Scenes

Everything You Need to Know to Write A Fight Scene

Fight scenes can honestly make or break a book or movie. And most of the time, the way writers, authors, and screenwriters write them, it usually breaks it. 

So today I’m going to be sharing with you 7 simple rules for any fight scene. Remember them when writing any fight scene in your book, and it’s sure to be a success.

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1. It Must Have a Point

You can’t have a fight scene to just have a fight scene. Believe it or not, there has to be a REASON for a fight to happen.

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shocking, I know

Don’t do what I did a few years ago. This is how I informed readers of the huge finale war:

“At the battle…because I’m assuming there’s going to be one.” Anya sighed.

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Well…that’s nice, Anya. 

AlsoThereWasThisRandomDudeWhoGaveThemHorsesCauseHeThoughtAnyaWasPrettyAndHeJoinedUpWithThemAtTheEndOfTheBookAndHeDiedAndItWasReallyTerribleAndStuff

Yeah…I was like eleven…

*coughs*

ANYWAY. 

When writing a fight scene, ask yourself what the point of the fighting is. What do the characters hope to accomplish by fighting? Why do they hope to gain? Why are they fighting each other?

  • Example: Rangers are amazing at bow and arrows, but Will has no idea how to do that. So he must train throughout the book. (The Rangers Apprentice.)

2. Time Period Effects Weapon Choice

NEWSFLASH: If you write a book that takes place before the Chinese accidentally came up with gunpowder in the 9th century, you can’t have guns. Fantasy or no fantasy, that just looks sloppy.

Do your research, fellow writers!

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3. Everything is a Weapon

‘Everything is a weapon’ is probably the greatest fighting advice you’ll ever get. 

Guys, GET READY to write fight scenes that take place anywhere and everywhere! In the kitchen, in the living room-even in the car!

Think up of the most ridiculous place to have a fight. Guess what? You can have a fight scene there. 

And guess what! It just takes 3 steps to make it happen:

  1. First, pick a location for your fight scene.
  2. Then, imagine yourself as if you were right there in that place.
  3. Finally, take note of what’s ‘around’ you. (house items, nature items, etc.)

Usually when a fight breaks out, you’re not going to have a lot of time to serenely survey your surroundings (hhheyyyy lookie me go with my alliteration! *pats myself on the back… I accidentally spelled that as alteration…) and find your weapon of choice. 

Instead, you’ll probably GRAB something. Something that you can lift and smack down on your enemy with

So, don’t go into detail-like, oh! Look! I found this needle under a pile of hay! How awesome is that! Now I can poke my enemies eyes out!

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NOPE. Instead, in the place you envisioned, ‘look around’ for the nearest thing that you can slowly slide into your hands or quickly lunge for to smack your enemy with.

Examples:

Kitchen:

  • rolling pin to whack enemy on the head with
  • fork to stab them with anywhere
  • hot coffee to throw at body
  • salt to throw in their eyes

Living room:

  • lamp to throw at body
  • pillow to throw, or shield themselves. Can also be used to smother enemy.
  • blanket to choke, tie up, or smother enemy 

Car:

  • seat belt to choke enemy with
  • pencil to stab with anywhere
  • keys to stab with anywhere

These are just items. Now, use EVERYTHING.

Grab you high heel and throw it, or, even better, yank your leg up and SMASH it down on your enemies foot! *evil laughter heard from afar*

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4. Surroundings Are Key

As stated above, everything is a weapon, and ‘everything’ is effected by the terrain. 

I already gave a quick list of items you could grab in situations, but you can also throw a snowball in someone’s face, kick sand or dirt in their eyes, or maybe crack a branch over their head. 

Next up comes the battlefeild. How different would the outcome of a battle be if you were on slippery, squishy sand (MAN these alliterations!) vs a twiggy, root-covered forest?

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You can use your surroundings as an advantage-throwing snowballs, etc.-but it’s also a disadvantage. Pick out the terrain for the battle field very specifically-whether a brawl in an alley to a full blown out war-because it will determine way too many things about the fight.

5. Weapons Don’t Make Warriors

Just because someone hands you a weapon, doesn’t mean you’re suddenly an amazing master at using it.

