I’ m just back from the RWA conference in Orlando and I am exhausted. That will happen though after four fabulous days of networking, learning, and hanging out with friends and fellow writers and not getting enough sleep. I saw a number of terrific workshops, but I must say that author Angela Knight, www.angelasknights.com, offered a great workshop on writing fight scenes.
She started by explaining that writing a fight scene is very similar to writing a love scene. As we go along you should be able to see the similarities between the two types of scenes. In both scenes, you are displaying strong emotions through the character’s actions.
Fight scenes should have little dialogue or internal monologue. At the start your characters might exchange a little trash talk or threats, but once the fight really starts it becomes about survival. Obviously, fighting for your life requires huge amounts of energy. You characters will want to conserve every ounce they have in order to defend themselves. They won’t waste breathe on talking. Nor will your characters be rhapsodizing about the scenery around them. In a fight your character’s focus narrows down to their attacker and the search for a weapon in their surroundings. If you’ve got your characters spouting out huge soliloquies in the middle of the fight, then your character clearly isn’t focus on the fight nor do they appear to be all that concerned about survival. To quote Ms. Knight, “Your readers are only as concerned about the outcome of the fight as your character is.”
The detail of your writing is going to be on the action of the fight the blows, blocks, the counters, and the avoidance of same. This is all going to help your readers feel the emotion of the scene as will the strong reaction of the characters to the action. Again, keep your emotional descriptions short. Express the characters exhaustion or pain at being struck, but don’t wallow in said description.
You want your readers to feel like they have a ring side seat for the fight, but with the benefit of being able to tap into the POV characters thoughts and emotion.
We’ll get into more detail as we go on, but here’s just a little food for thought to get you started.