1. Milamber
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    Milamber Member

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    Combat, fight scenes etc

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Milamber, Feb 19, 2008.

    I've strugled with this every time i get to an action scene. How do you write descriptively enough but not compromise the fast pace?
    Every time i try it ends out either being descriptive but not fast paced enough or fast paced but dull and mechanical.

    He kicks. She falls, gets up, punches. he dodges. she punches again. etc.

    Or i end up writing a page per movement which totaly ruins the action and (i believe) just makes people want to finish with it and get on to the next scene.

    i just cant write fight scenes without stuffing them up... which is anoying when the fight scenes are the highlights of your book.

    PS i'm 95% sure i posted this in the wrong section. But it'll have to do because i havn't been here in months and am a bit rusty on where everything is...
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Milamber,

    It is difficult to tell or explain to a writer how to write a fight scene if they don't have the knack for it.

    What I would recommend is to find some books, maybe your favorite authors, who have scenes in their novels that are similar to the situations you would like to write in your pieces.

    Read and study the fight scenes. What makes them work for you, and why? What did the author do that made it flow properly. How much detail was used, and how much was left to the reader's imagination to fill in?

    Then, try to mimic their style(s), using what you have learned by reading watching how it was accomplished, to get the hang of it. See what works for your style--word choice, tempo/pace, etc. and what doesn't. Then implement it as best you can in your own writing. You'll go back and revise it at least several times, but over time you'll improve.

    Maybe you won't be the best action sequence writer that ever existed. But if you're competent there, then your other writing strengths/areas will be allowed to shine without having action-sequence issues detracting from the story.

    If you need suggestions of authors to read who I feel do well with action/fight scenes, let me know--but there are tons out there.

    Terry
     
  3. DavidGil
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    DavidGil Senior Member

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    I find R.A Salvatore has good one vs one fighting with swords. Bernard Cornwell might be good with his Excalibur series as well (I've never read it.). His american civil war series was good but that was big battles.

    George R.R Martin's fight scenes I found to be quite good as well but he tends to focus on the politics of medieval time.

    Hope they help.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I second what Terry said, and also suggest going back and reading your fight scenes as if they were written by someone else. Why does your scene NOT work? Are you getting too involved in the (literal) blow-by-blow description that the reader can't see the overall picture? Is the scene told from a viewpoint of a passer-by who has no interest in either participant? Is the action lost in rambling description, or conversely, is the description so abbreviated that the action lacks verisimilitude, has no life to it? Have you neglected other senses while focusing on the visual appearance of the fight, leaving the reader with the literary equivalent of a silent movie?
     
  5. Milamber
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    Milamber Member

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    Cogito you pt your finger spot on the problem.
    Thanks guys, i'll go and have a reread through some books. i have actualy written 'some' fight scenes properly, so i'll analize those too...
    anyway. thats for the help.
     
  6. LinRobinson
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    LinRobinson Banned

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    Cornwell is an EXCELLENT model in ALL of his books. If you really want to do combat scenes, I would say read some of the Sharpe novels.

    Another good un' is George MacDonald Frazer with his Flashman books. Much better at laying out entire strategic battle overviews.

    Like all writing, there is definitely a knack to it, but if you can write you can figure this out and example is the best teacher.

    Lots of blood and snot splashing about is good.
     
  7. writiki
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    Maybe try writing about the overarching plot in the background. This is a story from my website writiki.com - so it's a mix of a couple different peoples writing. It's not fully refined but its a great start, in my opinion.




    5:45 am.

    Wow this is way too early. Clearly it was too early. The men weren't even coherent enough to write in their own page title. They just clicked the button! Unbelievable.

    But then again, was it that unbelievable? Surely there was a reason for the madness.

    Think again.

    Groggy from hours of REM sleep and waking out of sync with his normal cycle, Greg was unamused. Slowly, painfully, he pryed his crusted eyes open to take in the early morning view of the barracks. He was the first one up, or at least it appeared that way.

    Suddenly sirens blared as he noticed the chaos of movement all around him, already standing in front of his locker, he looked up at the siren speaker above him blaring. His ears ringing from the loud noise. The other soldiers shoved one another as they moved fast, throwing on gear, vests, ammo belt packs, grabbing rucksacks as Greg hopped on one leg, trying desperately to get his boots and gear on.

    Greg was a new recruit and his worst nightmare just came true, a high alert for the base and he had hardly drilled for such a thing before. He grabbed his own vest, threw on his helmet and rushed with the rest of the troops to the armory as another soldier was unlocking the weapons and tossing M-16s to the men as they moved through the armory shouting. Another soldier tossed clips of ammo to all as each soldier armed themselves to the teeth for what was about to come.

    Outside, not far off...the general's helicopter lowered as a whirlwind of dirt spun in a circle, moving across the ground as if a living and breathing force of itself. The sand and dirt speckled like tiny needles to Private Storm's face. His name on his camouflage uniform...Pvt. Greg Storm.

    A new era had just begun.

    Pvt. Storm looked up, stopping in his tracks as he couldn't believe was he was seeing. Thousands and thousands of parachutes coming down in the night sky, spotlights lighting thousands of parachutes falling as he was suddenly pushed back and out of the way. Ten Special Forces soldiers shoved their way through the mess of soldiers who were running from the barracks and the armory as they shouted. "MAKE A HOLE! MAKE A HOLE!" They escorted the highest ranking general of the united states military forces to the underground bunker entrance.

    Pvt. Storm seemed to have forgotten for a moment he was a soldier as he only joined to get some money for college and get out and start a family. This wasn't suppose to happen he thought as he whispered to himself standing in shock of the falling enemy paratroopers, right over his own base. "Noooo, noooo nooooo, this can't be! Not like this...nooooo."

