddy drawing from yesterday. Twas huge so I just made it a link.






Yes! I watched Shangri-La about a year ago, and since then have waited for the chance to have a character use something similar.

Here's my problem:

The world she is in... wait a tic.

Bone! Perhaps hollow, but strong as shit bone, with an iron ring at the one end to act as the hinge, jagged/serated and shaped on the one side for the sword portion of it.

Before there was a lever on the metal that she pressed once to unfold, then again to finish in the sword portion, but...

Maybe there's a hole in the hilt part of the Ring Blade, she pushes her thumb into it and can depress a lever that's attached to the ring, rather than have it being on the outside of the handle.

The sheath for it was something like a leather quiver, for arrows, just missing the middle part and strapped on her back from shoulder to waist, then a strap around her waist akin to a belt.

What do you think, Master of the Weapons?
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:51 PM   #4
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Don't make this complicated now. You're not going to write up the specs for the reader.


What I think: Imagine a boomerang that size, that folds, with a front-facing blade on each wing. Then, a handle grip cut into the material on both sides (so there's no "handle" but a hole to grab onto). I would say to fold it, but as I think about it, she could cut herself on the blade and its a bitch to explain a certain design. Methinks, make the boomerang two pieces that can snap together. Two blades with handles, that can snap together. Magnets or a mechanism.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:57 PM   #5
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I think I'm picking up what you're laying down.

Basically two blades, made of light but strong bone, that can be wielded separately, but then can snap together to form a boomerang.

To me that sounds badass, but is it TOO badass?
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:04 PM   #6
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What you want to strive for is simple, but imaginative. You want to have the reader envision everything.

There's no such thing as TOO badass.

Hell, my MC were the the armor of black cloths stripped off of the world's strongest warriors, bathed in their blood, tied into a structure with long strips of the black cloth dropping from his body. He's got a similar hood that he can throw over his head to go "insane". And, above all else, he carried a long black sword (about 6feet in length) that has a body and surface that looks like blackened wood was encased in glass. Oh, and he's seven feet tall, muscles like rocks, skin as hard as steel, can blow back all the "magic" in my world in a heartbeat, has PTSD and sees visions that help him fight. And he's a charming fucker.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:05 PM   #7
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Aerodynamics of something that large is going to be a bitch, not to mention the mechanics and strength to throw something that large with any efficiency. Why does the weapon have to be so large?

It appears there is a sort of magic in your fantasy world since the MC can control air elements. If that is the case, she could theoretically use just about anything so long as it has the aerodynamics.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:31 PM   #8
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I see I have a lot of thinking to do.

There is magic, of a sort, but it's not the kind where she can use it out in the open where anyone can see, or she'd be killed.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thothguard51 View Post
It appears there is a sort of magic in your fantasy world since the MC can control air elements. If that is the case, she could theoretically use just about anything so long as it has the aerodynamics.
If it's a fantasy world and there is magic involved, perhaps she has the capability to "grow" her own magic skill to assist her with the weapon? So when she's spent some time learning how to wield both weapon and magic and is ultra-focused it's not too great of a burden to her? And conversely when she is injured or her concentration is broken, maybe she sucks at it.

Something like that would probably depend on how obvious it is when she uses magic ... I have a mental image of harnessing the power of the wind being quite discreet, but maybe it isn't in your world?
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:42 AM   #10
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Just incidentally, short, thin females aren't mistaken for males unless they dress as boys; it is more likely that a male character of these proportions would be mistaken for a female than the reverse. For a female to be mistaken for a male, it would make more sense for her to be rather large.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by WillSauger View Post
What you want to strive for is simple, but imaginative. You want to have the reader envision everything.

There's no such thing as TOO badass.

Hell, my MC were the the armor of black cloths stripped off of the world's strongest warriors, bathed in their blood, tied into a structure with long strips of the black cloth dropping from his body. He's got a similar hood that he can throw over his head to go "insane". And, above all else, he carried a long black sword (about 6feet in length) that has a body and surface that looks like blackened wood was encased in glass. Oh, and he's seven feet tall, muscles like rocks, skin as hard as steel, can blow back all the "magic" in my world in a heartbeat, has PTSD and sees visions that help him fight. And he's a charming fucker.
Methinks someone here is a fan of Berserk
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:20 AM   #12
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My favorite fantasy universe ever (Exalted) has two things that I think you might find useful.

The first was the idea of attunement, wherein heroes could "attune" to magical weapons, so that even ludicrously huge swords feel lightweight and easily held...for you. For everyone else, they have the same mass. Because FUCK YOU PHYSICS, WE HAVE MAGIC.

The second was that heroes would store their magical weapons in what is called Elsewhere, a huge empty void that the Gods made as a place to stick stuff when it wasn't being used (useful when they were making the world). So, heroes could have huge magical platemail and gigantic buster-swords and banish them to Elsewhere and from Elsewhere at need.

Many a mook would charge into a tavern to apprehend a hero for dastardly reasons, only to have the hero suddenly be wearing solid gold power armor and wielding a sword the size of a small horse.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:48 AM   #13
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Thanks all! I'm open for any more ideas, but I think I've figured out a way to keep the big ass boomerblade, and get her some practical weapons. Basically, she won't use the blade, but another character later on will relieve her of it and yadda yadda.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Methinks someone here is a fan of Berserk
Not a big fan, but I did see the connection after I wrote it all in. I swear, all of that is a coincidence and I did not plan a single thing. The character arranged everything and it worked out perfectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoombie View Post
The first was the idea of attunement, wherein heroes could "attune" to magical weapons, so that even ludicrously huge swords feel lightweight and easily held...for you. For everyone else, they have the same mass. Because FUCK YOU PHYSICS, WE HAVE MAGIC.

The second was that heroes would store their magical weapons in what is called Elsewhere, a huge empty void that the Gods made as a place to stick stuff when it wasn't being used (useful when they were making the world). So, heroes could have huge magical platemail and gigantic buster-swords and banish them to Elsewhere and from Elsewhere at need.
I like that too... but I don't remember where I've read it before. I liked it so much, my MMC's swords is like that, but the opposite; heavy in his hands, light in everyone else's. Oh! Not the same one I'm forgetting, but The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson has both... kinda.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:25 AM   #15
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Not a big fan, but I did see the connection after I wrote it all in. I swear, all of that is a coincidence and I did not plan a single thing. The character arranged everything and it worked out perfectly.
Awesome! Just saying that I love characters with huge swords

He's not exactly dark and brooding, but my main character's mentor wields a huge, ghostly sword that would be about 6ft if it hadn't been broken in half by something so old, terrifying and powerful that he refuses to speak its name, lest it notice and come after him again. The only reason he survived was that it was simply passing by when he ran into it, and it had something more urgent to do than check if he was dead.

Anyway your description makes me want to read your book, I can't get enough of badass heroes
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