Admin Note: This post is a rebloggable copy of our page on fight scenes. The page is being phased out, so from now on all updates will be made on this post and not on the page.
Among the typically difficult scenes writers face in their stories, the fight scene definitely ranks high on the list. Below you will find several resources with tips for writing a good fight scene.
- Action with a Side of Zombies: One of our articles focused specifically on writing action scenes. Bonus: the examples all include zombies.
- ArchetypesAndAllusions: An article on the three main types of fighters and their various approaches to kickin’ ass (or not).
- TheCreativePenn.com: Alan Baxter, speculative fiction author, gives some great advice on characterization, setting, martial style, and cliches.
- StoryHack.com: A PDF that takes you through writing a fight scene step by step by Randy Ingermanson, compiled by Bryce Beattie.
- MarilynnByerly.com: An extremely good guide to writing fight scenes. This guide includes tips on character viewpoint, mapping the fight, and tricks for writing each type of fight.
- Shelfari.com: This site is an interview with famed fantasy author R.A. Salvatore on how to write great fight scenes.
- TheBusinessOfWriting: C. Patrick Schulze gives some good, solid advice on identifying and writing your fight scene.
- EzineArticles.com: Marq McAlister explains how to make a fight scene pack some serious punch. This article is good for fine-tuning.
- Martin Turner: Focusing specifically on sword-fighting scenes, Martin Turner writes in great detail on every conceivable detail of this type of time-honored fight scene.
- SeriousPixie.com: Susan tells you about the three types of fight scene writers and explains how to fix the problems that arise for each type.
- David Alan Lucus: This multi-part guide gives advice in exhaustive detail on how to write an awesome fight scene.
- NightFoot: This Tumblr post offers some great tips for writing fight scenes.
These links provide advice specifically for writing battle scenes:
- Gerri Blanc: eHow’s article on battle scenes is a basic step-by-step list for you. It’s a good introduction to writing battle scenes.
- StormTheCastle.com: This article takes you through an in-depth guide on how to write battle scenes for fantasy stories.
- Rhonda Leigh Jones: Jones lists some dos and don’ts of writing battle scenes.
- List of Martial Arts: Looking for a fighting style? Find it here!
- List of Weapons: Every type of weapon you can think of is listed here.
- List of Military Tactics: From troop movements to siege warfare, this list has got you covered.
- Asylum.com: A few examples of awesome battle tactics from history.
- BadassOfTheWeek.com: Get some inspiration for awesome fight scenes and fighting characters from this compendium of badassitude.
- Thearmedgentleman: Austin has offered to share his knowledge on weaponry with any writers who have questions. Thanks, Austin!
We hope this helps! If you have another link or a tip for how to write fight/battle scenes, hit up our ask box and let us know!
Okay so I followed this video about foreshortening and…
Sycra. I love you so much for making this video.
YOU GOTTA BE FUCKING SHITTING ME
the ones with the angry notes are the best
This is brilliant! how come i did not think of that.
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- Magic (and other skills—especially physical skills) must be practiced. Yes, your wizard could be the “chosen one,” but remember that even Harry Potter had to practice his patronus charm. In The Matrix, Neo had to learn how to get used to working within the system.
- Knowledge must be studied: Your character probably wasn’t born with world knowledge floating around in her brain. She might have a high IQ, but she still needs to study. Hermione Granger read Hogwarts: A History well before she attended it. NOTE: This also applies to knowledge about science fiction technology.
- Wisdom often comes from making mistakes earlier in life: My dad will often say he learned most of his knowledge about woodworking from “the school of hard knocks.” He usually follows that with a story about how he screwed something up. Your skilled characters probably have a lot of stories. Wisdom can also come from watching others make mistakes and choosing not to go down the same path.
- Wisdom also comes from experience: A legendary general will have seen many ways to fight a war. He knows what works and what doesn’t based on what he has seen.