    Suddenly he heard a shout in his ear, "WAKE UP SOLDIER! WE'RE BEING INVADED! THEY'RE HITTING OUR SHORES TOO WITH SILENT SUBS! THEY'VE TAKEN OUT OUR NETWORKS! HACKED INTO THEM MAN! MOLES MAN MOLES! EVERYTHING IS DOWN! GET YOUR BUTT MOVING! NOW! NOW! NOW! LET'S GO! LET'S GO! LET'S GOOOOOOO!"

    Pvt. Storm rushed with the other Marines of his platoon as he looked back over his shoulder, seeing the general being shoved inside the bunker by the Special Forces team protecting him. The sirens seemed to grow louder, now all around him as Pvt. Storm ran, turning in circles... as he ran to look around him with soldiers of all types landing by air. They came from many countries and were here to take. And to take by force.

    There were thousands of them, all over the desert base as swarms of planes flew overhead, like a cloud of black locusts, they flew with a hum, their underbellies like breastplates as their engine sounds thundered the skies above, like loud fluttering wings of giant black insects. Soldiers from the base dropped to the ground all around him as an exchange of bullet-fire began, soldiers coming down were being shot before they hit the ground. One after the next landed as they came in waves, rushing like angry lions, they shouted in their rush to consume. But the bullets didn't seem to slow them down, nothing seemed to stop this onslaught of waves of enemies moving in. Their numbers would mount and soon be in the millions all over the country. From land, air and sea they would come.

    Another soldier landed hard next to Pvt. Storm as he was shouting something over radio static as bullets sprayed sand around them, "Alpha One to PAPA BEAR! Alpha One Platoon to PAPA BEAR, come in OVER!" Static came over the radio as communications were not working. "Alpha ONE TO PAPA BEAR!, COME IN OVER! DO YOU COPY ME! WE NEED AIR SUPPORT...NOW! WE NEED AIR SUPPORT NOW!"

    Pvt. Storm's eyes were clenched tight as he laid in the sand, covering from the spray of fire all around him, holding his helmet tightly with one hand, his other clenching his M-16, waiting for the moment to even look up to fire back. The radioman cursed as he threw down the phone, grabbing his M-16 and looking to Pvt. Storm..."PRIVATE! YOU BETTER START PRAYING!" he yelled out as he began firing. Left, then right, popping them off as shells flew, he shouted "YOU MOTHERS! COME AND GET MEEEEE!"

    Pvt. Storm rolled over, hearing now bombs going off as explosions blasted his barracks to bits. His eyes widened as his teeth clenched tightly, suddenly looking up as more parachutes were falling. His thoughts..."God, what is happening!" He mustered all he could to turn and kneel as he shouted, pulling the trigger, blasting bullets as soldiers running towards him shooting began to fall like dominos. Another came up from behind him as an enemy asian soldier drew a sword and shouted, standing behind him about to slice him in half. Pvt. Storm spun around not seeing him as the sword came down fast and stopped. The asian soldier was blown back as Greg looked over to the radio man. He had three bullet holes in his chest as he was on his knees, still aiming at the enemy, staring into him and saving Pvt. Greg Storm from sudden death, then collapsing, sliding in sand down the trench, leaving a trail of blood.

    Pvt. Storm looked all around him as he watched, seeing his own men begin to fall, one by one as the enemy moved in full force towards the base, like a black cloud of men, they moved quickly towards his position. He backed up, shooting off one clip after another as bullets sprayed sand around him, whizzing by his face as more explosions rocked his base behind him. He suddenly heard a voice in the distance shouting, "FALL BACK! FALL BACK! MOVE! MOVE! MOVE! GET TO THE BUNKER!!!" the voice yelled out.

    Dark clouds parted above from the exhaust of the enemy planes, as they had made their drop and another wave was coming. The sun had fallen as Pvt. Storm stopped at the entrance of another bunker, looking up as the moon came out from behind the mask of darkness the enemy left behind in the night sky. Greg looked up as soldiers rushed towards him, shouting at him to get inside the bunker! But one by one they were mowed down in their path to reach his position.

    Pvt.Storm watched, unable to move, unable to stop the massive wave coming in and watching...as each of his own side, from every platoon...spasmed from machine gun fire. Those he knew fell like what seemed like slow motion, as if they were already ghosts, apart of some other dimensional existence...reaching out for him to now save them. Pvt. Storm's fingers had seemed frozen, his arms feeling like lead, unable to lift them to aim his weapon. His breathing hard that seemed to echo through the core of his entire body, his mouth with sand grit and blood with his throat dried out as he swallowed...watching Marine's falling.

    Behind cover, still in shock, he looked over the edge of the concrete slowly as the moon was full and red from an eclipsed moon. It was RED MOON RISING this night, a night Pvt. Storm was about to change who he once was, and become a fighting machine for the freedom of his country.

    He was now an army of one survivor as the enemy moved in like a blanket over the base. Slowly he looked around him as if in a dream, his ears ringing as he could hear the sound of his own heart beat. Black smoke drifted across his base, lit up by thousands of lights coming from enemy soldiers... as every building was leveled from the bombers. Bodies of the men he once knew laid out there, once laughing, joking, wanting to be a Marine to fight for honor and country, now all their lives gone.

    Greg watched as the enemy now walked in to take what they had came for, from all countries they came and from all countries, they were here, to also take Pvt. Storm's life and family. He moved into the shadows of the entrance and sealed the door, sliding down inside the wall, pulling off his helmet, gritting his teeth and clutching his almost bare head. Beads of sweat dripped down his face as dirt and specks of blood speckled his skin. His bullet wound to his arm, he hardly noticed as his world was now changed forever. He sobbed silently in the darkened bunker and thoughtless to the quaking sounds of more bombs echoing the tunnel before him.
     

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