Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! Chuck Sambuchino July 27, Fight scenes are dangerous territory for writers. In reality, though, readers tend to skip over fight scenes — skimming the long, tedious, blow-by-blow descriptions in favour of getting back to the dialogue and character-driven drama that truly engages them in the story. This means having to ensure that every piece of action is vital and engaging; it means that every duel must draw the reader in and not let them go until the end.
Canada It might be a good idea to give the reader a broad visualization of the battleground before hand.
What I mean is, provide visual locations to armies or soldiers so the reader knows where everyone is in relation to each other.
Even if the reader can get confused when you go into the sword clashing details of the fight, the reader still has that initial visualization to fall back on. For example, a mage does some crazy magic that you describe thoroughly, before hand, the reader should already know the mage is at the top of the hill and there's a battalion of a hundred men marching uphill trying to kill him.
If you try to describe soldier location and spell detail at the same time, it can be confusing. I think it's important to make the reader feel comfortable first by describing the setting, army size, army type, daytime or nighttime, before going into the actual fight. This isn't always the case, and sometimes you need very little description of setting because your POV character has little knowledge of it.
Whatever you do, make sure the reader is able to fortify an image in his mind when you go into detail and description so the reader can visualize the rest on his own. As for writing the actual battle, you would most likely be describing it as a scene, not as summary.
But I guess you know that already. Write an action sequence with as much description as your imagination lets you. You can always trim it afterwards.
Don't constantly think about "short and precise" the entire time you're writing the scene because it pulls your attention from the actual story. I'll just randomly think about a scene and then edit it afterwards as an example.
Draft and then revision: Malin raised the sword over his head with both hands and swung down on the young soldier -- barely fifteen. He stopped the blade just as it touched the boy's metal helm. The boy froze as if expecting to die. A second passed and the boy yelled, thrusting his axe into Malin's ribs.
Ok I just typed that really fast ignoring that annoying critic in my brain. The initial sentence takes too long to get to the point it can be shortened.
I'll make a few other adjustments: Malin raised the sword over his head and swung down at the soldier -- barely fifteen. The blade stopped, innocently touching the boy's helmet. After a moment, the boy cried and swung an axe into Malin's ribs. To me, the fact he is holding the sword with two hands is irrelevant.
I don't need to say "young soldier" because I already state afterwards that he's under When I start the next sentence with "He", it can be confusing who I'm talking about so I changed it.
You "swing" an axe, you don't "thrust". The process for describing a battle should be no different than describing a chess match.You are writing a fantasy novel so chances are good that you have all sorts of fantasy things in it. Things like magic, elves, dwarves, dragons, and whatever else your imagination stirs up.
And all of these things may be a critical part of your battle scene but you have to be careful. Take that novel (or any other novel you can find that is recommended for good battle scenes), a pen, and a highlighter, and analyze - like you were in school - how those scenes are constructed.
Whenever someone brings up action writing, Steakley is always the first person I think of. A good method for keeping track of the scene as you write it is to draw a map showing the various sides of the battle before, during, at the end of your scene. Your map can have more information in it than you might need, but you can choose how much detail you actually need later.
Here’s How To Write A Damn Good Fight Scene. January 21, by Robert Wood 55 Comments. Image: Matthew Loffhagen. Pin. Share. Tweet +1. So i have attempted to use this guide to write my first battle scene i will actually use in a story if its ok i would love abit of feedback.
May 06, · Hi guys, Just wondering if you had any tips on how to write a good (fantasy) battle scene.
I've picked up quite a few from reading, research and talking to like-minded others. 14 thoughts on “ 5 Essential Tips for Writing Killer Fight Scenes ” bradenwriting May 21, at am.
Great insights. I’m writing a first draft and got stuck on the logistics of a fight scene and this article really helped me pin down what I wanted to get across in it and how to make it work.