As an author, I read books about the craft of writing, publishing, book marketing and similar topics writers need. Today, I'm reviewing an excellent book about writing battles.
Have you ever been reading a good book but found yourself brought right out of the story by a ridiculous fight scene? I have.
One book I read is otherwise excellent, however, the author wrote a hand-to-hand combat scene in which a man bit out a woman's Adam's apple.
In case you, like this author, don't know your anatomy, only men have that bobbing little apple-like protrusion. It's not possible for someone to bite a woman's (nonexistent) body part and ruin her vocal chords, leaving her with a permanently husky voice.
I've also read stories in which a tiny woman wields a battle axe. If you've never picked up one of these weapons, it's heavy and requires a solid wallop. Not something a tiny woman, or man for that matter, could manage.
I read a sword fight scene in which the warrior pulled a heavy, long sword from his back, when it would not be possible.
Feel free to share any battle blunders you've read in he comments. I'd love to read them, and I'm sujre others would as well!
Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall is a top-notch resource for authors writing fight scenes. Chapters cover everything from true crime to were-creatures to nautical fights to fantasy to swordfight, and everything in between.
Here is the book description from Amazon:
Learn step-by-step how to create fictional fights which leave the reader breathless with excitement.
The book gives you a six-part structure to use as blueprint for your scene. It reveals tricks how to combine fighting with dialogue, which senses to use when and how, how to create a sense of realism, and how to stir the reader's emotions.
You'll decide how much violence your scene needs, what's the best location, how your heroine can get out of trouble with self-defence and how to adapt your writing style to the fast pace of the action.
There are sections on female fighters, male fighters, animals and weres, psychological obstacles, battles, duels, brawls, riots and final showdowns.
For the requirements of your genre, there is even advice on how to build erotic tension in a fight scene, how magicians fight, how pirates capture ships and much more.
You will learn about different types of weapons, how to use them in fiction, and how to avoid embarrassing blunders.
Please note: This book assumes that you have some fiction writing experience. You'll benefit most if you've already mastered the basics of the craft and want to learn specialist techniques. It is not recommend for absolute beginners.
The book uses British English.
I like how the book is structured, beginning with what the author should consider before the fight commences. Then, various weapons have their own chapter. Male VS female combatants, self defense, and psychological barriers take you deeper into planning. Finally, the book moves into writing skills such as pacing, dialogue, making the reader care and creating erotic tension.
The first decision is whether your scene is to be "gritty or entertaining." Each style has a different presentation on the page.
Chapter Two is all about location. Different battles lend themselves to different weapons. This chapter helps you decide upon staging.
The third chapter is one of my favorites, because it gives a six-step method for weaving the fight scene into the story. It's not just about the battle.
You'll be able to pick and choose the chapters to read when planning your battle. If you're not sure which polearm or sword to incorporate, you'll get the basics here. That will help if you need to do ore research.
I love that Rayne Hall includes blunders to avoid in each chapter. This helps the author avoid rookie mistakes that ruin the story's credibility.
About Rayne Hall
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