1. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Battle scenes

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by captain kate, Nov 23, 2008.

    I remember that people were asking how to do a hand-to-hand combat scene before. I just finished on "The Betryal" in my blog on Chapter 32 snippet 2 if people are looking for how to do one. They have to be quickly paced, and really last no more then 1-2 pages typed. Why? Because even people like Jason Bourne and James Bond will run out of energy sooner or later-or their opponent will. Most hand-to-hand fights don't last very long due to that.

    So, when writing them, keep that in mind when you're designed your fight scenes. Keep them short, to the point, and enough images to let the reader know they're fighting to the death. However, leave a lot to their imagination, let them imagine the moves a lot too...
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's a pretty good example, but I'd simplify and shorten a lot of the sentences to pick up the pace even more.

    When I saw this thread title, with your name attached, I thought the thread would delve into space battles. I can envision a couple of very different approaches.

    Onbe would be fast and frantic, like haqnd to hand, with description yielding to clipped action. This would be basically the dogfight model, whether it is two ships or two thousand.

    The opposite approach would be to emphasize scaqle and vast distances. Using description and complex sentences to drag out the pace, leave plenty of time between the attcak and the result, But in that mode, your vessels take longer to move as well, assuming they can even detect the attack before it arrives. I would favor this latter approach for a heightened sense of realism.
     
  3. blankdraft
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    blankdraft Member

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    James Bourne and James bond...out of energy?

    since when?
     
  4. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    The aston will run out of body panels before Bond runs out of energy.
     
  5. delgelato
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    delgelato New Member

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    IMO, to make a battle scene more interesting(man to man fight), make it more than just hand to hand. If you really want to show the true potential of a character, but worried that the fight will get boring if all you do is unlimited kamehameha, make up some situations that will create opportunities for the character to do something different.

    Lets just say the bad guy starts to run away for a bit, and the good guy pulls out a gun/prepares to throw a rock and hit a bull's eye.

    Trying to make a battle more interesting by strengthen each side in turn, is boring. I did that once b/c of the inspiration I got from mangas, and it failed epicly.
     
  6. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    each one should be different, while I have three more bad guys to eliminate, each one will be done differently then the first one...never do that same thing twice in a row or the reader gets bored...

    as in "night fire" when Kate has to rescue a dignatary from 'terrorists' each person she took out was done in a different way, otherwise that reader would say "YAWN...been there done that...."
     
  7. dtwarrow
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    dtwarrow New Member

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    Hi, not to try and be a jerk with my first post, but I do not believe the reason is stamina. Real fights are short because someone wins. Samari sword fights rarely last beyond one or two blows (loosing a head does that). Hand to hand with two knowledgeable opponents can actually take a while. The longest hand to hand scene I have ever watched was actually Jason Borne in the last film, although I do confess I never read the book.
    Gunfights are very fast and over very quickly. You see a lot of war movies and think they last a long time, but the truth is that they are mostly broken down into many smaller fights, but look like one long one because the protagonist never dies (usually). Realism, if that is what you are going for, is quick. But in the realm of fiction, are we always going for realism? Sure Mr. Bond’s fights are over fairly quickly (except the ones with the “big bad” – notice how long they last? And yet he still has the stamina for an after fight excursion with a lovely lady…Hmmm.) But what about Superheroes, or aliens? Their fights might last significantly longer…
     
  8. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Stamina does play a role in hand-to-hand fights when both opponents are evenly matched as in the case i was writing. Yes, I did give Kate bionics, some will cal dues ex machina, but other then giving her faster running speed and jumping power, I've been careful to keep the opponents fairly evenly matched...sometimes they could possibly be superior.

    When dealing with that, two things tend to occur: whoever makes the first mistakes loses OR whoever runs out of energy loses.

    Sword fights tend to be short due to the same reason...at times. Other times sword fights can last a long time too...
     
  9. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not all hand-to-hand combat is short in duration. Ultimate fighting matches that allow severe pummeling, choking, joint locks, unlimited strikes to the head of both participants...the only rule is not gouging eyes. Matches with those guys often goes several rounds lasting ten to fifteen minutes. Both combatants are covered in blood and totaly exhausted at the end.

