1. Jay DiNitto says:

    This is a good idea if you need to add realism to your story. Most authors, even fantasy, need to ground their world’s mechanics to ours in some way.

    My latest book isn’t fantasy but I made a point to emphasize a trip to the bathroom in one scene. Not out of nowhere; there was good reason for it, and people do it on the reg. Why aren’t there more depictions of it?

    • Travis Perry says:

      Right. We don’t want to concentrate on background stuff because by definition it’s not our main focus, but mentioning such details as maintenance–or using the bathroom–when it’s called for makes sense to me. If characters are to be real to the reader, then they do real things, not all of which are glamorous.

  2. notleia says:

    Feels obligatory: Nerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd

  3. I gotta give a shout out to Kaylee from Firefly, who not only kept things running but also made them beautiful.

    From a story standpoint, I can see most of us leave out maintenance because it doesn’t usually move the plot forward. But I can see where including it would add storyworld detail and character building.

    Having a character _neglect_ the maintenance of their weapons could also make for some interesting disasters.

    • One time I saw an animation on youtube that was basically an old legend about a warrior that put his sword back in its sheath without cleaning the blood off first. Basically, he was in a wintery area, so the blood froze the blade to the sheath, leaving him unable to draw his sword to protect himself from a wolf attack, that that’s a good example of weapon neglect helping a story plot.

      • Kathleen Eavenson says:

        Sherwood Smith has Vidanric, the main character in her Stranger to Command novel clean his 4 throwing knives & sword after a battle with assassins on the road. He plunges them repeatedly in the earth as a (temporary) cleansing to get the blood off.

        AND since her world includes some magic, the people as children learn a “waste spell” they recite as needed that takes care of the need for bathroom breaks. Doesn’t *that* sound useful? ?

    • Travis Perry says:

      Kristen, one of the fantasy authors who mentions weapons maintenance is C. S. Lewis, on several different occasions. Best example–do you recall the scene in Voyage of the Dawn Treader where Prince Caspian checked in on Governor Grumpas, the governor of the Lone Islands? One of the things Caspian does is chew out the governor’s guards for failing to maintain their weapons–and specifically states what it was they were not doing. (Though Lewis had been a soldier in WWI and understood that part of a soldier’s life quite well.)

      Though we should give you a shout out here, Kristen. Your novella anthology, Tales of the Phoenix (disclaimer: I publish this book), says quite a lot about how the airship The Phoenix is kept aloft and taken care of in the atmosphere of future Mars. As in your other books, you actually do a great job covering the details of ordinary life in a way that does not get boring. (Check it out everybody on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Phoenix-Medieval-Terraformed-Interplanetary-ebook/dp/B07FLQM75R/)

  4. I really enjoyed this post, Travis.

    I know Paksenarrion in The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon had probably 5 or more mentions of weapons and taking care of them, as well as warriors. This trilogy (Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold) are especially believable in this and many other areas because Moon was actually in the armed forces. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did. They are cleaner than most fantasy, and a great read.

    I unfortunately can’t recommend her other books as very clean, and her latest ones in the realm of Tsaia have gotten into witchcraft type stuff, but this trilogy has a solid lot to recommend it.

    Thanks again, and have a great evening.

    Azalea Dabill

    • Travis Perry says:

      Azalea, I haven’t read the Deed of Paksenarrion triology. Thanks for the recommendation.

      Sorry to hear Moon progressively got more into questionable things as time went on. That’s something I’ve observed in more than just a few authors, sadly.

      God bless you.

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