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Writing Fight Scenes

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Have you ever:

*Held a sword?
*Taken a karate class?
*Punched another person in the face?

Even if your answer is "no," you can still write a good fight scene. In this guide, fantasy novelist Marie Brennan will show you how. Drawing on her experience with fencing, stage combat choreography, Okinawan martial arts, and above all writing, she lays out the components that turn the
Kindle Edition, 77 pages
Published September 22nd 2013 by Book View Cafe
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 ·  71 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Maria V. Snyder
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book for authors who want to write realistic fight scenes!
Robin Glassey
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you're looking for a writing resource on how to write fight scenes, I recommend Brennan's book, Writing Fight Scenes. She takes a step by step approach, starting with prepping the scene and understanding why the combatants are fighting in the first place. Personally, I loved how she used the Princess Bride fight between the Man in Black and Inigo as an example throughout to illustrate her points, not only because I love the Princess Bride, but also because the fight was a great way to show ba ...more
Elizabeth Spencer
Sep 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Ah, fighting scenes. How I hate them.

I learned how to write fight scenes in the absolute worst way. I focused on details, actions, blow-by-blows. Everything would stop so we could talk about stances, weapons, blows, details, and battles were everywhere, as if my characters lived in a JRPG or a tabletop roleplaying game.

It was awful. I'm better now (I hope.)

I read Writing Fight Scenes because I wanted to read how someone who liked fight scenes went about them.... And because, hey. Mine could be a
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
As a black belt in Songham Style Tae Kwon Do, I found Brennan's advice informative for turning what a fight feels like to something that works on the page. Especially as someone who has, thankfully, never had to make use of those skills in a real fight, I found the notions presented to be effective in assuring that every fight means something, in the same way that writing out a monologue or a description would. I don't write a lot of fight scenes in my own work, but this builds on my own preexis ...more
Jamie Davis
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good look at writing melee combat from the perspective of both an author and martial artist. It helped me with my current fantasy project which has many battle scenes in it. I recommend this book to other authors.
Oct 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A very engaging and readable guide. I feel much more confident now about blocking out and successfully writing the fight scene I've been avoiding for almost three years now. My friend might get that long-delayed Yuletide story after all! ...more
Jd weber
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-read
This book was really great to read.

Brennan really evaluates the nuts and bolts of a fight scene, breaking it down in a way that is easy to understand and honestly, pretty fun. Sometimes, I was struck by the realization that some the things she discusses may seem obvious, or like things that writers will naturally do, but as I've been studying the craft of writing, I'm finding that I enjoy this kind of analysis simply because it allows me to identify the techniques I'm already doing and consciou
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
Very helpful little book about how to make fight scenes part of your plot (and why they SHOULD serve as part of your plot, if you have them.) I also liked how she covers the issue of detail: how you don't necessarily need to be an expert to make the scene do what you want it to do in your story.

The book's focus is on melee weapons such as swords, with less specifics about brawling and nothing about larger battles or gun/blaster fights, though you could apply some of the larger plotting suggesti
Lindsey Stirling
I found this book really useful for thinking about how to write fight scenes. It contains some great advice, practical writing tips and on top of that it is written in a very engaging way. It is not a technical guide to fighting or weapons but it doesn't need to be (and as I've learned, you don't need to know much about fighting to actually write about it - phew!). I would definitely recommend this book if you ever plan on writing about any sort of fight. ...more
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
Es bastante detallado, aunque no conocía la mayoría de ejemplos y eso lo ha hecho más confuso. Pese a ser corto tiene mucha información y se nota que la autora sabe de lo que habla. De todos modos, lo que hace es procurar una base, pero no creo que sea suficiente como para que alguien domine las escenas de acción, hay que hacer un trabajo de investigación y planificación específico para lo que sea que estés escribiendo.
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing, non-fiction
A nice introduction to writing fight scenes, for someone who has no personal training or know how about how to write a fight scene or experience to draw on.
Hillary DePiano
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book came along in a Humble Bundle and ended up being the first one I read out of that batch of great titles because, as a playwright and writer of prose, I find myself writing a lot of fight scenes, comic or otherwise. It's short but very easy to read and has a lot of useful information that applies whether you're writing prose or plays. If you're feeling timid before writing your first fight, this has some fantastic tips that should take you from skirmish to war and give you the foundatio ...more
Catherine Fitzsimmons
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I got this ebook for attending the author's workshop on the topic at Gen Con. It was an excellent workshop, and as her discussion was pretty much a condensed version of what's in this ebook, I can certainly recommend it as an excellent writing resource. I feel like she did a better job of concisely explaining some topics in person - particularly the 'beats' - rather than in the book and I might perhaps have not understood it as well with just the book. But it is still very useful at breaking dow ...more
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
This pithy volume provides lots of information for writing fight scenes. Just what the title promises! It's not a manual of weapons or techniques. No exhaustive details on the kinds of trauma caused by different weapons. However in its short length it gives much around describing, pacing, and choreographing a fight. There's much to learn here. ...more
Oct 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Mildly helpful...
David Macpherson
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Good information on how to present fights and action in writing. I need all the help I can get putting words together, let alone fights, so this was helpful.
M.A. Brotherton
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Miguel Ángel Alonso Pulido
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: no-ficcion
Una guía breve y directa al grano sobre cómo escribir escenas de lucha convincentes. Me ha gustado que use muchos ejemplos para ilustrar sus argumentos y que la autora la enfoque desde el punto de vista del escritor en lugar del luchador. Como bien dice, no necesitas saber pelear para crear una escena de pelea convincente, basta con saber evocar los puntos clave. Si quieres saber cómo, te recomiendo que la leas. Muy recomendable.
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Marie Brennan a.k.a. M.A. Carrick

Marie Brennan is a former anthropologist and folklorist who shamelessly pillages her academic fields for material. She recently misapplied her professors' hard work to Turning Darkness Into Light, a sequel to the Hugo Award-nominated series The Memoirs of Lady Trent. As half of M.A. Carrick, she is also the author of The Mask of Mirrors, first in the Rook and Rose

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