I’m elated to have found someone who knows their crossbows! I came across DW (aka Dirtwitch) yesterday while perusing George R. R. Martin’s blog. She’d posted a link to her Flickr photostream and right away I jumped at the opportunity to drop her a line. DW was willing to let me run some snippets by her—from one of my projects called “Project Skeincrafter,” which is about 130 pages of fantasy fiction set in Khaladune—and I’m already feeling infinitely better about getting my terminology right. A good example is how DW pointed out details on arming the weapon, saying: “You SPAN a bow, and LOAD a bolt! Spanning being the act of pulling the string up...” As someone who has never used a crossbow in his life, but wants to write about them like he has, this kind of stuff is really good to know.
My concern started because a main protagonist in Project Skeincrafter heavily uses his military crossbow, “a 34-inch utterly black death-dealer of oak and steel,” and I’ve been trying to find someone to set me straight on the nuances of various parts and pieces and pull weights… It’s more info than I probably need, but it’s better to have more info and not need it than to need it and not have it (and come off looking like a total ig-no-ra-moose, which I do well enough on my own). So, as luck would have it, my love of GRRM’s work led me to DW.
Note: George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” is some of the greatest fantasy ever written and is a consistent New York Times Best Seller. Currently, the Game of Thrones pilot just wrapped filming for HBO (which is why I’ll be picking HBO back up in the future; I’d canceled it after Rome ended). They’ll know in March, 2010, if the series will be picked up. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed.
The full cast of the pilot for A Game of Thrones:
- Full cast with photos at THR.com
If you haven’t read any of it, here’s where to begin:
- A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book I) on Amazon.com
And, of course, to check out some of DW’s beautiful crossbow handiwork:
- Click here to visit her Flickr photostream