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A Writing Workshop...with Swords!

Betrayal! Family quarrels! Stabbings!

This morning I held my first writing workshop at The Spinning Jenny in Greer, SC.

My goal was to help scifi/fantasy/historical fiction writers experience the type of combat they might write about and use research to create the motivation and context for the fight.

My first group of writers was small but focused and fun!

I introduced them to the sword we would use: Viking era single hand swords.

We warmed up and learned the basics of stage combat which took close to 45 minutes.

After the basics, the ladies took 20 minutes to create a scene with five offensive moves.

After I helped them figure out some of the problems they encountered--how to transition from one move to the next--they sat down for 30 minutes to research and write their scene.

This group chose Alfred the Great's time period and made up fictional brothers who chose opposite sides of a conflict.

I helped direct the scene a little, but the writers did most of the work! I was impressed with their willingness to try new things (one of the hallmarks of authors to me) and work out problems.

Below is the finished version of their scene.

I'm interested to know how a bigger group would do in the three-hour time constraint. I may do a second workshop with long swords and limit it to four.

What's a movement-oriented way that you get your writing going? Let me know!

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