I’ve found a couple of great articles and links that I thought I would share. These resources range from street fighting to sword fighting, so I believe you’ll find exactly what you need. Hopefully this helps some people out, including the person who asked:Anonymous asked fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment:Hi :) Do you know anything about street fighters? One of my characters is a street fighter so anything can be useful.
The first article is from a NaNoWriMo forum post by Dadditudinal:
The first rule of writing hand-to-hand violence is, as with anything else, “know what you’re talking about.”
Me? I’ve had my share of martial arts courses, and I’m a temperamental son-of-a-gun. I get in more than my share of conflicts, or at least I used to (I guess I’m mellowing with age).
But that doesn’t mean that if you want to write a good hand-to-hand fight, you have to run right out an enroll in the nearest karate school. Not at all. (Though it couldn’t hurt— it’s a nasty old world, and getting nastier all the time, it seems. Besides— it’s great exercise.)
But you do need to watch a lot of fights. Preferably “real” ones— not what TV and movies pass off as fights. (Though, upon reflection, if you’re writing fight scenes with characters that have unusual abilities, it might be a good idea to watch some TV or movies with fights involving unusually-powered people.) I mean boxing matches, Pro Karate Association matches, and the like. Or, if there’s a martial arts school nearby, go and watch a class. Every decent school I’ve ever been involved with had at least some sparring in every class past the earliest ones. But make sure you ask permission! Nearly every instructor I’ve ever had would say yes— but be annoyed if you didn’t ask. Explain that you want to write for a living, or for a hobby even, and that you need to learn something about violence. (Also, don’t take pictures or video without asking, and if you ask, you’ll probably get told no— the instructor might have insurance issues with that, or be worried about the video showing up on YouTube. If there are kids present, he’d have to get parental permission to give you permission, etc, ad nauseum.)
Take notes. Copious notes. Don’t wait for the sparring. If you see a move that intrigues you during the drills, write it down. Describe it as best you can, then wait for the sparring to see how it’s used in “combat.”
Doesn’t sound too hard? Take a crack at it. But before you try using it in a story, read it to some people. Make sure they’re seeing what you are describing. This may take a bit of trial and error— and expect the errors. Trim or add, as necessary.
(Click the link above to read more of the article)
The next article is from Andrew Jack Writing about hand-to-hand combat myths:
1. You Can’t Kill Someone by Shoving Their Nose Back Into Their Brain
2. Getting Knocked Out Is No Big Deal
3. Pressure Points Work In Real Fights
4. A Kick To The Groin is Game Over
5. A Kick To The Groin Is Just Painful
6. Grappling Beats Everything
7. Grappling Is Useless In Real Fights
8. You Can Punch People In The Head With Impunity
9. Complex, Esoteric Martial Arts Are Better
10. Martial Arts Guarantee A Win
(Click the link above to read the descriptions)
The enemy before you consistently carries his guard a bit high. Is it carelessness, or is he baiting you? You effect a small step backward and, just as you had hoped, your opponent attempts to close the measure. His leading foot begins to lift from the ground when, with the speed of a lightning bolt, you suddenly straighten your sword arm and direct a feint toward the man’s flank, just under his hand. Seized with panic he parries wildly, but the hostile blade finds only thin air. With perfect timing you’ve eluded his parry and, disengaging to the high line you drive a killing thrust, with a vigorous lunge, deep into your antagonist’s chest. To your surprise you feel almost no resistance to your blade as it disappears beneath the fabric of his blouse. Stunned, the hapless swordsman freezes in his tracks as he realizes in that instant that his life on this earth is over.
"La!" You deftly pull your weapon out of the man’s body and, triumphant, you are about to turn and leave the ground when, to your amazement, your foe recovers himself and returns to the guard! Eyes wide and mouth agape, you stand motionless in disbelief and, in that brief interval of inaction, the dying man desperately lunges forward, in one last heroic effort, and runs you through. You stagger briefly and then begin to fall; seconds rush in to arrest your fall and terminate the combat. They cradle you in their arms and, although your vision begins to blur, you look up to see the expressions of anguish and desperation on their faces. As consciousness ebbs away a last thought runs through you mind: "This isn’t how it was in the movies!"
The foregoing scenario, while in itself a fiction, broadly describes the outcomes of numerous duels, and almost certainly more than many of us interested in such things might expect. For those of us who have taken up the courtly weapon with more interest in fencing than just its practice as a sport, such outcomes might well seem disquieting; after all, we’ve been taught that fencing tempo lies at the heart of every attack, defense and counterattack. If we deliver our thrust one or more tempi ahead of our adversary, we’re doing just as our maestri told us—aren’t we?
(Click the link above to read more of the article)
Among the typically difficult scenes writers face in their stories, the fight scene definitely ranks high on the list. Below you will find several resources with tips for writing a good fight scene.
- Action with a Side of Zombies: One of our articles focused specifically on writing action scenes. Bonus: the examples all include zombies.
- ArchetypesAndAllusions: An article on the three main types of fighters and their various approaches to kickin’ ass (or not).
- TheCreativePenn.com: Alan Baxter, speculative fiction author, gives some great advice on characterization, setting, martial style, and cliches.
- StoryHack.com: A PDF that takes you through writing a fight scene step by step by Randy Ingermanson, compiled by Bryce Beattie.
- MarilynnByerly.com: An extremely good guide to writing fight scenes. This guide includes tips on character viewpoint, mapping the fight, and tricks for writing each type of fight.
- Shelfari.com: This site is an interview with famed fantasy author R.A. Salvatore on how to write great fight scenes.
- TheBusinessOfWriting: C. Patrick Schulze gives some good, solid advice on identifying and writing your fight scene.
- EzineArticles.com: Marq McAlister explains how to make a fight scene pack some serious punch. This article is good for fine-tuning.
- Martin Turner: Focusing specifically on sword-fighting scenes, Martin Turner writes in great detail on every conceivable detail of this type of time-honored fight scene.
- SeriousPixie.com: Susan tells you about the three types of fight scene writers and explains how to fix the problems that arise for each type.
- David Alan Lucus: This multi-part guide gives advice in exhaustive detail on how to write an awesome fight scene.
- NightFoot: This Tumblr post offers some great tips for writing fight scenes.
These links provide advice specifically for writing battle scenes:
- Gerri Blanc: eHow’s article on battle scenes is a basic step-by-step list for you. It’s a good introduction to writing battle scenes.
- StormTheCastle.com: This article takes you through an in-depth guide on how to write battle scenes for fantasy stories.
- Rhonda Leigh Jones: Jones lists some dos and don’ts of writing battle scenes.
- List of Martial Arts: Looking for a fighting style? Find it here!
- List of Weapons: Every type of weapon you can think of is listed here.
- List of Military Tactics: From troop movements to siege warfare, this list has got you covered.
- Asylum.com: A few examples of awesome battle tactics from history.
- BadassOfTheWeek.com: Get some inspiration for awesome fight scenes and fighting characters from this compendium of badassitude.
We hope this helps! If you have another link or a tip for how to write fight/battle scenes, hit up our ask box and let us know!