Last week I spoke about writing fights and the need to balance the realistic while making it something that isn’t incredibly dull to read.
This week I thought I’d take a look at the things I’ve used to help inspire the various fights scenes that I’ve written.
This is the big one. I could do a whole blog post about what Asian cinema people should watch. Asian cinema is overflowing with incredible fight scenes. I’m not just talking about the stuff from the 70s and 80s, like Project A or Police Story. There’s also a lot of incredible new stuff, Ip man, Chocolate, Kung Fu Hussle, 13 Assassins and a host of other films that are full of incredible feats of fighting process. I’m not such a big fan of the wire work films, like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, but there’s some impressive stuff to watch.
One of the best films ever, made by a master. You know, before he went crazy and made Rush Hour 3.
Some of it is also exceptionally brutal. The violence portrayed feels almost real, it’s usually quick, breathless and unrelenting. Man from nowhere, Oldboy, and a host of others are amazing films, but not for the faint of heart.
As you can tell from the poster, it’s a lovely film about carpentry.
There’s a lot less good fight scenes in Hollywood. The heroes were usually near invincible (which is fine if the fights are interesting, and dull as hell if they’re not) and it was rare that a fight ever lasted beyond one punch or kick. Don’t get me wrong, they’re finally catching up with Asian cinema, but for a long time a lot of fights in American films were fairly dull to watch. The Bourne Films, Matrix and most recently Drive all give three very different types of fights. Drive in particular, like the Asian Cinema I described above, has a very vicious side to it.
It takes 45 minutes for the action to kick in. But when it does, it’s unrelenting.
Anime is fantastic for getting ideas for the most incredible parts of fighting, especially where your characters aren’t human or use magic. If you’re writing fights, or even action scenes, where something unhuman happens, amine is a great tool to give you some inspiration you might not have thought of before. Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ninja Scroll, Hellsing, Bleach, Soul Eater, Kaze no Stigma, there are far too many to mention here. In fact I’ll probably do a blog post at a later date about Anime.
Best. Anime. Film. Ever.
Probably the best anime TV show ever. Miles better than almost everything else on TV.
David Gemmell. Seriously, if you’re writing a fight scene, this is a man you should be reading. Even more so if you’re writing scenes where weapons are used. The pacing and violence are perfectly pitched, and the writing for them is fantastic.
Whether you like fantasy books or not, David Gemmell should be one of those writers that you read at some point in your life.
Richard Morgan. His fight scenes are raw and feel like they would be dangerous, they also fit in tone with the rest of the book.
- If you haven’t read Altered Carbon, you really should.
- Unless you don’t like to read well-written stories.
Now, I’m not saying you should watch or read all of these, or copy what they do exactly, but it’s certainly a good place to do a little research and hopefully crack a few ideas loose at the same time. And if I leave you with one thing you should all watch, it’s this fight from Flashpoint. There’s a reason that Donnie Yen is awesome.
Donnie Yen. Also known as ‘Holy Crap, That Was Insane!” He probably prefers Donnie though.
Here’s a link for anyone who would like to see it (and yes, I know the pic isn’t for Flashpoint. The Ip Man picture is just much cooler): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo_YfzvAYJY
Don’t say I never give you anything.
I took over Angela Addams’ blog and wrote about writing sex scenes.
Joce Adams asked what I’d do if I had a time machine.
Over at Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Reviews, there’s an excellent interview where I answer the hardest question I’d been asked about my book. Who would I like to play the main Characters.