Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fight Scene

The fighters enter the ring. Fighter One punches Fighter Two. Fighter Two punches Fighter One. Fighter One falls down. Fighter Two is declared the winner. Yawn. I never watch boxing alone. I'm there for the beer and the banter, with the fight a pleasant diversion in the background.

Likewise in Writing. One, you're already fighting an uphill battle getting readers to be interested in written visual choreography, and Two, who cares? There's got to be more at stake than just who's got the best Kung Fu, unless that's the character arc and there's some emotion involved. If there's not, you're competing with kung fu movies, which are a better medium for Fighting. I'll just watch those, with friends and beer, and the fights will just be awesome diversion in the background.

In this illustrative clip from The Wind and the Lion, America proceeds to do what it does best: Destabilize a whole region so that Teddy Roosevelt can get re-elected.

The fact that this is not the most awesome scene in the movie is your cue to go find and watch the whole movie.

It's got Sean Connery in.


If your mass fight scene has a particularly high body count, make sure you know the population of the areas in conflict so that you can determine the long term effects of...

Oh, who am I kidding. Everybody knows that Fantasy demographics make no sense. Any attempts to make them make sense will lead to headache and boredom.

250 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long To Die"
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Reading - ?



  1. I'd say about a paragraph per battle is all you need for any fight scene, whether it's World War Eleventy-Sexteen or two chicks brawling over their man. I like to hear something like, "and the intestines sizzled in the fire," or, "the tooth clattered off the mantlepiece;" I'm pro-gorey fights. But that doesn't change the fact that, in every case of a fight scene, what comes next is better.

    But especially in the case of my second example. Time to write that story!

  2. I'm envisioning an epic battle for succession amongst the Tooth Fairy's heirs. "It's a power cavity!"/"Oh no! Sugar masses upon the frontier!"


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