Hey Guys SolZen here with another Editorial, this time, we are going to be talking about...Fight Scenes.
First things first, what is a fight scene, you may think it silly that I'm asking this question, but you would be surprised. A fight scene is an instance of combat... Shocking I know, but combat can mean many things, it could be as small as a schoolyard tussle or as big as a space battle. With instances like Darkness War, of Ultra Fan VS, there are numerous fight scenes. They can be one paragraph, or several paragraphs, heck, a whole chapter, but every good fight scene can answer three questions
- Who got hurt
- Who didn't get hurt
- Who survived.
If those three thrings cannot be answered, it's not a complete, or more common, not a good fight scene. Sometimes writers will intentionally create an incomplete fight scene, have the action start, and then skip to the ending. This is a choice and I'm going to assume you the reader, don't need to be told when to do or not do this.
For this, we shall be using the rules of Brandon Sanderson. They are, to paraphrase
- Show don't tell
- Blow by blow is not that Fun
- Clarity is King.
Show Don't Tell
In a fight scene, a fight is a moment, it's simple, it is not a poetic thing, nor should it be filled with... 'fluff'. The perspective to best illustrate a fight, is in the fight, not describing how some on looker perceives it, that is not as interesting. Often when a fight is written in a descriptive way, it's usually because we can't be bothered to actually write the fight.
Blow by Blow is Not That Fun
As much as I've been saying to be descriptive, let's be clear, if I had to write about each punch thrown, and their collision with the enemy's body, I would loose all feeling in my fingers, and I know my readers would be bored. Sometimes, a lot of times, it's fine to just write 'they traded blows' because in your mind, you the reader can fill in the blank. This is done to make sure the fight isn't tedious, to write or read.
Basically, don't fret over every small action.
Clarity is King
Perhaps the epitome of what I've been trying to say so far, and the most important part...is everything has to make, sense, people reading need to know what is going on. For this, let's actually go into detail about the components of a fight scene.
First is space. Where is this fight occuring, on a mountain, on top a space ship, on an alien planet? As a fight goes on, this can change, as the combatants move about.
When is this fight taking place, particularly in context to the rest of the story. If you start your story with a fight, that question will be answered later. This is the one aspect of a fight scene that, if no other, cannot be changed.
Then we have the combatants, we must have at least two, sentient or otherwise, but there can be more. This can change with time, but when you have only one active combatant left, the fight is over.