Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bring on the fight

How I write fight scenes.

Use A Map. Sketch out your props and your characters. This is useful not only with large rooms but small ones as well. Is your character on the run? You need to know the obstacle course.

Focus on one POV character at a time. I write in layers so it helps me to first map out the scene, and then focus on one POV at a time (if you have multiple POV’s) and begin to layer.

Time it. How long does it take for bad guy to reach good guy? What is good guy’s initial reaction? How long does it take for the contact? I actually time a scene visualizing it with a stop watch. Yeah, I’m just weird that way. So when I write I know how long the scene is going to take, how much time does the POV character have to think? Now, you can argue that time is relative in stories. Linear time in a story doesn’t exist like real time. Think Inception. Time is what the author gives the character. But you want to make it as close to reality as possible.

Act it out: This one is a bit tricky but can be fun. The objective of this is to get a feel for the movement. Your character may have super powers, may know how to handle a sword, a gun, a blade, but feeling the toll it takes on the body and the mind might give you a baseline. And you can begin layering from there.

I had my teenage, petite, girl character, swinging a sword. Yeah, well have you ever carried one? Those things are heavy. Definitely needs upper body strength. Archery? Back and arm strength needed there. This will help when describing my characters and giving them daily chores. And gun wielding, careful with that recoil. You can find hilarious mishaps on youtube.

Some reads with awesome fighting scenes. Any other book you would like to add?


  1. Ian Fleming's James Bond books have great fight scenes.

  2. I haven't written many fight scenes although there were a few in my last MS. Great techniques!

  3. Anita, Um, I didn't know those movies were based on books. **smacks myself up side the head.** I gotta check 'em out.

    Thanks CQ Girl. =) I love fight scenes. I'm determined to master them.

  4. Cool post. It does take some arrangement to get a fighting scene just right. I don't get to write to many of those. Gonna tweet this.

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  6. Ooh, I like fight scenes. My first MS was fantasy and has lots of sword play and fight scenes. I definitely had to play around with my Samurai sword to figure some of them out and whether what I was thinking my MC could do, could be done. ;)

  7. That's the fun part Kimberly, so long as it's safe. LOL. Thanks for your comments.


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