Guns vs. Swords – Writing Modern Fantasy

Hi everyone!

Tonight I wrote the climactic scene of Chronicles of the Sentinels, and wow, what a rush that was!!

Image Source - www.fanpop.com
Image Source – http://www.fanpop.com

Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve gotten such a huge rush from writing the climax of a novel.  In fact, The Sword of Dragons – Burning Skies had a heart-pounding final battle between two massive dragons battling in the skies above two armies.  I hope to some day see some artist renditions of that battle, because I think it was pretty incredible and the images are iconic!

This brings me to another interesting aspect that I’ve become aware of over the last few days – the difference between writing battle scenes in High Fantasy and Modern Fantasy.

Guns vs. Swords

Image Source - Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Image Source – Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Over the past decade or so, I have become accustomed to writing High Fantasy, and the battles involved swords, bows and arrows, Wizards casting elemental attacks, that sort of thing.

However, for Chronicles of the Sentinels, I have had to pretty much leave that behind.  While still a fantasy genre, Modern Fantasy is a whole other character.

Why?  Because in this day and age, battles are fought with pistols, automatic rifles, grenade launchers, and occasionally a knife for close-quarters combat.  Interestingly enough, I have more knowledge and experience using firearms than I do swords, so in a way it was something I should have been more comfortable writing about.

And yet, it was so radically different from what I’ve written in the past that I found I had to adjust how I wrote it.  At first I wrote those scenes like they were a military action novel.  Then I realized I needed to focus less on those aspects, and more on the characters and the action itself.  After all, my target audience isn’t the same as the Bourne novels’ audience (although those are pretty awesome books!)

Image Source - www.nexusmods.com
Image Source – http://www.nexusmods.com

On top of this, there was also the challenge of writing about modern technology mixed in with magic.  It’s not uncommon in High Fantasy (Skyrim anyone?) but enchanting an automatic rifle?  What happens when you do that?

I’m sure my novel isn’t the first one to have done this, but I’ve never ready anything like it before.  My initial thought was to go out and read how other writers did it, but then I thought, “No.  No, I don’t want to emulate other authors, I want to do this my way.”

I’m pleased to say I think it turned out pretty great :)  However, we’ll see if my opinion holds when I go through my proofreads…

In any case, I hope this is something quite original and intriguing to readers.  I love to capture readers’ imaginations, like so many novels have done for me in the past :D

Chronicles of the Sentinels Update

The final climactic battle took place in chapter 23, which leaves me with only 2 more chapters to write tomorrow :)  Keep an eye here for that announcement!

Word Count: 69,238
Page Count: 213

Good night everyone, thanks for reading!  :)
-Jon

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4 thoughts on “Guns vs. Swords – Writing Modern Fantasy”

    1. Thanks for stopping by :) Prior to writing High Fantasy, I wrote Science Fiction, but I focused a lot on ship-to-ship battles, so I’ve never really written any sort of ‘shoot ’em up’ genre. That would be an interesting future challenge!

    1. Indeed! It’ll be interesting to see if I can write in both, since I still have my High Fantasy series to complete, too :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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