“Not Training Anymore” – #8Sunday 07/09/17 WeWriWa Entry

More action! Johanan’s story is definitely an out-of-the-frying-pan-and-into-the-fire one. But first, a quick shout-out to Weekend Writing Warriors, who you all know by now makes these writing events possible- check them out! If you missed last week’s snippet, you can read it here: “High Spirits”. Also, if you forgot about Johanan and his series of unfortunate events, you can catch up on the last Vengeance in Valor snippet here: “Sparks of Determination”. OK, I think I covered it all.

Before we begin, a quick plot skip: since setting off towards Valdenwell Castle, Johanan has stumbled upon a horrifying scene. The barbarous intruders are locked in a dance of deadly combat with any able-bodied citizen in the kingdom- from knights to common village dwellers to peasants. It’s a desperate attempt at defense against the attack, and after Johanan retrieves a sword and shield from a corpse on the ground, he realizes that he has to help as well, so he charges into the frenzy.

(Of course, a little creative editing used to comply with the ten-sentence-maximum rule, but who doesn’t love a little creative editing?)

Swordplay was an art Johanan was familiar with. Time and time again he’d proven his worth with a blade on the training field, facing opponents much larger and stronger than he, yet relying on his agility and ability to think on his feet to lead him to victory. 

This was not training. 

It wasn’t wooden practice swords that crashed against his shield, no blunt tip arrows sunk into the muddy earth by his feet. He stopped and ducked as an axe grazed his head, and readied himself for a second swing. When he rose, however, his attacker was already on the ground, a soldier standing above him prying a longsword from his back. 

A lone knight whom Johanan had seen before stood some feet away and battled two brutes at once. The young man couldn’t have been much older than Johanan, yet appeared exceptionally skilled with a blade. He parried, sidestepped, reeled backwards, then snuck a jab into the gut of the one closest, who faltered, yet his companion advanced still, bringing his war hammer down to crash into the knight’s metal shield, denting the Valdenwel insignia emblazoned on its face and sending it flying out of the young man’s grip. The assailant’s next blow was aimed for the knight’s hand, which shattered under the cold steel, the young man’s face twisting in anguish as he cried out and fell to the ground clutching his right hand. 

Image by Unsplash on Pixabay


38 thoughts on ““Not Training Anymore” – #8Sunday 07/09/17 WeWriWa Entry

  1. Ouch! That poor young knight! I agree with everyone else about two negatives in the first sentence, but it’s a great action scene. I always enjoy reading a bit of swordplay and this was a great, visual scene!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the candid nature of “It wasn’t wooden practice swords that crashed against his shield, no blunt tip arrows sunk into the muddy earth by his feet.” It all must have felt surreal to him, something he’d thought about and dreamed about for so long, and here it was, happening in all of its violent bloodletting.

    Well written, Jake! The action was easy to follow–easy to visualize.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, great action in this snippet. The first sentence bothered me as well. I think the double negative needs to go. And I hope Johanan is going to step in and save the young fighter. Very thrilling snippet!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You excel at action scenes. Like Jean (Veronica, that is), I stumbled over your first sentence. Two negatives in one sentence will do that. The idea might be better expressed as a positive: Johanan was familiar with the art of swordplay.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dramatic excerpt. I could visualize the action quite well from your descriptions! Maybe it’s just me but I had trouble with: “Swordplay was not an art Johanan was unfamiliar with.” Read awkwardly to me and I had to reread it a couple of times. Was he or wasn’t he a swordsman, you know? Just a nit. That poor young knight, felt so badly for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I was leaving it up to the reader to assume that he’s a swordsman more or less and has had a good bit of training, since he trained a lot to become a knight in the first place, but I can see how that line can be confusing. It was way in the beginning of the story when it’s stated how he just recently became a knight as well, so it can easily be forgotten I guess. Thanks Veronica, I really appreciate the feedback


  6. Yikes! He’d better pay closer attention, or that cold be him. Though he might not see if coming with his attention elsewhere. Great action in this scene!

    Liked by 1 person

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