Monday, April 18, 2016

DIY Wolf Fight

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What about the wolf fight? I've heard that is uniquely realistic, and inspired from experience?

Yes! That one makes me laugh, because of the story behind it. I wrote that scene in Prince of Demargen where the timber wolves play a pivotal role and it was one of the most intense scenes for me to write, (among many, because with this story I just didn't include a scene unless it sucker-punched me a little some way or another.) But this wolf fight scene especially plays against the backdrop of some of childhood's integral fears: the night, the snow flurries, nobody can see: and then there's these wolves stalking the characters. In the back of these characters minds they fundamentally know that the pack is really after their horses, (in real life, wolves will go for horse meat above most other domestic animals) but these predators will take anybody they can get, of course. And the people aren't going to abandon their horses in mountain forest; so the one character rushes out to bring the fight to them, and ends up in a dagger-vs-fang fight. Knock down drag out, very rough and tumble as you might expect, going hand to hand with a wild animal.
 I wrote that as authentically as I could and then when I later received that piece back from my editor she commented that it felt so real. She said, and I quote: "Wow. This is so thrillingly scary. How did you imagine what a wolf fight would be like???!!"


 Check out Prince of Demargen's pinterest board for some scary wolf fight pictures!

 It'd been some time since I'd written the scene, and so I had to think about it for a moment. And then I just laughed, because I could link that the memory of writing that scene directly with the memory of a certain dog I had as a teen. He was a magnificent animal, I've rarely seen anything more athletic than he was. He was a Karelian Bear Dog, so for anyone who knows that breed they'll immediately understand. I raised him from a pup and worked hard to train him... he was incredibly smart but one of the most arrogant dogs I've ever experienced. He was just an "untamed spirit" kind of thing, and although he loved me, he didn't want to do what he didn't want to do. No matter how much I wanted him to do it!
 And worming him was something he flat out didn't want to participate in. I would literally have to wrestle him to the ground and fight with him physically until he finally surrendered enough to take his wormer and swallow it. After the first few times I left the wormer with a sibling, and got the wrestling fight over with first. He knew exactly what was about to happen so we'd roll all over the yard and he'd resist until he finally gave up. Then I'd get the wormer handed to me and then we'd have a few more struggles, and then I'd get him to swallow it.
 All the other dogs took it fine. They didn't like it, but it was just something you swallowed and then you were done with. But with him, it was always a point. Never ever just said "Okay, fine" from the get go. Always was a "I refuse!" tussle.
  This was an extremely exhausting process for me, and I always emerged totally played out... we came to respect each other deeply, that dog and I, for he knew that I would refuse to give up longer than he would and so I always got the 'last word in' so to speak.
 And I was really the only one he'd listen to, because I had proven to him that I wouldn't give up, and so in most other things he'd do what I said. I never underestimated him; he wasn't "obeying me"... he was just "siding with me".
  He was an amazing dog and an amazing experience, and I truly believe that any wolf would be fairly similar to what he presented. Possibly less athletic, 'cause that dog was super-powered and like a canine version of Spiderman. From what I've seen of wolves they are looser jointed, and so would be slightly less "quick twitch" muscle... but then dealing with a wild animal attacking would color the situation a little differently as well.
  But I think the situation, while fictional of course, is feasible: wolves attack by slash and run, they don't "close" with their prey (the way a bull dog is famous for, never letting go) So once you did close with them, they'd be pretty uncomfortable, and mostly trying to get some distance, while of course trying to slash with their fangs as they did it.
 If you were able to get their head unable to reach you well, then you could conceivably defeat a wolf with only a dagger... so long as you weren't worried about getting hurt yourself. You'd have to be all in, totally invested in the fight, or else you'd pull back and it'd surely escape you.

2 comments:

Jenelle said...

Cool! Thanks for sharing. I had to write a dog-fight scene recently and had to resort to reading lots of Albert Payson Terhune to get an idea of what it would look like. :)

I am really looking forward to reading your books!

E. Kaiser Writes said...

AHah!! ;-) Poor you, you never had any dog-fights of yourown, personal kind/!!! ;-)
Well, that's one good thing about knowing where to find the info you need! :-)
Thanks for stopping by!!!
Elizabeth