We’re Going to Talk About Fight Club Part 1
Over the last few weeks I’ve been asked a few times about how I get my ideas for the fights that occur in my books. I’ve also seen a few blogs that deal with the subject, leading me to believe that there are a lot of unsuspecting characters that some writers are about to have assaulted in the name of literary endeavour.
People all have their own ways of thinking about new fights or action scenes, but for this post we’ll assume anyone else is wrong and go with how I do it.
Before you write a fight scene there is one thing that you need to be aware of. Real fights suck. I’m sorry to all of you who think that real fights are somehow a cross between Jackie Chan and a UFC fight, but they’re not. They’re normally fought by people who have no idea what they’re doing and they’re normally dull, insanely stupid and not worth bothering with. Normally alcohol is involved. This does not make you a good fighter.
If you really need to see a real fight just go to Youtube and type in ‘Man punches…’, then the noun of your choice and then sit back and wonder how human life has actually managed to not implode with stupidity yet.
From every fight I’ve ever been in or seen, there’s one prevailing truth. They’re over quickly. Either because someone gets a lucky punch, or because after a few punches, the participants are far too tired to continue. I’ve seen two grown men, clearly very angry at one another, start slapping each other like a Three Stooges sketch, because they’re too tired to actually continue fighting.
There’s one other thing about real fights. In your mind you may have the idea that someone gets a kicking and at some point they bounce back to life and dish out a thrashing to the thug in question. This doesn’t happen. Life is not the end of the Transformers cartoon movie.
So, when writing fights you’re going to want to make them sound interesting. No one wants to read every fight if it’s “I punched him once, he fell over, I moved on.” You can only really use that once, maybe twice before it gets dull. So, you’ve gotta mix it up a bit. Lee Child is excellent a this, his fights are normally short, sharp yet still exciting. But his main character, Jack Reacher, can hit people once and move on as he’s the size of a small car.
So writing fights in a realistic manner is something I don’t usually do. I usually tweek that realism until it gets to a point I’m happy with, and for that there’s a multitude of places you can go to get inspiration. Asian cinema is fantastic for this, and there are a few american films that have some great fights in. Anime is also a great place to find interesting ways to fight, especially is you’re using non-human characters. But as for telling you what I recommend you watch, well, that will have to wait until next week.
In the mean time, here’s some links that you should be checking out.
Bea’s Book Nook has a Spotlight on Crimes Against Magic.
Ciara Ballintyne has a great interview with me on her blog.
Both of which are worthy of your time to go and have a read.
This week I plan on getting more of Born of Hatred done, and I have a new story, a Steampunk Fantasy, something I’ve never written before. I”m currently at that exciting point where I’m making notes. I’m quite excited about writing it, and one day I may actually tell people what it’s about. That it’s for now, so until next week, have a good weekend.