Monday, August 8, 2011

The Four Basic Writing Stances : Introduction

The four basic stances.  Source

At the heart of swordsmanship lie stances.  Every stance allows you to both deliver attacks and block them.  While I presume that each swordsman had his own preference, all stances are interchangeable and dynamic, allowing the swordsman to switch between them as the situation demanded it.

As writers, we too have stances.  The way in which we take on a manuscript.  Start immediately or plot first, etc.  Everyone has their own opinion, and judging by the difference in advice from bestseller to bestseller, not one is the “correct” solution.  Every writer has a preference in their writing stance, just as swordsmen have a preference in their sword stance.

While no one is correct, each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it would do well to know each of them.  Trying out every way also helps you find the stance that works best for you.  I’ve dabbled with almost all of them, and I’m still trying to find my preference.  Of course, every situation calls for another approach, so when I write short stories, I employ a different stance than when I write a novel.

In the following four weeks, I’ll look at one stance of German longsword stances and attempt to compare them to writer stances.


  1. My stance is one with a shield, behind which I keep a selection of snacks.

    Like the idea of comparing stances, will be interested to see how you relate the two.


  2. I think one of the stances will fit perfectly into your 'moody' writing style.