Updated: Jun 20
Hello there! Are you interested in writing a sensational fight scene for your novel and don't know where to start? Follow these steps below, and you will have written an amazing fight scene in no time!
Here are some questions you must answer before you get down to writing your fight scene:
First things first, you must know why your characters are fighting! Who are your characters exactly and what do they want that their opponent will not give them? How do both sides of the party justify their reasons for engaging in this physical fight? Vengeance is a great and interesting motive for fighting, but it is one that is not beneficial to anybody including the character that wants the revenge. If your characters succeeds and gets his revenge, what will they do afterwards? Was the revenge beneficial to the novel as a whole? Keep that in mind if you are writing about vengeance.
2. WHAT ARE THE STAKES?
What exactly will your characters lose if they do not win this fight? This might be an emotional loss, or physical loss. Maybe the fate of the world you created all depends on who wins the brawl!
What emotion do both participants have getting into this fight? Are they hostile, murderous, anxious, worried, or perhaps even, frightened? This has a lot to do with who your characters are as a person. This is a very important question to keep in mind while actually writing your fight scene. Whatever emotion your character is feeling will definitely come through during the fight!
4. WHO WILL WIN?
Before you even begin writing your fight scene, you should know who the victor will be. Perhaps the protagonist will loose and this could be a minor set back for them. Or maybe you are writing the showdown to your novel, and this is where you would like your protagonist to win. This all depends on where your fight scene is located in your book and what you envision the outcome to be.
Are your characters having a bare fisted brawl, or are they bringing weapons to the party? If they should bring weapons there are some things to consider:
Do your characters know how to use weapons? If so- this skill should be at least mentioned in your book prior to the fight scene so your readers know what your character is capable of.
What kinds of weapons do your characters use? If you have a weapon in mind, it might be worth your while to research your particular weapon and how to use them, this will enhance your writing!
Does your book take place in a fantasy world? If so, perhaps you would like to use a weapon that is not found on Earth? Then, you might want to do a little inventing! What does your weapon do? What does it look like? What is it called? How does it feel? What kind of wound does it create? Is this a popular weapon in your fantasy world? How long has your character been training with this weapon? Are the an expert, novice or amateur?
NOW LET'S GET WRITING!
Where does your fight take place? Is it an indoor or outdoor setting? Outdoor might be more exciting as you could add weather and elements to make your scene more dramatic! If indoor, the fighting between your characters can cause the furniture to break. Keep in mind, dramatic weather during a fight scene has been done. You could even say that it's been over done, but that is your personal preference. If you envisioned this fight in blistering winds and pouring rain followed by thunder and lightning than I encourage you to keep your vision, as long as this scene is also emotionally impactful. If weather elements are included, remember that this can inhibit your characters from fighting as well as they normally would. For example, heavy rain could make the ground muddy, causing your characters to slip or sink into the ground. Or the rain could get into their eyes, blinding them from seeing clearly.
2. BOOM! POW! OUCH!
"EVERYBODY WAS KUNG-FOO FIGHTING! THOSE KICKS WERE FAST AS LIGHTING!" Haha, ok I couldn't resist including this wonderful fight song! But the upside to this song is that it is graphic when describing the fight.
Construct your fight scene as you would any other scene. Figure out your beginning, middle and end then get right into it. Do your characters have some witty banter to exchange before the fighting commences? Figure out your play-by-play.
We, the readers want to know every punch, hit, swing, kick, and miss that was made by your characters. We want to know if our good guy was pummeled and if our bad guy got their just deserts! Make it graphic, violent and realistic- after all, this is a fight scene! By realistic, I mean remember the blows your characters take. With every blow there is a moment of pain. Describe that pain. There is a moment of weakness, vulnerability, emotion. And don't forget the wounds. If your character falls down, it is likely they have scraped a part of his body and will bleed. If your character gets punched in the mouth, they could have a nose bleed or blood coming from between their impacted teeth and gums. It will benefit you to do research on the types of fighting styles your characters might have. Remember your pacing while writing and keep in mind that an epic fight is a lot like a choreographed dance. During film making, each fight in that film was planned ahead and choreographed to make great impact for the viewers. As an author you can do the very same!
I hope these steps helped! Tell me what you think in the comments below!
JK Noble | Author | Artist | Philanthropist
Published author of the new YA Fantasy Series, HALE.
Creator of the LMB franchise and the Encourage Literacy Foundation.