1. Nadine
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    Nadine New Member

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    Best book for battle scenes

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Nadine, Feb 15, 2011.

    Hey people

    Has anyone got any recommended for any books/novels that have great battle scenes (hand to hand, guns and swords)?
    I have already read David Gemmell's Legend.
     
  2. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not a work of fiction, but for insight into what battle means for those doing, rather than directing, the fighting, I would suggest you take a look at John Keegan's excellent The Face of Battle. It covers the experience of the common soldier at Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme (if I remember).
     
  3. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    If you're looking for intense action, try reading anything by Matthew Reilly. No swords, but any type of action you can think of, he has written. I may have exaggerated a little.:p
     
  4. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    I like to think that I am quite good at writing battle scenes myself, it's probably one of the things I like writing most. :) Unfortunately, that doesn't exactly help you right now. :D

    The scenes in the Hornblower series by C.S. Forester are very good, but that is mostly either naval combat or hand-to-hand during boarding.

    A word of advice, from my own experience - if you have sufficient imagination and intelligence, you can write very good small-scale battle scenes even without much experience or research. But I wouldn't recommend writing a detailed account of a large battle without intense study (and better yet, experience) of tactics. Realism will suffer drastically.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My experience and don't laugh but I advise typing how to write romance or sex scenes into google (as long as you of such an age to read them lol) My fight and battle scenes improved no end when I realised the basics of a good sex scene were transferable - how to incorporate the senses, the action and feelings and communicate it on a personal level.

    I really like the ones in Narnia - Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian etc
     
  6. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    Bernard Cornwell is the man! He writes intense battle scenes, detailed. Sometimes they're told from the perspective of the soldier, others by the king/strategist of the battle.

    I strongly recomend the The Saxon Stories (The Last Kindom, The Pale Horseman, The Lords of the North, Sword Song and The Burning Land), but Azincourt is very good too.
     
  7. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Andrzej Sapkowski is my favorite author when it comes to action. He is a rare juvel. he is a fantasy writer, who write heroic fantasy,,, But really really can both write (4 reals!) and tell a story. His Witcher series (yes, the books the compyter game was based on) is worth reading, for many more reason then the action scenes. Hes also a master of dialog.

    And I think GRR Martin in worth a mention. In his booksl, pain really hurts.
     
  8. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    I've never thought about it like that, but now that you mention it, I think you may have a point. I'll try going the opposite way, and transfer the way I write battle scenes to sex scenes and see what comes out. :)
     
  9. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah. It all about making it more then a blow by blow encounter in both cases.
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    LOL that depends on the sex scene :) Its not exactly a sex scene but I have one where my MC has been cheating on his lover, lover comes back and what begins with a kiss ends with with a punch up. Its not large scale battle, but personally I think large scale battles are better when you take the small scale, play on the characters and make it bigger. Like which character loses his head, which one is playing with his crufix, who is screaming come on you I'll get you, which one is screaming Mummy. What are they reading inside the tank etc

    Best visual I can think of is Captain Jack/Captain John if you find the scene on youtube - it was where my inspiration came from. It shows what I mean where the tension is passionate and angry.
     
  11. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I've always thought R.A. Salvatore was pretty good at sword play description.
     
  12. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    That's pretty much what I meant, but you phrased it better than I did. You can get away with realistic large battles by reducing the horizon of the observer, and only describing what they can see in their immediate vicinity.

    Another way to get believable large battles, particularly if you are trying to describe it from the commander's point of view, is to twist circumstances to increase the "fog of war", as it were. A night ambush, or fighting in tight surroundings (buildings, space stations, tunnels etc.) is much easier to describe well than a daylight set-piece battle, where you would have to take (complex) tactics into account.

    At least, that's the way it has been for me, and I have done all of the above. :)
     
  13. Sabreur
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    Sabreur Contributing Member Contributor

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    George RR Martin and Aaron Dembski-Bowden are my favorites.
     
  14. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Definitely agree with this. R.A. Salvatore adds plenty of fight scenes within his Drizzt series. Everything from small skirmishes, to fighting dragons, to large scale battles between two large armies.
     
  15. hawky94
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    hawky94 Active Member

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    I'd read Chris Ryan - The One that Got Away for some modern battle scenes. Gulf War era.
     
  16. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    All of you promoting Salvator should really read the Witcher books. It the same type of story, same type of hero, but where Salvatore can pace action scenes and tell a adventure story, Sapkowski outdoes him, by strides, and is a -good- writer. Not merely an entertaining one.
     
  17. Sabreur
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    Sabreur Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wasn't aware they were translated into English. Are the translations faithful to the original (Polish, correct?)
     
  18. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Some of them are. Then there were some sort of legal issue... *growls*

    I read the English version, can't speak Polish. The translation is excellent, he using a very straightforward, direct and almost Steinbeckish language, hence I believe very little has been lost in translation.

    I recommend beginning with his short story collection (Geralt the main characters out on diffrent missions, each mission a story of it own yet part of a overall story). "The Last Wish" who have been translated to English.
     
  19. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Noted!
     
  20. Nadine
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    Nadine New Member

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    Thank you everyone I better start reading as many of your suggestions as I can lol
     
  21. ENJOY
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    Read the other David Gemmel ones. Troy has some of the best fight scenes around. Also I'm in the middle of reading this book called The dwarves and its sequel The war of the dwarves these have great fight scenes and good plots.
     
  22. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Large Scale and Smaller Battle Scenes, you might try Stephen R. Donaldson's The Chronicle's of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever

    For combat, individual and fantasy military, try Steven Brust's Dragon.

    For guns combined with swords, try Roger Zelazny's The Guns of Avalon.

    My novel, Flank Hawk, has mideval weaponry, magic, and firearms--muzzle loaders and Panzers on the battlefield.

    Terry
     
  23. HarleyQuinn
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    I just finished The Hutt Gambit, the Second Book in the Han Solo Trilogy....are ya done laughing? Ok, so it's not the greatest literary achievement, and it's probably on the bottom of the list of other works that were listed here but I thought I'd throw in my two cents since I enjoy a really well-composed battle scene as well.

    The Hutt Gambit had a long chapter towards the end regarding a battle in space that is worth the read - either so you can learn from the way it was written or so you can avoid writing like that. You'll likely get something out of it. It's a quick read, too. I'm not much into the Star Wars genre but it was just sitting there, I was bored, and I didn't want to think too much....so there you go. Please stop laughing at me :-D

    HQ
     
  24. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm a pretty big fan of Joe Abercrombie's fight scenes.

    Frantic and bloody, but also convincing.
     
  25. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Embrace your nerdness!
     

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