Like a lot of my how to pieces here, this one came from my own developing of a fight scene. I used to be really good at writing them as a teenager. I used short, choppy and frequently fragmented sentences to develop the abrupt feel of a fight, choosing active words and keeping dialogue and description to a minimum unless the need to describe an object or wound arose. And while these are still things that I tend to do, fights just don’t come to me like they used to. They’re one of the things that I lost the ability to write when I stopped actively developing my technique, right around the same time that I got my first job and had to be a full fledged adult for the first time.
But fear not! As with all things that I’m working on myself, I’ve got you guys covered too. Here are my tips for constructing a gripping fight scene.
Decide your level of description. This is where you want to start as it will determine how detailed you need to be. This is the difference between the setting being an alley or a cramped, damp space with molding cardboard boxes and a trashcan with red knuckle marks against the chainlink fence at the back. This is the difference between a punch being landed and spit, blood and teeth sailing away from an opponent’s jaw in slow motion like the movies. Continue reading