Writing Fiction
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Fight scenes are perhaps one of the most difficult things for any writer to do realisticly. If you have tips or questions, this is the place.
11/1/2006 #1
God, you're right, they're hard! In Rogue Agent (my book) I've sort of sped through the action parts (only been two mind) but I think I've decsribed the rest quite well. But I'll probablly make them better before they're actually posted, the others are too late...
11/18/2006 #2
I go crazy when I need a fight sceen in my writing... the only thing I find harder is when I need to write a torture sceen. I mean, at least I've been in a fight or two in my life and I've done some marshal arts before so I have a little idea what they're like (even though I suck at writing them), but I've no experiance with torture (thank god :). ~Marjorie
11/28/2006 #3
Evil Minion Number 2
I usually avoid fight scenes, because they just distract, and look better on paper than in words.
11/29/2006 #4
Lowell Boston
Fight scenes are difficult to many for a few reasons - one, lack of experience on the writer's part, and/or two, lack of knowledge. In terms of experience one doesn't necessary need to have been in a fight as a challenger, bully or victim to be able write about them. Seeing a fight - an actual one, televised, or scripted as in a movie can also go a long way. The real trick is being able to analyze what's happening. In this day and age of VCRs, DVDs, the internet (not to mention comic books and graphic novels), one can slow down and review a good fight scene to see the logic - or lack there of, between fighters. Great choreographers included Jacki Chan, Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Wesley Snipes. How should a good fight scene begin - rremember these words - the villain acts and the hero reacts. If the hero strikes first - especially without reason, then the sympathy may go to the villain (which is great if that's your plan, after all what's a hero without a hubris?). Also, the hero is only as strong as the villain. When I do fight scenes I find it more interesting if the hero fights more with his brains, than his/her fist or weapons. The mind is the most dangerous weapon. I keep this in mind because it adds an unexpected element especially if the hero is out numbered or out gunned. Let the environment be a part of the scene. It's one thing to have a gun fight in an empty street. It's another to have it in a crowded hospital, a bank, or in the narrow confines of a coal mine. Let the hero (or villain) use the environment around them. Fighters may pull the rug out from under an opponent, kick a chair into a charging assailant, or use a handy vase, or pewter candle stick holder as a bludgeon weapon. Rely on the unexpected to add excitement to a scene. Knowledge is another key factor. If one is going to write a fight scene it helps to know something about fighting. Saying your hero fell into a martial arts pose is one thing. Saying he assumed a Horse Stance, knees pushed out, toes tucked inward as he angled his body knife like towards his foe is stronger. Learn the fundamentals of firearms - hand guns and rifles. learn the fundamental of fencing. key terms like wards, riposte, parry of prime, St. George's parry, fléche, forte, etc... The more you know the more believability you can place into your scene. Notice I didn't say realism. Great combat scenes don't necessarily have to be able to happen in real life. They just have to be believable in the context of your story. The following is a fight scenes I've written were I've tried to incorporate many of the elements I've talked about: ________________________________ She flinched, a blurring movement that I barely caught as I snapped my head back. I was struck on the side of my head by a precise, yet glancing blow. I'm fast, and highly trained, but I have to say I think it was only dumb luck that prevented my skull from being decapitated from my neck. The Kelshran smiled at her work as she eyed the deep gauge in my helmet. For me her smile did two things. One, it wiped off what smirk I had on my face, and two... it pissed me off. With a cleansing breath I unrepressed my 'Kill Reflex'. "I deserved that," I said, saluting her with my blade. She returned the gesture, ending the movement with a slash of her sword across the room's floor. The action wasn't lost upon me. In the dueling tradition if one's salute ended with their blade striking the ground it signified one thing - with a soiled blade a dueler intended not to wound their opponent, but to kill them. We began to circle each other, blades held loose, yet ready. "I'm disappointed. Don't 'Sin-Guardians invoke the names of their swords to those they choose to kill?" asked my opponent. "There are some things worse than death," I answered. She cocked an eyebrow. "Indeed. Then let us see." She charged, exploding towards me in a blinding Fléche, but this time I was ready. With equal speed I shot forward, meeting her half way. We passed in a flurry of strikes, then cleared. Sliding to a stop I turned around and fell into an En Garde stance - Warsaw extended, Saber loosely arched over my head. *Ouch,* I thought to myself. The pain radiated upward from the abdomen-plates of my Imperial Armor. There a long rent lay colored by my own blood coming from a ten inch gash across my mid-section. It was deep, hurt like a b***, but nothing requiring stitches. Wish I could say the same for her. Completing her pass I watched the Kelshran slow and turn towards me. With a seditious leer she licked her longer blade. "First blood goes to me, 'Sin-Guardian," said the K'tan. "Don't be so sure," I replied nodding toward her other hand. Glancing down her expression dropped to shock. Her Ul'ek blade had been severed two inches above her fist. Resentment and anger burned in her eyes as she willed the remnants of her weapon from her hand and dropped it to the floor. "Cunning. Striking my weapon instead of my armor. However, I'm still far from unarmed." "Yeah, there's that breath of yours..." ________________________________ Hope this helps.
12/8/2006 #5
Well I think it did anyway. Some cool tips you got there, maybe when I'm editing the more actiony parts of Rogue Agent, I'll use some of those tips. So yeah, cheers!
12/8/2006 #6
If they are just not your thing, then try a romance fiction piece. But if you're like me, and nothing raises your spirits like a good gunfight, fist fight, sword fight, or giant robot/monster battle, then here is what I suggest: 1) Figure out the "winner" of the fight. 2) Figure out how he wins 3) Figure out how badly the loser gets beat, whether there is injury, both physical and to one's reputation 4) If this ties in with the plot, which it may or may not, then make sure that everything fits well together. i.e. if the person is supposed to get injured, may sure he or she gets injured at that body part during the match. 5) Remember to use the characters' abilities right; a kickboxing wizard might not be able to wield a sword that well, and a 600 lb. man may not run that fast. 6) Enjoy! Fight scenes should be as fun to write as they are to read.
1/15/2007 #7
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