Thursday, February 1, 2018

Write What You Know: Archery




  • If you don't have something protecting your fingers, you will wear all of the skin off your finger tips.
     
  • Protection comes in the form of finger tabs, archer gloves (which are basically just leather fingers and a wrist strap) or full on gloves with reinforced finger tips.
     
  • And while gloves are nice, you can get a few arrows out before your fingers get sore.

    I do not suggest shooting without SOMETHING protecting your arm. EVER. (Not the arm that is pulling back the bowstring. The other one.) Unless you want to experience sling strap in all its glory. Which you don't. You can either have an arm guard, which can be anything from a little shield of thick plastic veins woven into a little guard or a leather guard. Or maybe even a long sleeve for short term. It needs to protect your entire inner forearm though.
     
  • What is sling strap you ask? Well, as you release the string/arrow, the bowstring doesn't go straight. It wobbles a little to the side as it snaps the arrow into flight. It will also slap your arm. Ouch. And leave a giant purple bruise and possible a bit of a welt or rash depending on how hard it hit you.
     
  • If you keep your arrows in a quiver on your back and then go run through the woods, vaulting over logs and large rocks....guess what? All those arrows are going to go flying out as soon as you make your first jolting landing.

    But why? AESTHETIC!
     
  • What can you do? Well, you can have a draw string on your quiver or maybe a little flap...Or if you have a newer bow, you can take a cue from modern hunters and buy a little plastic quiver that straps on the side of your bow staff.
     
  • Even if you don't: Quivers are for transporting arrows and while your brave young warrior should be able to snatch their arrows from the quiver in a fight, they should grab a handful and HOLD THEM IN THE HAND THAT IS HOLDING THE BOW WHILE THEY SHOOT. Or they can take the arrows and ram them into the dirt, drop to one knee and pick them up from there, Robin Hood* style.
     
  • If your character has a long bow...its kind of hard to shoot those from horseback. Sorry. I suggest giving them a recurve or maybe the bows used by Japanese carvery. (Sorry I don't know the name)
     
  • On that note: if you are writing about archery in a different culture, LOOK UP THEIR ARCHERY!

    It might be very different from the Longbow style AND the attitude of the archers. In some places, archery is more ceremonial and considered an art. In ye old England, the longbow men were known for their ability to quickly and accurately fire in battle and over long distances.
So...have you ever tried archery? Watched BBC Robin Hood? Been sling slapped? (Ow, I feel your pain.)

-Mary Kate


*The BBC Robin Hood. When he is in the Holy Lands with King Richard and they are attacked...Its in a flash back

21 comments:

  1. I've never done archery, but I would LOVE to learn. Pretty much any survival skill, I want to learn. I will be bookmarking this post because I have a story that will involve archery. :)

    ~Ivie

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    1. Oh, its fun. And it should be fairly easy to find lessons near you...

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  2. I have done archery (not enough though :)). And yes, I have felt sling slapped...THAT HURTS. I've also gotten chafing on my fingers because the finger guard that I had was terrible.

    Compound bows are probably the easiest bow to shoot ever, and probably the best for horseback. I was also thinking about a crossbow, but those bows can be a bear to load.

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. String slap is thE WORST! I made the mistake of not using an arm guard on a hot summer day and had to walk around with a giant purple welt on my arm.

      I certainly prefer compound bows. My brother occasionally shoots a crossbow, but I just...meh. Never got into it.

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  3. I love archery, ESPECIALLY mounted archery!!! It's actually something my brother (who doesn't ride horses much) will do with me! I was like "We should try it sometime!" And he's like "Saddle up a horse, I'm gonna do this thing!"
    He uses his longbow, actually, and shoots it sideways (when on horseback). I have a compound bow.

    But it's fun!

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    1. MOUNTED ARCHERY IS THE BEST! But my horses don't have much "go." Still working on that bit...
      What do you use for targets? Do you have a narrow trail or something that you ride on to keep the horses going straight or...
      Which one of you is better, you or your brother?

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    2. My Friesian is hard to get going too, lol. But my Paso now...

      We mostly shoot at targets pinned to old hay bales. We would probably do our trails, except we are stingy with arrows and would hate to loose them. So we stick to the backyard. :)

      I'm a better rider, but my brother is a better shot. He's very good, actually....

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    3. OOH! You have a fresian and a paso? *gasp* They're so pretty. My horses are: A 24 yr old Palomino Qh, a Tw/TB cross and a BLM mustang

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    4. Palomino's will always be one of my favorite colors! But I've always wanted a Mustang...maybe someday.

      The Paso I've had for years. He's my first horse, and he's supposed to be retired, but he's just so great I can't help but ride him every now and then, just a little... The Friesian I got when he was 3 and then finished his training. He's still young, but he's got a good heart and wants to please, and that's what I love about him!

      (You need to put up some pictures of your horses!!!!! And then we start concocting how we get together for a trail ride or something...)

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  4. Archery is a fantasy dream of mine. At least one of my characters in every fantasy had a bow and arrow.

    I WANT ONE!

    D.G. Snapper | silverphoenixwriter.blogspot.com

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    1. Most of my characters are archers too...that or they carry daggers.

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  5. This is definitely a helpful post! Especially the one about the quiver. I've never thought about it that way. XD

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    1. There's a good video out there with an archer trying to run through the woods and dropping arrows everywhere...but I don't know where it is anymore.

      I'm glad that one of my WWYK posts was actually helpful to someone. Maybe I'll do one on swords, daggers, and knife throwing next?

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  6. I dabbled a bit with it, never actually tried to hard. Love the BBC Robin Hood!

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    1. BBC Robin Hood is my favorite Robin Hood, though sadly I haven't watched any in a long time...

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  7. Ahh this is so awesome! I loved reading this! I did a bit of backyard archery and ended up with whiplash on my...face.😂 So I guess we can all assume I was NOT shooting properly ah hahaha *dies a bit of embarrassment* (I was 12 though?! So blaming it on that.) But totally love how you pointed out different cultures will have different archery styles too. So important to remember!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it!

      The Japanese cavalry had a really interest technique and bow style (I don't recall the name) but instead of having really short recurve bows (like the Mongolians) they had really long thin bows. Like long enough that the tip was above their head and the bottom was below their horse's belly.

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  8. I am "obsessed" (or so my sisters say I am) with Archery and Robin Hood! And these are all very good tips. Sadly, I have extremely shaky hands and terrible aim, but I love it all the same!

    I didn't know that you have watched Robin Hood BBC!!!! What do you think of it?

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    1. I liked it, but I'm not up to date...

      HAVE YOU SEEN THE TRAILER FOR THE NEW ROBIN HOOD MOVIE COMING OUT IN NOV????


      or was it December?

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    2. Yes!!! It looks like it has lots of potential, so I want to go see it when it comes out!!! What about you?

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    3. I'm super excited!!! It looks like so much fun :)

      Plus I'll watch ANYTHING Robin Hood related...

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