Writing engaging and meaningful fight scenes can be difficult. Use these ideas to keep your readers interested and your story flowing.
1. Use terms relevant to your audience
- Unless your story is specifically about a fighting style, use words known to the general public. Parry, lunge, slash, counter, jab are some examples of general terms that can be used to describe a fight. 'Front guard', 'coup de grace' and 'cavazione' are examples of specific terms your readers may not be familiar with. Using unfamiliar terms will confuse the reader and break the flow of the scene.
2. Advance your story through the fight
- What is the reason for this fight? You can have filler scenes throughout your story but fights should not be one of them. How does it advance the plot? An injury your protagonist sustains during this fight might have detrimental effects later in your story. For instance, your protagonist could injure his sword arm, requiring him to learn how to use a sword with his other arm.
3. Fight scenes should follow the flow of your story
- Fights should happen for a reason, most characters won't pick fight just for the sake of it and writing about random encounters is usually a waste of time.
4. Reveal character traits through action
- They way your character fights tells the reader a lot about them. Is the character level headed and critical or are they rash and arrogant. Don't just stop at the protagonist and their opponent, think about those watching the fight as well. Do the bystanders scramble out of the way or do they try to help one of the fighters.
5. Make fight scenes unique and memorable
- If every fight scene began with your protagonist rushing headlong into the opponent and kicking them in the legs, it would get repetitive very quick. Mix up the types of attacks, how the fight begins and how it ends. Also be sure to use the environment. Your characters can climb fences, swing on ropes and slide across icy floors. All of this adds excitement and uniqueness to your fight scenes.
6. Let the reader choreograph the fight
- Do not try to explain every detail of the fight. Fights move quickly therefore keep the pace and flow quick as well. You're giving your reader and outline of the fight, let them build it up and allow them to use their imagination as well.