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Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice. (Read 6665 times)
Kristal
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Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Apr 28th, 2006 at 6:51pm
 
Hi everyone.  Was wondering if you could all help me.

Just to give you a little background.  I am writing a fantasy novel where I have one of the characters learning to use a sling.   I have a young teen teaching him, so I want to be authentic and accurate in my information.  In other words; if you as a sling user were reading my book, it would be believable to you.

I might even have this character continue with the sling as a weapon of choice for him through the story.  He has a special power of precision, so it would be a good weapon for him once he learns the correct way to use it.

What would be the best/most common technique to use? How many times do you typically spin it before you release?  Would one technique give more power and one be more accurate?  If my character already is gifted with accuracy, he might be more interrested in power.  Is there anything that would be a big red flag for someone who doesn't know what the heck they are talking about when they are using a sling.

Thank you for your help.

--Kristal
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #1 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 7:01pm
 
Author Shannon Hale has, I'm sure, benefitted from information gleaned from this site.....and so shall you!

I would be happy to share with you  the fruits of my particular process of trial and error over the years.

If you so desire, you can message me on the forum or via the email address in my profile.

Success to you,


TS
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siguy
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #2 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 7:04pm
 
if you look through the articles section, you will see many descriptions of different tecniques for slinging, and if you repeat what is said there, you will be believed.
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #3 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 7:06pm
 
Quote:
What would be the best/most common technique to use? How many times do you typically spin it before you release?  Would one technique give more power and one be more accurate?  If my character already is gifted with accuracy, he might be more interrested in power.


The Apache method is the most accurate method, but it has a short range. It uses no windups. The projectile travels about 180 degrees total before being released.

The underhand method seems to be the one with the longest range AFAIK. It typically has about 1-2 windups.
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #4 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 7:24pm
 
The best way to learn is to experiment for yourself. There is no substitue for experience.

I agree, you should definitely read the articles section for descriptions and videos of good techniques.

The classic 'helicopter style' whirling around the head (no more than two windups) isn't very realistic for massed ranks or for hunting in thick brush, however it may have been used in open fields.
An underhand style, similar to that of a softball pitch, with no more than two windups (probably just one) is generally agreed upon as the best for distance but probably not accuracy.
The Apache style is perhaps the most accurate, it uses no windup and so also has reduced range (there is an entire article on it in the articles section)
There are many other techniques including overhand, greek, sidearm, and one very similar to a tennis serve.

Also, please be aware that slinging has a notoriously steep learning curve, so the charachter learning how to sling profficiently in one day would be highly unrealistic for a mortal.

Things you may like to know:
~It's generally agreed upon that the sling can outrange the bow.
~Sling ammo includes rocks, lead, and clay; formed ammunition is referet to as Glandes.
~Refer to http://www.slinging.org/forum2/yabb/YaBB.cgi?action=search2 as to the amount of power sling ammo has (especially my post three or four down  Tongue Roll Eyes)

More coming later if you're interested. Any further questions are welcome
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #5 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 7:57pm
 

Quote:
The best way to learn is to experiment for yourself. There is no substitue for experience.


Wuddya wanna bet Kristal has already cast a stone or two upon the waters already.....


Shocked


TS
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Kristal
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #6 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 8:02pm
 
Quote:
Also, please be aware that slinging has a notoriously steep learning curve, so the character learning how to sling proficiently in one day would be highly unrealistic for a mortal.


Can defiantly understand what you mean.  There is two sides to this however.  The first is that he will have about a week to practice this before he has to actually use it.  And the second is that he is not a typical mortal man.  He has a special power of precision.  Basically, if he can see something, he can pretty much hit it.  A precision user (in my story line) also can catch an arrow...if they know it is coming.  It is perfect timing...which once he figures out HOW to use a sling, he would perfect the timing almost immediately.   It is a part of his special power
.
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #7 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 8:09pm
 
I see what you mean....I can certainly empathize with this main character of yours.....


Empathizing is part of my special power.


(lol)


TS
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Kristal
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #8 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 8:12pm
 
Quote:
Wuddya wanna bet Kristal has already cast a stone or two upon the waters already.....


Shocked


TS




Alas....not yet.  However, I imagine it won't be long.  When I started talking about slinging in my book to my husband, his eyes lit up.  He has done a bit, and I believe that he might drag the dust off of his sling that he made ages ago...or make a new one.  Grin

He has been a great resource for my book so far, he has a hobby at the forge.  So when I needed a description of smells and techniques to make a blade...he is there for me. 

