A guide to writing fight scenes

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Richie Billing

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

blow by blow

“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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A Guide To Writing Fight Scenes

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.