In today’s episode of “I promise I’m a writer, not a serial killer”… writing fight scenes! How do you make a compelling fight scene without describing it blow by blow? I drop some tips for ya!
Confession: acting out scenes, still learning
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- They get better as you write them, so keep going! Worry less about your first draft besides getting the scene out. After that, you can add in the details and make it flow better!
- Study fight scenes — TV, reading, movies — there are fight scenes all over the place that can help you figure out how to write your own. If you have a shootout, study gun shootouts. If you’re using superpowers or magic, try to find fiction or movie examples to help you describe the action scene.
- Understand the lengths and purpose of the fight scene — don’t just fight for the sake of fighting. There should be a motivation or reason that this fight scene is happening. What is the purpose of this action? Where does it drive the story?
- Play with sentence lengths — flash short sentences with fluid and longer ones. Keep the reader guessing, hesitating, feeling, hanging on every word. PLAY WITH PACING.
- Research injuries and consequences — there are consequences to every hit, whether you’re doing the hitting or taking the hit. Research the sort of injuries that can be caused during your fight scene. Is someone stabbed? Are there swords or arrows involved? Be sure you understand that there are consequences to every hit.
- Focus on sensory details and strong verbs — you don’t have to get insanely technical or detailed, but those things also don’t hurt. Make it powerful. Make it fit with your prose.
Originally published at https://www.laura-winter.com on March 15, 2021.