Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Writing About: A Fight

Nothing is more thrilling than a fight whether it’s in real life, on a movie screen, or in a book. But writing one is not nearly as easy as witnessing one. First, you’ll need to decide what kind of fight you want to write. There are four options you can choose from:

·    hand-to-hand combat
·   sword fight
·    gun fight
·   a fight with supernatural powers

Of course, you could do a mixture of all four as I have, but that is also four times more complicated to write. 

After you decide what type of fight will be in your book, you need to know how to create action through writing. This can be done with action-reaction, revealing prose, action verbs, fast pace, and exciting dialogue. 
For a more in depth lesson visit: How To Write Action
When you understand the methods to show action, you need to do some research to learn how to give details to a fight. This can be achieved by talking to professionals in the art of combat and weapon specialists. If you do not have these resources at your disposal, the next best thing is to use the internet for a crash course, or to study books that you can find at the library.

Photo by Chrys Fey

Along those notes, I highly recommend reading fictional books with an abundance of action to find out the author’s secrets. Many fiction crime novels (mysteries, suspense, etc.) have fights of all kinds in them. Once you read them, you’ll have a much better grasp on how to write fights. And I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy reading them too.
TIP: Before you begin writing the fight, plan out key moments of the fight first. This will make the process of writing the fight much easier!
Once all of your research is done, it’s time to write the fight! Picture the fight in your head and write it out the best you can with as much prose as possible. (Does your character smell gunfire? Taste blood in their mouth? Hear the whistle of a blade?)

  • Who are the key players in the fight?
  • What causes the fight to start? (Tell us why the characters are fighting, lead us up to the action.)
  • Do they use weapons?  (Guns, swords, daggers, fists, supernatural powers? You can also put a little creativity into the objects they use on each other.)
  • What do they do in the fight? (Describe every move, every hit.)
Every movement in a fight is followed by another movement either by the character giving it (another movement in their attack sequence) or the character receiving it (their reply to the hit with an attack of their own). When one character hits another, show the reaction of that hit. Do they stagger, bleed, or fall?

·    How does the atmosphere aide or complicate the fight? (Describe their surroundings.)
·    Are words exchanged? (Are curses spat at each other? Are threats exchanged?)
·   Describe the pain the protagonist feels and his/her thoughts.
·   Finally, how does it end? (Who wins? Who loses? Describe the physical damage.)

As I said before, writing a fight is not easy, but it can be fun!
TIP: I find that listening to rock music really helps when I am writing fights, and I have written too many to count!

SHARE: Your tips for writing a fight.


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