During your fight scenes, you’re most likely going to have a few characters with weapons, and you’ll want them to be able to use them effectively. But did you know there are actually a lot of rules to follow before handing your characters a blade?
Today, I’m going to be giving you 4 rules that will make all your fight scenes with weapons so much more realistic.
Let’s get started!
1. Just Because They Have a Weapon…Doesn’t Mean They Know How to Use It
I remember that when I first wrote my book, the moment I put a sword in Will’s hands, he knew how to wield it, and he knew exactly what to do…he even knew what kind of blade it was!
The thing is, to get better at anything, you need to practice. This is exactly the same when learning how to use a weapon.
Your character will have to practice with different swords to find the perfect weight that feels balanced to him, he’ll have to practice his footwork, and he’ll have to practice different, surprising, moves.
One way or another, your character has to learn, because no one can pick up a sword and be an expert swordsman first thing. Or any other weapon, for that matter.
2. Just Because They Have a Weapon…Doesn’t Mean they Suddenly Know What The Terminology of Fighting Moves Are (And Also How to Do Those Moves)
A quick sample of my book that I wrote almost two years ago:
Will unsheathed his sword, and looked around at what they were doing. He felt sick when he realized that the boys were thrusting, blocking, and counterattacking against each other.
For goodness sakes, I don’t even know what counterattacking looks like! Sure, I can image thrusting and blocking, but I don’t exactly know what those are either.
Soooo…remind me again how Will, a boy from a village in times where there’s no such things as TVs and internet to look things up and watch how they’re done, knows exactly what’s going on here?
If you want your character to learn how to identify and perform big fighting moves, he will have to end up memorizing what these attacks are, and what they do.
Do be careful with your terminology though-keep things simple to the basics of kicks and punches, blocking and attacking, because if you go further and say that someone did a…I dunno, an Ashi Barai, no one’s gunna know what that is.
*coughs again* and yes, I looked it up.
I made a GIF of it for you guys to save you all the hard work of looking it up though, so here, it looks cool:
And painful *winces*
There are always exceptions, of course. If your character know karate or gymnastics, etc. then you might be able to get away with a flip or handspring. Just make sure it isn’t super extravagant.
Anywho, moving on!
3. Just Because They Have a Weapon…Doesn’t Mean They’re Suddenly Strong
Swords are heavy, and Will was able to swing it around like a master and land perfect hits.
The first time a character picks up a sword, unless he has super strength, he will grow tired of holding it quickly.
Another thing is, if your character is paired with a sword, you’re going to need some footwork involved in battle, so while in battle, your character’s mind has to be open enough to remember these things. Put those two together and add a huge bad-guy the character’s trying to kill, this will equal the character become incredibly exhausted, physically and mentally, and I suppose emotionally to?
He will not be able to fight forever, and he will get hurt, therefore he will become weak and need to rest.
4. Just Because They Have a Weapon…And Know How to Wield it, and Do Footwork, Doesn’t Mean He Can do Crazy Things With it
You’re holding a sword for dear life, because, well, it’s the thing that’s going to keep you alive-that and your wits of course. You’re covered in sweat and blood and your leg is wounded. A soldier suddenly charges towards you; a fully alert and fresh warrior. Too tired to lift your sword, you quickly run through your list of options, and as he nears you, you tense up, jump, and flip straight over him.
Tell me if this feels realistic to you?
- Is it realistic that you’re able to flip with a wounded leg? Holding a sword?
- Is it realistic that you have enough time to run through options in your head?
- Is it realistic that you have the strength and power to flip over a grown man, yet not wield your sword?
- Is it realistic that you’re able to flip probably at least six feet off the ground with no bounce or power in, let’s say, a suit of armour which weighs about…I think 110 pounds?
Just because your fighting scenes sound cool and use effective dialogue and wording, doesn’t make it a realistic fight scene.
If anything, it would make sense for instincts to kick in, the character drops the sword or sheaths it, and rolls out of the way.
Use the ‘Is this realistic?’ question all the time during your fight scenes, and really think about whether our not something like that could be physically or humanly possible.
On another note, the character might never have taken a gymnastics class in his life. Learning how to fight with a sword is different from gymnastics, so your character will not know how to do flips and other things unless he took gymnastics, learned how, or maybe has some sort of backstory where he learned how to do things like that.
To sum everything up in a very simple nutshell, your character’s will not know how to do anything without practice. If you want your hero’s to be able to fight, make sure that somehow, someway, they’ll have the experience they need to win their fights.
Are fight scenes as hard for you to master as they are for me?
If so, are there any particular things you struggle with when writing your fight scenes? If so, tell me, and I can help you out!
I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.
Thanks for reading!
Did you like this post? Want to share?