Hello Space Cadets, how is everyone doing today? What’s that? I can’t hear you, sound off like you got a pair! And if you don’t, fake it till you make it! So, now that I have your attention, let’s have a little chat over coffee! Today I decided to give you get a sneak peek into how I wrote my battle scenes. Let’s dive into the world of sand tables, sometimes called Recess for Soldiers!
So where to start, first let me start by discussing what a sand table is. In a nutshell, a sand table is a surface bearing a three-dimensional map of a given piece of land. According the Merriam-Webster, it’s “a table bearing a relief model of a terrain built to scale for study or demonstration especially of military tactics.” Basically, I a super special map! The military has used them since forever, long before Christ was even a Corporal.
Now that I’ve explained what a sand table is, I’ve decided to show you the one I made for my first novel. Yes, The Legion Awakes, which will be published on December 19th, 2016. It’s an improvised sand table for a combat scene in the novel involving a battle that my main character is involved in. Wanna know more, read the book! You’ve probably already read this, but please let me be prideful for just a few words! I’m currently writing The Sleeping Legion Series set in the military science fiction world of Tim C. Taylor. That book will be out soon, so I wanted to share some of how I got here. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let us return to our regularly scheduled programing.
Anyway, the key to a successful sand table is that they provide you with the opportunity to visualize the battle space in three-dimensions. This allows you to better describe the field as you’ve envisioned it. It allows you to envision all of the obstacles which might get in the way of the armies you are describing, though this could work for any type of writing, combat or otherwise. I supposed I would be remiss if I didn’t also tell you that these can be used to model towns, and other generic settings for your works in progress. Not as exciting, but certainly necessary. They are used by the military for strategic visualizations, are extremely helpful with strategic planning, but can be used by everyone!!
Without further adieu, my masterpiece!
My Sand Table
Cups: Akoni Mountains
Green Sponges: Dense forests
Brown Building Blocks: Old Government Tower and Akoni City
Blue Paper: Water Features; Dynia River and Lake Charon
Now that we’ve covered this in depth, feel free to sound off in the comments below! And if this tickled your fancy, click the follow button and never miss out on the insanity or shenanigans from the Handley Trenches!
Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!
–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are owned by JR Handley.