Writing fighting scenes:

Total posts: [19]
1 DarkbloodCarnagefang28th Apr 2013 08:05:27 AM , Relationship Status: Robosexual
Professional @$$hole!
One of my current problems with my story, referred to as Seventeen Badasses, which follows seventeen monster slayers who are part of a worldwide guild of monster hunters, is writing the fight scenes between the characters and the monsters they hunt.

My main problem is trying to put the idea in my head into writing. I'm perfectly capable of imagining the idea, but just transcribing it into words seems to be the issue.

I could use suggestions and possible tips, which would be very much appreciated.
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You should probably check-out rhythm in writing. Maybe Google it and try to find some examples. There's probably a blog or something that explores things like that. I would recommend checking out old pulp adventure stories, maybe some Robert E. Howard stuff. Those were very action heavy while still being relatively simple.

If you give a specific example of a scene you need to write, I'm sure some people here would be able to give you some advice.
3 DarkbloodCarnagefang28th Apr 2013 09:08:03 AM , Relationship Status: Robosexual
Professional @$$hole!
[up] Much appreciation on the advice. I Googled it and found an excellent site. I'll have to check out those stories sometime.

Specific examples? I guess one thing I have in my head, but haven't written down yet, is when four of my characters are fighting a demon and one is distracting it, while two are attacking it and the last is attacking from a distance.

I guess that last sentence was an example itself: I can mentally visualize it, but even describing it written form it difficult.
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Fight scenes are only difficult because I'm never sure how long is too long or how short is too short. What I would do with the scenario you gave us above, is add a paragraph for each participant in the fight - I don't mean each gets his or her OWN paragraph, but I'd add a paragraph for each character. I would NOT go into detail about every punch or kick or judo chop, though. A fight scene is a lot like a sex scene in that way[lol]
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5 DarkbloodCarnagefang28th Apr 2013 10:41:02 AM , Relationship Status: Robosexual
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[up] I honestly wouldn't compare a fight scene to a sex scene, but that may just be me :/

Though I guess that idea makes sense, paragraph for each participant in the fight and such..
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[up] I can see how a sex scene is like a fight scene. It's all about action and motion and giving the reader enough information without it being "too much information".

[up][up] I would actually advise against that. I feel like that may lengthen the scene more than it needs to be and switching subjects like that may be jarring to the reader. I would recommend only focusing on the monster and how it is attacked by the guys and how it reacts to being attacked. In this scene, the demon would be the center of attention, not the heroes. The reader should be able to figure out the heroes' strategy from that information.

edited 28th Apr '13 10:48:34 AM by WSM

7 DeMarquis28th Apr 2013 11:00:48 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
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A lot depends on whose point of view you are using to describe the fight from. Third person limited is very different from third person omniscient.
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8 DarkbloodCarnagefang28th Apr 2013 11:16:06 AM , Relationship Status: Robosexual
Professional @$$hole!
[up][up] I can see what you mean when you put it that way. I guess you make a good point on he focusing on the monster thing.
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From my experience (having written a fair bit of smut fan-fiction and a fair few action scenes), nekomoon is right, a good fight scene is written similarly to a good sex scene: there are a lot of actions that are intrinsic to the activity that are better left to the reader's imagination. Focus on what's important: the big hits and the mood.

My weakness is that i tend to get very wound up in the scene's blocking: for action or sex, i'm very concerned with who is positioned where and how they are oriented towards each other

edited 28th Apr '13 12:19:22 PM by Ogodei

10 DarkbloodCarnagefang28th Apr 2013 12:05:26 PM , Relationship Status: Robosexual
Professional @$$hole!
[up] Same weakness, describing where everyone is relative to the fight is difficult to describe because it's something usually expressed in a visual...
Note to self: Pick less edgy username next time.
I've had this same problem for a very long time. I've learned that sometimes it's best to leave much of it to the imagination. In a fight scene, I'd say it's less important to fully and explicitly describe every action and more important to describe the general movements, the emotions the characters are feeling, the intensity of the scene, etc. George R.R. Martin writes fight scenes that use very rhythmic, long sentences describing basic actions, but focusing more on the above.
12 JHM29th Apr 2013 02:03:29 AM from Neither Here Nor There , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Thunder, Perfect Mind
The interplay of sex and violence is one of my favourite things to toy with in fiction, but I think that my desired ends (discomfiting the reader) are somewhat different from yours.

edited 29th Apr '13 2:04:06 AM by JHM

13 demarquis29th Apr 2013 05:38:00 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Interesting parallel between action and sex scenes. I'm pretty good at writing the first, but I suck at the second. As far as action and fighting scenes are concerned, I think it's more important to describe what the POV character is experiencing rather than what they are doing, i.e. the pain of getting hit, not the action of hitting someone.
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong
14 m8e29th Apr 2013 08:09:22 AM from Sweden , Relationship Status: Wanna dance with somebody
If it involves a lot of thrusting and repeating motions...tongue
15 DeMarquis29th Apr 2013 09:02:14 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
Who Am I?
Focus on the feelings! Describe exactly how if feels to be thrust into! With a weapon! Repeatedly!
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong
16 Night29th Apr 2013 09:31:48 AM from Jaburo , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
The future of warfare in UC.
everyone is relative to the fight is difficult

It's not that important. Combat is inherently chaotic and confusing. Try letting it slide and see how you do.
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17 JHM30th Apr 2013 08:44:28 AM from Neither Here Nor There , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Thunder, Perfect Mind
[up][up] How exactly does it feel to have someone else's hands on your skin? To be grappled with, to be pressed down, twisted, thrown? Do you focus more on the uncomfortable aspects or the rush? Are they one and the same, part and parcel? You can hear your own heartbeat, your quick breathing, but what of theirs? Is it an equal passion or something more one-sided? Are your reasons for wanting this the same? Are you frightened? Are you afraid of losing control, of losing yourself? Does that fear excite you?

I could go on.
18 Madrugada30th Apr 2013 09:39:44 AM , Relationship Status: In season
I beg to differ with everyone here who has said "This is how to do it." How to do it is going to depend on the rest of the story. There is no One True Way to write a fight scene.

Sometimes what works is to describe it in careful choreographic detail — "He stepped to his left and threw a right cross that took the taller man on the point of the jaw. He dropped like a rock." or "They separated and came at him from three directions, the one to his left crouched low, with his knife held out — a street fighter's stance; the one to his right danced back and forth, just out of reach. The final one, the shortest and slightest, stood in front of him, gently swinging the crowbar in his hand to and fro."

Sometimes that won't work and you want to emphasize the chaos. "There were noises and bodies everywhere then, the smack of fists against flesh, yells and grunts of effort and yips and cries of pain; people moving in all directions, clumps of bodies forming then breaking up, leaving one or more on the ground with their dissolution. Then suddenly it was over. Still. Quiet, except for the sound of pain from a few of the shapes on the ground."

Sometimes you want first-person experience: "His fist crashed into my face and everything went red. ..."

Write what works for the story.

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19 ArsThaumaturgis30th Apr 2013 03:25:54 PM , Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
[up] Hear, hear. ^_^

I think that a good means of handling such a scene — and indeed, I imagine that this applies to any scene; scenes of combat are perhaps just salient by their difficulty — depends on what the author intends to convey in that scene: is it the specific experiences of a character? A depiction of the chaos of battle? A show of how impressive is the combat prowess of the characters involved? Something else?
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Total posts: 19