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Ah, the pleasures of a simple monkey knife-fight.

28 November 2010

You know what’s tough to write well? Fight scenes. In movies, it’s easy to make them look cool — grab Donny Yen or Yuen Wo Ping and put him to work, and you’re golden. Fight scenes in books, however, are another matter.
Describing the flow of a physical altercation, the almost dancelike movements of two people in combat, can simply come off as a list if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Even worse, fights can come off completely unrealistic without actually having two people fighting right in front of you, as having the fight completely inside your own head can produce physically impossible outcomes.

So how do you write fight scenes? And if you’ve never written one, what’s the best one you’ve read?

And just for shits and grins — best movie fight ever?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 28 November 2010 1121

    There is no way to write the perfect fight scene. All the ones I’ve read are either too complicated or too vague. I guess if you achieve a “Goldilocks” level of detail in writing it, it’d do well. Though I myself just can’t keep up with the action in the written medium.

    I have a bad memory and I forgot the title, but there was a foreign film a couple years ago I watched where a martial arts guy goes in search an elephant that was stolen from him. May be a John Woo movie, but the fight sequence at the end of that was epic. Lots of bones being broken. Can anybody identify?

  2. 28 November 2010 1308

    I just visualize in my mind and write…..don’t know how to explain it any better than that, lol. Then again, we both know I’m pretty visual when I write anyway…..

    Best fight scene, hmmmm…………Batman V Joker’s Goons in the 1989 Batman 😉

    • 28 November 2010 1416

      You know, the novelization of that one actually had a pretty good description of the fight scene. Good enough that I’m remembering it more than two decades later, anyway.

  3. 29 November 2010 1702

    exactly.

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