I am a bit of a klutz myself...and I fear I might hurt myself (or my husband) in a sling attempt.  hehe. 

Good thing we live in the country!
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Kristal
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #9 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 8:15pm
 
Quote:
I see what you mean....I can certainly empathize with this main character of yours.....


Empathizing is part of my special power.


(lol)


TS



I got some of those in my story too.  hehe.  There are six power sects.

Empathy
Speed
Precision
Perception
Strength
Healing


You would fit right in!

--Kristal
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Chris
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #10 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 8:19pm
 
Any number of styles are applicable.  As people have mentioned, the articles section is a good place to go.  David Taylor has some good videos. 

Almost no one uses multipul rotation, this is because it becomes much harder to aim.  However, sometimes I rotate the sling slowly over my head (like a helicopter with drooping baldes) so that I bring the sling up to speed quickly if I see a target. 

Slings can not only be used for stones or cast (metal) objects.  They can also launch glass, ceramic pots, and other vessels, which can have flammable liquids in them; escentially primitive grenades.  Slings have been used to carry messages over fortifications walls as well.  Maybe your character can use some creative payload.

As mentioned, a great way to understand how a sling works and feels is by using one.  Within a few hours of messing around, you'll have a far more intimate understanding of the weapon.

Keep us posted.  We'd love to hear some exerpts. 

Chris
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #11 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 8:31pm
 
Quote:
Empathy
Speed
Precision
Perception
Strength
Healing


You would fit right in!



You flatter me!  Embarrassed ......However you would need 8 sects on this 'power wheel' of yours for me to actually fit right in....for I have all too tiringly found myself vacillating squarely between 'Procrastination' and 'Self indulgence' in recent years!


Regards,


TS
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siguy
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #12 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 9:23pm
 
perhaps you should have the elder teaching him the (believed, but not exactly verified completely) three different balearic slinging techniques, with the three different length slings, as described here:

http://www.slinging.org/forum2/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=1;action=display;num=11452928...

that would be a good start, and would offer a lot of different types of conflict later on(which type of sling and throw should i use for this instance? type of thing), which could eventually develop into an instict, useful for the resolution, when he puts all of this training to use?

well, we'll see.  hey, if it ever is published, do you think you could come here and let us know?  it would be fun to read a decent sling story for once (no offence to the classics, but they are a little boring) even if it is not published, maybe make a pdf form of the book and put it on the web for us to download?

sounds like a great idea, btw.

best of luck,
  siguy
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #13 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 9:28pm
 
Quote:
perhaps you should have the elder teaching him


Quote:
I have a young teen teaching him

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Kristal
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Re: Writing a Novel...looking for sling advice.
Reply #14 - Apr 28th, 2006 at 10:08pm
 
Quote:
perhaps you should have the elder teaching him the (believed, but not exactly verified completely) three different balearic slinging techniques, with the three different length slings, as described here:

http://www.slinging.org/forum2/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=1;action=display;num=11452928...

that would be a good start, and would offer a lot of different types of conflict later on(which type of sling and throw should i use for this instance? type of thing), which could eventually develop into an instict, useful for the resolution, when he puts all of this training to use?

well, we'll see.  hey, if it ever is published, do you think you could come here and let us know?  it would be fun to read a decent sling story for once (no offence to the classics, but they are a little boring) even if it is not published, maybe make a pdf form of the book and put it on the web for us to download?

sounds like a great idea, btw.

best of luck,
  siguy



Sure I'd let you all know. 

It is still in the draft stages so far, so it has a bit to go before it is even ready to send out.  However, I like the prospect of using a sling instead of a bow and arrow like the rest of the precision users in the story.  It is something that he can stick in a travel pouch and be discrete with and it would give him a bit of originality.   

I am currently in chapter fifteen of the novel, and am introducing the sling now. At this point in the story, he is still hiding his power.  He expresses an interest in the sling for a single purpose (he is plotting to free a man from imprisonment) but will find that he likes the use of it after he has done so.

The sling lesson from the teen is pretty simple and quick...just the basics.  The teen is more than likely a farm boy who likes to use a sling to protect livestock...he probably wouldn't know a lot of techniques and his sling would be something simple and home-made.  The teen is a quick passing extra in the storyline.

Nolan (my main character) would expand and experiment as he went along,  probably with a lot of trial and error.  He will probably learn mostly by discovery, which could lend to interesting moments. Grin


--Kristal
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