13 Mistakes to Avoid in Fight Scenes
July 2, 2012
Rayne Hall is professional writer and editor. She has had over 30 books published under several pen names, in several genres(mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction), in several languages (mostly English, German, Polish and Chinese), by several publishers, under several pen names.
In her eBook, Writing Fight Scenes, Rayne Hall provides step-by-step information on how to create fictional fights, which leave the reader breathless with excitement.
The book gives you a six-part structure to use as blueprint for your scene. It reveals tricks how to combine fighting with dialogue, which senses to use when and how, how to create a sense of realism, and how to stir the reader’s emotions.
You’ll decide how much violence your scene needs, what’s the best location, how your heroine can get out of trouble with self-defence and how to adapt your writing style to the fast pace of the action. There are sections on female fighters, male fighters, animals and weres, psychological obstacles, battles, duels, brawls, riots and final showdowns. For the requirements of your genre, there is even advice on how to build erotic tension in a fight scene, how magicians fight, how pirates capture ships and much more. You will learn about different types of weapons, how to use them in fiction, and how to avoid embarrassing blunders. Note: The book uses British spellings.
Nothing at stake … as if the characters put their lives at risk without purpose
Absence of emotion … as if the fighter didn’t feel fear, fury or despair
Generic setting … as if the fight took place in ‘white space’
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
Fighters holding a leisurely conversation with long, carefully articulated sentences … as if they had plenty of breath to spare during the swashbuckling
Implausible fight skills … as if the situation instantly granted the Regency damsel a black belt in karate
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
Long sentences … as if fighting was a leisurely, slow-paced activity
Lots of adverbs … as if any sense of speed created by a verb must be squashed instantly
Weapons from the wrong period … as if an ancient Greek would use a medieval greatsword, or a Norman knight a nineteenth century cavalry sabre
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
The character thinks deep philosophical thoughts … as if fighting off deadly blows were so easy that he could concentrate on something else
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