So you’re working on a story, and it really ought to have a fight scene. But you’re sitting there thinking, “I’m not a martial artist! I’m not a member of the SCA! I have no idea how to fight!” Or maybe you’re thinking, “Fight scenes are so boring. I’d rather skip over this and get back to the actual story.” Or something else that makes you dread writing that scene, rather than looking forward to it with anticipation.
To the first group, I say: the details of how to fight are possibly the least important component of a fight scene. The crucial components are the same ones you’re already grappling with in the rest of your writing—description, pacing, characterization, all that good stuff.
To the second group, I say: it’s only boring if the author does it wrong.
A fight is part of the story. Just like any other scene…
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I’m sure many writers struggle with fight scenes, and it’s true that the movie medium has typical ways of presenting them in a way that might seem more visually dynamic, for obvious reasons, but is actually more limited compared to the numerous opportunities in the written narrative. This excellent post outlines some key aspects of how to make fight scenes more convincing and multi-dimensional. Thanks Marie.