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 How To Write Fight Scenes?

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The Ansem Man

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PostSubject: How To Write Fight Scenes?   Sun May 22, 2011 11:45 am

Okay, so after over 9000 months not being here, I'm back.

I don't get a lot of constructive concrit (or plot speculation) on my fic, so it helps a lot when I get some.

CASE IN POINT: one reviewer said a big fight in my latest chapter of Disgaea: Gehenna's Holy Queen was a mess. I dunno how to fix it, or even go about writing fights in the future.

I always kinda imagine observing previous fights in Negima or stylizing them after a boss fight in Kingdom Hearts, and describing it as best I can. It's apparently not working.

Same author also suggested checking out a specific author--one I don't have access to because I'm too broke and too far from a library (thanks a lot, sprawling suburbia). Any advice on writing (shounen) fight scenes?
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Harley Quinn hyenaholic
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PostSubject: Re: How To Write Fight Scenes?   Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:22 pm

Well, I find it helps sometimes that you go with a slightly 'god-like' POV...

Somebody instigates the fight, wittingly or unwittingly.

Always start with a general idea of how you want the characters to be at the end of the fight - bloody, charred, bruised? Half-dead? It sounds weird, I know, but only you know how that fight will turn out.

Just how violent is the fight? Does somebody want somebody else dead? Or just to dominate them? If they want somebody dead, it's going to be very, very violent. If it's a punishment, the experienced fighter always leaves the face until last.

What's the setting? Is there furniture around? And by furniture, I can mean anything. In a free-for-all, it's going to either get broken when somebody collides with it, or be used as a weapon.

Is there great effort involved? Remember that the longer the fight goes on, the worse the fighters will look and the more out of breath they'll be.

Describe all of that; the reasons they have for fighting, whether their intention is to kill, crush, or just defend, the effort of powering attacks, the effect on the setting, and definitely the effect on the fighters.
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PostSubject: Re: How To Write Fight Scenes?   Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:38 pm

Weird as it may seem, I'm pretty much agreeing with Harley here. First, you need a reason for the fight. Second, you need to know what the setting is. This includes the combatants involved, any weapons/gear/powers they may be using and the environment they are fighting in. (Genre can be considered as being part of the environment) Third, you need to have the final outcome in mind. Finally, you have to make it all make sense. It's the last one that causes most of the problems.

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Harley Quinn hyenaholic
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PostSubject: Re: How To Write Fight Scenes?   Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:54 pm

Try to remember where people land, and where they're standing each time they move, so that the direction they're firing range attacks in makes sense.
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rae
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PostSubject: Re: How To Write Fight Scenes?   Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:54 pm

Laugh if you want, but I find it easier to keep track of everything / work out how to describe it if I sketch it out. Remember, no one else will see this, so it doesn't have to be a Work of Art. I do crappy stick figures.

Unless it is important, there is no need to describe each move or shot in detail. Some authors do that, and I hate it. Personally, unless its sorta the whole point of the story, there is no need for a fight scene to be very long. I've read some very good ones that were all of two paragraphs.
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Harley Quinn hyenaholic
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PostSubject: Re: How To Write Fight Scenes?   Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:41 pm

It's not something I'd do, but if it works for you and helps with your fight scenes, then I won't laugh, rae.
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PostSubject: Re: How To Write Fight Scenes?   Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:43 pm

Personally, I would say "don't". You don't always need to describe it, you can simply state that they fought.

But if you do need to, then...well, I suppose the best way is to picture the fight in your head, and picture each move individually. Try to imagine each attack, what the person is hoping to do (is he trying to hit him quickly? Keeping distance? Closing distance? Trying to hit hard? Focusing on offence or defence? Is he going for the arms? The head? The torso? etc), and then imagine how the other person is responding to the attack. Do that for each move.

It might also help if you do what we do when coreographing fight scenes: get a page, split it down the middle, write one of the combatant's names on each side, then write under the first combatant what he does. Then, underneath that but on the other side, write how the other combatant defends, and any counter attack he makes. Then go back to the first combatant and write his response. Keep going until the fight concludes. Then, when you have the routine written out, you just need to put it into sentences.
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