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Warriors know how to lift and use swords. And kill with them.

The sword does not know these things, so holding that piece of steel aint gunna give you that knowledge (same with a dagger, bow and arrow, gun, annnddd basically every weapon ever).

  • Bonus Note: Even if your character was trained by ninjas, no one wants to hear about how they backflipped three times and then did an aerial. It’s unrealistic, ninja or not (plus, some people might not even know the word ‘aerial’ (also apparently I didn’t either because I spelt it ‘areal’ hehehe).)

6. Female Fighters

Girl’s aren’t guys, so don’t write them like that.

Even if a girl is incredibly strong, the guy will always be stronger. A universal fact. So don’t write your girls like muscle men. It makes the girls looks stupid and the guys look pathetic.

Also, even if your protagonist (or minor character girl) is the ‘strong femaletype of character, that’s no excuse. She’s still FEMALE. Her brain is flying around, thinking of a million things at once. She’s a girl. She thinks and acts very different from a guy.

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7. Muscle Men

Guys aren’t girls, so you can’t write them like that. 

I think guys in general are naturally stronger than girls (there are debatable situations where this might not be true, but I’m trying not to go on side stories).

So. Let’s say you have a boy character or two who doesn’t have much strength up his sleeve. What can he do? 

Here’s the shocking thing: He can still fight.

Okay, maybe not with a sword, exactly. I’m talking about punches. I have absolutely zero brothers, but I know enough boys to know that they rough-house with each other-although I think it’s mostly for fun reasons, not to punch the lights out of each other.

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Anyyyywayyy, the POINT is to say: they all know how to fight. And while girls can punch quite well, and can become like cats when attacking, boys can punch with a lot more power.

  • Note: Muscle means strength, not intelligence. As state in #4, you can’t pick up a weapon and magically download how to use it. Like everyone else, they must TRAIN to use a weapon.

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If you can’t understand how to write it, simply just imagine yourself in that scenario. What would you grab, kick, or throw at the bad guy who’s attacking you? And how can you make the most of the terrain if it hinders your fighting?

Envision it, write it out, and stick your characters in it. BAM, you have a realistic fight scene.

Did you think this was a helpful list?

Do you have any other points to add?

Was any of this new and cool to you?

Fun fact: Today’s my literal 2 year blogabirthday. I’m hoping next week or the week after I can come out with a surprise for you guys, but I’m still working on it! Anyway, happy birthday to my blog!

Like these posts? Wanna have more? Subscribe to my email list to receive inside info and lots of fun! 

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.

Thanks for reading!

Mary

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Everything You Need to Know to Write A Fight Scene

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14 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know to Write A Fight Scene”

  1. Awesome post!! The tips are great, and as always, the GIFs were priceless. 😜 One of my favorites that I’ve seen on here before is the third one here with the guy typing (or rather, BANGING the keyboard) frantically. 🤣🤣

    -Esther

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Esther!! Haha the gifs are just the best part of writing a post, gotta say 😂 Oooh yes, that one I honestly can’t get enough of, I love it TOO MUCH (which is probably why you’ve seen it so many times lol 😂)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What you say about the differences between male and female characters is right, to a degree. A trained woman will have an edge over untrained man. Skill and practice can make a major difference, as can health (both current and long-term). But so can habits and (lack of) confidence.
    My physics teacher once told us that she had some basic training in (i believe) judo or some other such sport useful for self-defense but, her words, ‘I’d still use the boot if I had to fight’.

    In fantasy, this can get way more complex when magic gets involved, and it’s similar with Sci-Fi and tech (exo-suits and such).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Thank you for this information, Tomas!
      There are SO many instances where a man could overpower a woman or a woman could overpower a man, but I feel like the subject is so huge I could just write a whole entire other blog post on it! So I chose not to delve into that today 😆
      Still, definitely great points, Tomas! I totally agree with them. I’ll probably have to make a post on this now 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is probably one of my favourite posts of yours to date. (Although, to be fair, I’m STILL behind on reading emails. 😂 But of the ones I’ve read, I really like this one.) The information was great, and the post hilarious. *happily skips off to pin this post*

    Liked by 1 person

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