Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Cackling swords

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The things one does for the sake of plausibility…
Anyone that witnessed the Great Swape Debate probably knows that I sometimes can go at weird lengths to find the right words to describe plausibly what’s happening in my stories.
Language is the main tool of anyone who’s writing, and it must strike a balance between elegance and function.
That’s the tricky bit, if you will.

Now, a few days back I read a page from a book in which the sound of swords being drawn was described as a cackle.

2008bw4817_sword_tipu_sultan

This sort of surprised me because…

Well, according to the Free Dictionary, to cackle is…

1. To make the shrill cry characteristic of a hen after laying an egg.
2. To laugh or talk in a shrill manner.

Which sounds nothing like a sword being drawn to me.
And I’m thinking Hollywood, of course…

Doesn’t sound like a hen after laying an egg to me.
It sounds more like a blade being scraped against metal – the sound of a blade being sharpened, more than being drawn from its scabbard.
But then again, what does a sword being drawn actually sound like?

Well, here it is – as usual, the Lindybeige video blog comes to the rescue.

Then yes, we have a certain maneuvering margin for the sake of drama, but, seriously, cackling swords?

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Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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