Well, that might be exaggerating just a little. I used to go to the theatre quite a lot, but I’m not sure if I could really call myself a buff.
My parents are definitely theatre buffs. They go to the theatre all the time. For a while, back in my long distance past, I used to come along with them. Not sure why. I guess it seemed like a good thing to do. Maybe it was the pizza restaurant we always used to visit beforehand that had quite a bit to do with it.
It didn’t take long for me to realise I wasn’t that excited by theatre, although I did stick with it for a while. It took me a little longer to realise what the problem was, and why I wasn’t so enthralled by the drama on the stage.
Unfortunately, in the end, I just couldn’t get over the staginess of it all. And that no matter what ideas or themes underlined the play, and how potentially worthwhile or dramatic they might be, in the end it was just a bunch of people talking to each other.
Maybe it’s just me, but I need more than that. I need more than just seeing people on stage talking to each other to really get engaged. I need excitement. I need action. I need swordfights.
That was the moment when I realised what the problem was. There just weren’t enough swordfights in these plays. I want to hear the clang of metal on metal. I want to hear cries of “en-guarde!” I want to be as enthralled as I am in that amazing scene in the Princess Bride where Westley fights Inigo (“I have a secret to tell you – I’m not left-handed” – I love that).
Of course, when I settled down to write my own stories, I had to be as good as my word. I couldn’t very well complain about boring plays without swordfights if I ended up writing boring stories without swordfights. That’s why I was really pleased when I was able to insert swordfights into not just one but two of my novels. And even as I scan ideas for new novels, I’m constantly thinking, “How can I insert a swordfight in here?”
And before I finish, I just have to throw in one more thing that I think is kind of cool. I actually have first-hand expertise when it comes to swordfighting, because I used to work with a former Australian fencing champion. I even got a chance to put on fencing gear and have a bit of a spar with them. It was kind of frightening actually. I kept on asking if I could run away a bit more. Luckily, she wasn’t too rough with me.
Have a great week, full of excitement and derring-do.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as