Fight Scenes in Creative Writing

What kind you use depends a lot on what is happening in the plot and what you want to write. There are different types of fight scenes:

  • Kick-ass – This is usually action for the sake of it or for entertainment purposes. Usually there is a focal character doing all the ass-kicking.
  • Battle – This is normally done in epics (Think David Edding’s Belgariad Series). There are often opposing sides or factions.

Image via Wikipedia

One thing that struck me recently is that in Game of Thrones (HBO) there are likeable characters from several sides of the battles. This is probably, partly because it’s about people fighting for the throne and power games. Many books, however, have a more duality-focussed battle where you are rooting for one side. In real life war is never just us vs them but consists of people with mixed loyalties and motives, people caught up in battles they don’t want to fight and people who instigate them because they believe it’s a just cause. To make well-rounded battles add layers of complication.

  • Good vs Evil – The more classic fights. Can be between two characters or two armies or two forces but make sure to give your baddie a genuine character. Modern audiences are skeptical of good vs bad battles and villains need to be a bit more interesting and realistic.
  • Political – Fights aren’t always physical. Remember that fights can be emotional, verbal, political or physical.
  • In-fighting/Friendly Fire – This is where a group fight among themselves or accidentally attack their own.
  • The `fighting is bad’ scene – This is used where someone has had to fight or has been drawn into a fight they don’t want to be in and are forced to deal with the consequences. Sometimes it’s about remorse for a violent action.
  • Final Showdown – This is usually where the protagonist or another main character has a final showdown and either wins, loses or has an ambiguous, unsatisfying win. The book is normally over after this but there are opportunities for new threats or sequels, you just have to create them.

3 thoughts on “Fight Scenes in Creative Writing

  1. Pingback: Tips for Writers, Starting a Scene with Action | bardicblogger

  2. Pingback: The Perils of Being Too Organized « bardicblogger

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