    In "real fights", without eye restrictions, a lot of time is spent developing advantage in position. Equally matched opponents may spend ten minutes actually throwing feints and "entering" moves until one achieves the needed advantage, then the fight is over in a flash of violence. This approach to fighting includes weapons such as blades, staffs, Eskrima sticks...even distance weapons like guns or bow'n arrows incorporate such combat demands. I once tracked a Viet Cong sniper for two days until he made a mistake. He was also aware of my presence so it was a very tense experience.

    In summary, realistic fighting scenes may happen in a flash...like a spontaneous bar fight...or they can drag on while skilled opponents feint and volley seeking that momentary advantage.
     
  10. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Sounds like something that happened to a buddy of mine who was in black ops in vietnam...he called himself the "Ace of Spades" and Charlie had placed a 10K bounty of his head. One day he was in the jungle and one of them was hunting him, to make a long story short, he made two errors where the light hit his (charlie's) scope. The first one told my friend he was there which started the all day hunting match...

    The second one? Well charlie's rifle is sitting in the sniper museum in Fort Benning from where AoS made a one in a lifetime shot that went through the guys scope into his head....

    Between my buddies knowledge and stories, it has luckily given my lots of good material to use to make Kate more realistic...
     
  11. Emerald
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    Emerald Contributing Member

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    Man, I can't help but find that totally badass. I mean, I hate for violence and killing to be romanticised, but tracking a sniper for two days in the jungle...


    Anyway, fight scenes are something I was never good at. I usually limit it to no more than a paragraph -- over in a flash. Primarily because it's easier. Long, drawn-out fights always end up either getting boring, or going over the top when I try them...


    Oh my God, you know Carlos Hathcock? Are you serious?
     
  12. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Well my friend in 'nam wasn't names Carlos is that's what you're asking. If NaCl was in the same line of work my friend was in, then he probably knows who i'm talking about since they knew each other by the "calling card" they would leave at a job. My friends was an Ace of Spade...hence why I called him that.
     
  13. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Carlos was a marine sniper, and my buddy was technically army although he really worked for some three-letter agencies...so someone else made the same shot..now THAT is interesting...
     
  14. Emerald
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    Emerald Contributing Member

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    Hmm... you're buddy's story sounds awfully similar to Hathcock's. You wouldn't even consider the possibility that he might have taken credit for somebody else's exploits? I mean, I don't know your friend, but I find that a surprising amount of soldiers make **** up simply because it's expected of them to have a few interesting stories... And a lot of them come out of a war having never even fired their guns...
     
  15. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    nope..because 80% of his missions just got declassified last year and I went with him to the pentagon for his middle awarding.

    I took time to ask a few people who worked in the same agencies about what was true or not and I've been told that they were true...

    Sometimes the truth is stranger then fiction, plus the rifle in question from the sniper in question is in Fort Benning's museum...

    I was surprised when you mentioned that name because I had never heard of it myself.
     
  16. Emerald
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    Emerald Contributing Member

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    Sounds awesome. What's his name?

    I wonder if he's mentioned in One Shot, One Kill.
     
  17. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    never heard of that one, I'll have to ask him. I won't give out his name unless he okays me to do so for privacy reasons.
     
  18. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was not a sniper. I was team leader on a lerp...LRRP...(Long Range Recon Patrol) squad. Our specific missions were (and still are) classified, but suffice it to say our primary role was "pacification" (search and destroy in areas where the NVA or VC had gained too much control). Instead of sending in a large force that would suffer too many casualties in direct combat, MAC-V would let us roam an AO (Area of Operations) at our discretion for a few weeks. When we emerged from the mission, there was usually no more enemy activity. I reported directly to a two star general.

    That VC sniper was not killed by a bullet. It didn't make sense to go against his strength, but everyone needs sleep sooner or later. A good recon soldier waits for opportunity and pounces...quietly. We simply split our squad and flushed him into an area where I had team members waiting. The objective was accomplished around three in the morning during a monsoon downpour.

    As far as "calling cards", some guys left the Ace of Spades for intimidation. I preferred the Ten of Spades because the Vietnamese culture used the number 10 to define "bad". Something good was called, "numba one" and anything bad was called "numba ten", hence my use of that card. Also, the NVA put a $10,000 reward on the head of any deep recon Rangers or snipers who had a significant impact on their operations. Another "calling card" was the condition of the body you left behind. I won't get into gory details, but certain guys in my unit would tie the body of a dead NVA or VC to a tree and leave physical messages in the condition of the corpse. Brutal, but effective intimidation.
     

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