Writing fight scenes
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A fight scene should be fast-paced and intense. Unless it's a final battle with numerous parties, a fight scene that's too long tends to take away suspense. To speed up your pacing, use active voice to describe movement and don't overdescribe your characters' thoughts. Excessive inner monologue will be unrealistic, as people usually have no room to think during intense combats.
2. Character mannerisms
Here's a point that people often overlook, but is actually super important. Through fight scenes, you should be able to reveal your characters' contrasting mannerisms and personality. A cunning character would play dirty - fighting less and making use of their opponent's weakness more. A violent character would aim to kill. A softer one would only target to disarm their enemies, using weakened attacks. A short-minded character would only rely on force and attack without thinking. This will help readers understand your characters more and decide who to root for.
3. Making use of surroundings
Not only the characters, you also need to consider the setting of your fight scene and use it to your advantage. Is it suitable for fighting, or are there dangerous slopes that make it risky? Are there scattered items that can help your characters fight (e.g. nails, shards of glass, ropes, wooden boards, or cutlery)? Is it a public place where people can easily spot the fight and call the authorities, or is it a private spot where they can fight to the death?
The main things that you need to describe in a fight scene are :
• Characters involved in the fight
• How they initiate and dodge attacks
• Fighting styles and any weapons used
• The injuries caused
Be careful to not drag out the description for too long, because it slows down the pace.
5. Raise the stakes
By raising the stakes of the fight, your readers will be more invested in it. Just when they think it's over, introduce another worse conflict that will keep the scene going. Think of your characters' goals and motivations as well. Maybe if the MC didn't win, the world would end! Or maybe, one person in the fight is going all-out, while the other is going easy because they used to be close :"D
Fights are bound to be dirty and resulting in injuries, so don't let your character walk away unscathed - show the effect of their injuries. For example, someone who had been punched in the jaw has a good chance of passing out, and someone who had been stabbed won't just remove the knife and walk away without any problem. To portray realistic injuries, research well.
7. Drive the plot forward
You don't write fight scenes only to make your characters look cool - every fight needs to have a purpose and drive the plot forward. Maybe they have to fight to improve their fighting skills or escape from somewhere alive. Maybe they need to defeat the enemy in order to obtain an object or retrieve someone who had been kidnapped. The point is, every single fight scene should bring the characters one step closer (or further :D) to the climax.
8. Words to use
• Hand to hand combat :
Crush, smash, lunge, beat, punch, leap, slap, scratch, batter, pummel, whack, slam, dodge, clobber, box, shove, bruise, knock, flick, push, choke, charge, impact
• With weapon :
Swing, slice, brandish, stab, shoot, whip, parry, cut, bump, poke, drive, shock, strap, pelt, plunge, impale, lash, bleed, sting, penetrate