1. bookwormermetro

    bookwormermetro New Member

    May 23, 2012
    Likes Received:

    Hand to Hand Combat

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by bookwormermetro, May 23, 2012.

    Hi everyone,

    I am having some trouble with writing combate scenes that are not boring and wordy. Any suggestions?
  2. louis1

    louis1 Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    Likes Received:
    if it's boring it's probably cause there's no important goal. if the fight means nothing then it's boring. when two characters fight to fight that's boring. when one fights to save the girl he loves and the other fights successfully to destroy the world (stupid example sorry it's early in the morning here) then it's interesting.
    give them goals and wants.

    also you might need to mix things up, if your story is fight scene after fight scene, unless your the grand master of fight scenes then it's going to get boring quickly. a fight scene feels much more engaging when you know the consequence of who wins the battle, you have to build up to a fight scene not just throw them around thinking that it will be enough to entertain. a fight scene is much more rewarding when it comes after multiple scenes of calm ( still needs conflict) and dialogue. because the duality of the two scenes expose in a more dramatic manner the intensity of the fight.

    once you've done that the scene wont feel wordy anymore because they wont be boring anymore.
    but still remember to only say thing that are relevant. don't describe the dudes' haircut if it's not relevant to the plot, or characterization of the character. that should make this less wordy
  3. indy5live

    indy5live Active Member

    May 15, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Read any of the Bourne book. I think the shorter the sentences the faster the action is read (or at least the closer action words are the faster it reads), thus making it more exciting to the reader. I only wrote one hand to hand combat scene...can't promise it's very good, but here it is:

    Lunging himself as hard as he can towards B, A tackles him to the ground and disarms him. B twists himself out of the pin and kicks A across the face, causing the microphone to fly off his head and a ring of feedback to shoot across the patrol car's intercom system. B is jumping for the gun that's fallen somewhere in the darkness above him but A gets a hold of his leg and jumps on him, sending his elbow hard into the back of B's leg.

    C screams, as the train approaches closer to her body and she tries to wiggle herself free, "Help Me!"

    A crawls away from B towards C to pull her off the track but B pounces on his back, knocking off A's center of balance, tripping over the train rails and slamming both of them into the steel platform. They both struggle to their feet, using the platform to assist them up, before exchanging punches with each other; B lands a right jab into A's side but receives a right hook to the face in return, but dodges B's left jab aimed at his hip, taking the opportunity to jump on A's back, chocking him around the neck.

    Gasping for breath, A drops to his knees, reaching for his utility belt and pulling out his pepper spray, shooting it aimlessly over his shoulder into B's eyes. B lets out a shout of seer pain as his eyes are blinded by the intense burning sensation, causing his grip around A's neck to loosen. A, not wasting any time, handcuffs B around the arm that's chocking him and yanking A down, securing the other end of the cuffs to the railroad tracks.

    NOTE: hasn't been edited yet.
  4. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Keep it brisk. Short sentences, expressive verbs. Limit description in favor of actions. Fast and tight is what you want.

    Remember that during hand to hand, everything is a bit of a blur. The fighter watches the hands and feet, but only for motion and potential motion. There's no time for feelings or analysis, just action and response, so keep the narrative as tight as you can.

    The fight often ends with one person not knowing where that last blow came from, at least not immediately. Convey that confusion at the end of the skirmish, not during.

    If you need more detail, let an observer reveal it afterward. Don't slow the pace of the action itself.
  5. Mark_Archibald

    Mark_Archibald Active Member

    Jan 12, 2012
    Likes Received:
    After watching an action movie most people will say their favorite parts were the fight scenes. I don't think the same can be said in literature. It's very hard to use words to paint a picture so the reader creates the mental image you want them to.

    In the future I plan to write a novel that involves shootouts, but I plan on keeping these scenes as brief and spread out as possible, just because action scenes with a lot of movement don't translate well into writing.
  6. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

    May 20, 2012
    Likes Received:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    I agree with this. Keep the scene to a brief spurt of action. I read this teen book that featured a couple entering a dance contest and the author totally blew it. There is nothing duller than following silhouetted dance steps - and one! and two! and three! What should've been brisk and fun became amateurish and dull. Check out how the pros do it. If you google - great action writers - a list on Amazon pops up. Research may not seem fun at first - but if you truely love what you're writing and see the results , it will get easier.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice