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Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall

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I love a good action scene. It’s one of my favorite things to read as well as to write, and I’m always looking at ways to improve mine. Fight scenes are complex and rather tricky, but Hall breaks the scenes down into their components and shows how to put an effective one together. She makes it doable for a novice writer, but even a seasoned pro could learn a few tips from WRITING FIGHT SCENES.

Fight scenes serve different purposes. Hall classifies fight scenes into two types: entertaining and gritty. In entertaining fight scenes, the scene itself is the point, the more detailed the better. Gritty fight scenes are focused more on the suspenseful build up and the horrible aftermath than the fight itself. Which one you use depends on the genre. This is something that writers might instinctively know, but it’s great to have the reasons for the two types spelled out.

Hall covers different kinds of weapons, how men and women fight differently, and how groups fight. She also details things like armor, nautical battles, and fights involving magic or animals. However, I wish she’d given written examples of each of these instead of listing endless links to Youtube. Watching movie clips only teaches you how to watch a fight, not how to write one. Each chapter ends with a helpful list of common blunders. (You can bet I’m checking my manuscripts for these right now.)

I learned a tremendous amount of new information from WRITING FIGHT SCENES and it pointed me to avenues for further research. I’ll keep it close by when writing my next book, which will be full of characters fighting the right way.

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rating: 4 stars

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pie slices: 8 slices craft

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This book is best for: intermediate to advanced writers

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I recommend this book

About Margaret Yang

Writer, reader, parent. On the endless quest for great books and the perfect slice of key lime pie.

3 responses »

  1. juliabarrett

    Sounds great!

    Reply
  2. Looks like it could be very useful, thanks for the recommendation.

    Reply

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