Reply To: Battle Scenes

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Emily Waldorf

The problem with fight scenes is that in real time they take so short, and take so many words/so much time to describe. So you lose your readers because all pacing is thrown to the winds in an effort to give them a clear picture.

I try to keep the scene as short as possible. Try to make every word count. Don’t try to describe everything. Ask yourself, do we really need to know that he swung his sword to the left, or can I just show the effects of what the blow did? (I have tried this with some success)

You don’t write in omniscient, I believe, so this may not apply, but it could be a temptation to zoom out and describe what everyone is doing. That can be helpful (think Tolkien’s Battle of the Pelennor fields), but it can also be an obstacle. Instead, you can show fragments of what the character sees, instead of trying that half-zoomed approach. (e.g. instead of ” the man bent double from Tarin’s blow. Tarin spun around and followed it up with another kick” you could say, “Tarin spun to see the man bent double, eyes blazing.”)

You may even try to use short words, to manipulate your readers I to feeling that it is shorter than it is.

I hope this helps! I despise writing fight scenes, lol. I believe @Tinuviel might have been learning about this, but I also know she’s been busy.

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"

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