I need a rest, that or a smoother draw…

arrow restUnlike my writing, which is going great guns (81,242 words, and more on that below!), the archery is languishing a bit at the moment.

One, I keep breaking too many arrows, and two, I can’t get an arrow back half the time without it popping off the rest. The arrow rest is a fork, not unlike a lizard’s tongue (there are ones that are just a tiny tang of split metal, almost exactly like a lizard’s tongue, supposing that said lizard had a high iron content).

The draw was smooth before, but I noticed that if I yanked a bit harder there was a kind of a bump in the draw cycle, and then a hard stop. Thinking I could get more consistent shooting if I shot from the hard stop (same draw distance every time then) I moved my peep sight around, and started to draw back to this point. But what could be causing the bump?

It’s no fun getting fifty pounds of string shifted, only for the arrow to pop off the rest and you have to either let it down gently, or risk sending an arrow off at a funny angle, stripped of all fletching.

If I still can’t get to the bottom of it I could buy a capture rest (a rest where the arrow is fully enclosed so that it can’t fall off), but that won’t be cheap… Oh well, nothing for it: trip to the archery shop on the horizon, where more capable minds can figure out what’s wrong, and trade me huge amounts of money for half-a-dozen fletched pointy-tubes.

So back to writing, the hobby that costs the least and rewards the most (damned stupid pointy-tubes). I’ve started on one of the three largely unwritten chapters that need adding due to plot changes, and for additional character development: chapter four.

In this chapter our hero is a bit useless due to injury (already), and I am enjoying the changed power dynamic between him and the female lead. She has always been smarter than him by a long shot (and he’s no dummy, just a bit drunk most of the time, punch or vanilla variety) but for the first time she’s more physically capable than he is. Oh, and he’s just inadvertantly busted up all of her hopes and dreams, so there’s that…

I want to have my characters take a bit of a beating in each book, and there’s a certain amount of the damage that I intend to make permanent. How does everyone else feel about maiming characters in their fiction? The protagonist is a pirate after all…

Jaime Lannister, anyone?

Best regards,


About D.R.Sylvester

A Clinical Research Associate by day (google it), writer by night, D.R.Sylvester lives in Sydney, Australia with his patissiere wife and Siberian Wolf. His interests include travel, music (predominantly Metal), reading, & archery.
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6 Responses to I need a rest, that or a smoother draw…

  1. Destroy your characters’ souls like you are dragging them to the depths of hell and don’t be afraid to kill of some, even the main characters. If you’re telling it in third person, it should be easier than if told in first person and you want to kill your protagonist.
    However, a new protagonist can always be made.
    There is also a paradox if you kill your protagonist in first person past tense because, well, he’s dead and says he’s dead and it’s just a hard thing to do.
    Anyway, do anything to your characters because you need it to happen, not because it just happened to make their day bad. Kill a lover because you need them to feel despair and go on a killing spree. Make a nice person snap out of the blue because you need it to happen.
    I apologize for the enthusiasm, bu I feel strongly about this topic.

    • “Destroy them” in allcaps is probably the most Metal thing anyone has commented on my blog so far. Love it.
      I agree with you about inflicting damage for a purpose: the protagonist in this case is callous, and needs to learn empathy through suffering, their own and that of those they care about. I also want his progression from a self serving realist to a more balanced person to be fraught with challenges. Starting to think about things outside of yourself has a cost… Life has taught him to be one way, and it’s only now that his path is leading to greater and greater hardship and loss that he wants to do something about it. Learn from the female lead, and her idealistic way of life.
      I take it that you are planning to thrash your characters as well? 🙂

      • That sounds like really cool character development.
        Have you given your characters the Myers Briggs personality test? It can help guide you with character development (but that’s just me, I don’t know if it will help you)
        Link here: http://www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html

        Most of it is accurate and pretty cool at laying out major traits in someone, so taking it for a character in a beginning and ending sense, I think it would be helpful.

        And oh yes, I plan on killing a few people in the novel because my character is a selfish prince, so making him suffer internally and externally will do him good. I’m planning on killing his only friend, but I’ll decide that when the time comes.

      • Oh right, never thought of using that one. Cool, looks like my protagonist is ESTP, whatever that means! Will have a bit more of a look into it. Thanks for the link.

        Spoiler! Now you have to kill someone else, or make his friendships ambiguous. Just kidding

  2. Hahaha, the first comment..Oh, and stupid point-tubes 🙂 First of all, congrats on breaking 80k! But it’s interesting you say this, because I read a post on this a while back, and it did make me think. That will all the action and violence and conflict so many characters go through, is it really likely that they would make it through either relatively unscathed, or dead? There’s really no inbetween in most books, movies, and tv shows. I absolutely think you can (and should) give them an injury or disability if it fits. It doesn’t have to be as severe as having a hand severed, but still. If they’re a pirate? I find it hard to believe they wouldn’t have some sort of lasting injuries, outside of scars for dramatic effect 🙂 For instance, in my first manuscript, my protagonist has a lasting cough/bad lungs from when she nearly died of the poisonous spores in their world, and in my new WIP, my protagonist has an old injury from a wolf attack that acts up from time to time, especially while traveling which becomes a challenge in her situation. I say go for it! It only adds depth and realism 🙂

    • Thank you for the vote of confidence with it. You know, I hadn’t thought of bringing a character into a story with an injury, like the two characters you’re talking about. An old war wound makes for great back-story, that’s for sure. I mean, case-in-point: Harry Potter.
      Still, I think with this series I want him to start out at his prime, and break him down slowly. By the last book who knows how he’ll end up? I don’t want the injuries to be purely from hubris either, they should accumulate through good actions as well as bad.
      Also, another good thing to writing sci-fi urban fantasy? There are more ways to overcome a serious injury. I think I’ve got about four of them to play with, to potentially keep my protagonist punching at his weight level: the ones that the rich can afford (reconstruction), the ones that chip away at your humanity (bionics), the ones that chip away at your soul (fantastical / sorcerous means), and the more mundane (and most difficult) option of “mind over matter”.

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