Thursday, December 13, 2012


Creative Writing: 13 Mistakes Writers Make With Fight Scenes

Creative writing requires more than simply saying something happened...or even how, when, why, and where it happened. The writer must, especially in moments of high emotion, convey that emotion to the reader. That takes more than just saying "Bob punched Bill in the face."

In the following article, the author offers some tips on how to get some of this emotion over to your readers.
13 Mistakes Writers Make With Fight Scenes
By Rayne Hall

Fight scenes are the most challenging for most fiction writers. Do yours sing with excitement and realism?

By avoiding common snafus, you can make your fight scene stand out.

1. Nothing at stake... as if the characters put their lives at risk without purpose. Solution: Raise the stakes and give them something to fight about.

2. Absence of emotion... as if the fighter didn't feel fear, fury or despair. Solution: Put the point-of-view character through a range of emotions.

3. Generic setting... as if the fight took place in 'white space'. Solution: Choose an interesting location, preferably a weird or surprising one.

4. Making it easy for the hero by giving him a superior weapon, superior armour, superior strength and superior skills... as if he couldn't rise to a genuine challenge. Solution: Make it as difficult for your hero as possible and give the opponent all the advantages.

5. Fighters holding a leisurely conversation with long, carefully articulated sentences.. as if they had plenty of breath to spare during the swashbuckling. Solution: Put the dialogue before the fighting starts. Once the fighting is over, the survivor can say something poignant.

6. Implausible fight skills... as if the situation instantly granted the Regency damsel a black belt in karate. Solution: Establish beforehand what skills the protagonist has.

7. Inventing a fancy weapon for the hero... as if a gimmicky-shaped sword stood a chance against a blade of tried-and-tested standard design. Solution: Use a real weapon from that period. If inventing a weapon for a fantasy world, model it on real weapons, and keep the design simple.

8. Long sentences... as if fighting was a leisurely, slow-paced activity. Solution: Use short and medium-length sentences while the fight is on. As the action speeds up, shorten the sentences.

9. Lots of adverbs... as if any sense of speed created by a verb must be squashed instantly. Solution: use vivid verbs that don't require adverbs.

10. Weapons from the wrong period... as if an ancient Greek would use a medieval great sword, or a Norman knight a 19th century cavalry sabre. Solution: Spend some time on research. Check an authoritative website or ask an expert.

11. Weapons performing tasks they can't do... as if an epee sword could split skulls or a small pistol stop a running target at a thousand feet. Solution: Ask someone who has handled that kind of weapon. Re-enactors are keen to talk about their weaponry.

12. The character thinks deep philosophical thoughts... as if fighting off deadly blows were so easy that he could concentrate on something else. Solution: Move the thoughts to later, when the fighting is over.

13. The fighter observes what his mates are doing at the other side of the battlefield and the sun setting on the horizon... as if the immediate danger didn't require all his attention. Solution: Insert the location atmosphere and descriptions immediately before the fight. During the fight, show only the opponent's face, body and weapon.

WRITING FIGHT SCENES - THE E-BOOK: Learn step-by-step how to create fictional fights which leave the reader breathless with excitement. Kobo:

Article Source: 13 Mistakes Writers Make With Fight Scenes

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