Comment to 'What's the elevator pitch for your WIP?'
  • A meek princess gets stuck with a cursed saber that compels her to kill people.

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    • The pitch sounds good to me!

      On the 'saber' thing... do you mind my asking roughly what period equivalent your story is set in? The reason I ask (and I'm being very nit-picky I know) is that in the real world the saber/sabre is associated quite specifically with cavalry, mainly of the Napoleonic era (and later occasionally with the American cavalry up to the early 20th century). Its signature curve is designed to make it especially effective when wielded from horseback, and it's less useful (though still formidable) when on foot, although in Europe it was also used as a duelling weapon.

      Of course, the term has also become used in fencing for one of the competition styles and the associated weapon (which bears no relation whatsoever in form or function to its non-competitive namesake).

      Please forgive me if you know this already, and of course 'saber' can mean anything you want in your world (as the Star Wars 'light-sabers' have no relation whatsoever in design or fighting style to their real-world namesakes). But it's perhaps worth mentioning that readers who, like me, have spent time around swords and their history and uses, might have a very specific picture in their head of exactly what a 'saber' is and how it's likely to be used.

      Other European swords similar in style, i.e. heavy with a curved blade, might be the cutlass (probably too associated with pirates nowadays!), the falchion or the dusack perhaps. The curved blade is obviously more common in Middle Eastern and Eastern sword designs, where there are numerous types.

      As I say, apologies if all that was known to you already! 🙂 

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      • It's actually set in pseudo-Asia, not (pseudo-)Europe. 'Saber' is the common translation for single-edged curved Chinese swords primarily used for slashing attacks, whereas 'sword' is usually a translation for 'jian' which is a two-edged weapon primarily used for thrusting attacks, as in the most common English title of the famous Chinese novel 'The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber' (though an alternate and arguably more accurate English title for that novel is 'Relying on Heaven to Slay the Dragon'). If I refer to the saber as a 'sword' readers might mistake it as a 'jian' rather than as a 'dao'.

        It's totally okay to be nit-picky about this kind of thing, a lot of readers in this sub-genre are picky too.

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        • Cool. That, of course, makes perfect sense in that context, and the pseudo-Asian setting will remove any possible confusion! I wasn't aware of 'saber' as a common translation for the dao type swords. Interesting. That's my learning for the day! 😁 

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