It’s Thursday and I’m feeling nostalgic.
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On social media, forums and Reddit of late I’ve seen quite a few people asking about writing fight scenes. So this week, with axes in hand, I thought we’d battle our way through it.
There seems to be a few general rules of thumb for writing fight scenes. They are:
- Blow by blow is boring;
- Clarity is king;
- Show v tell.
Let’s look at each in detail.
Blow by blow is boring
“He swung left, then right, dodged a lunging blow from behind, rolled to the right, raised his sword to parry another attack.”
A fight scene should not be a stream of blow after blow until everyone’s dead or retreated. Rather, it ought to be a portrayal of a character’s physical and mental state as they experience danger.
In movies seeing every punch and kick, decapitation or shooting is sadistically entertaining. On the page it’s a different…
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