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Fight Scenes? posted 07 February 2005 in Writing TipsFight Scenes? by Antenox, Commoner

First off, the following is just pure theory and personal opinion until someone actually tries it himself.

Generally, keep descriptions short and terse. The pacing of the writing should reflect the pacing of the fight itself. Before, I used to describe, in detail, every thrust, every parry, every shift in footwork. But then someone told me, "Is that really what's going through your mind when you fight?" Easy answer: no. It depends on the perspective you're using, but now what I do is I put myself in my character's mind, and what my character sees during a fight is utter chaos (unless my character is a master combatant), so my writing reflects that with lots of sentence fragments (at least, more so than in my normal style). I also keep it a little bit unclear as to what exactly is going on, so that it seems like my character is just reacting to events precisely as they happen, instead of overanalyzing them with paragraphs upon paragraphs of description.

Now, for large battles, my style becomes very different, and I transition into a writing style that I call "fake Tolkien," because I so completely loved how Tolkien wrote the Battle of Pelennor Fields. I also haven't read very many books (not any in recent memory, actually) that have kept me as captivated in the outcome of a large battle as Tolkien. But Tolkien's prose is so different from anything we know now, and it may not be entirely appropriate for any modern story.

Regarding this, different people will have different styles that are also dependent on mood. It doesn't do to describe a battle in a glorious fashion when the mood is supposed to be despairing, for instance, and vice versa. That's just stating the obvious, though.

Hope this helps! Keep in mind, I'm just an amateur. If RSB comes here himself and contradicts me, just ignore me completely. In fact, forget I exist. <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> view post


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