Monday, April 13, 2009

The Woman as Warrior, CRAFT

Xena and her movie and TV sisters have a lot to answer for in action/adventure scenes. Some writers see these women as realistic female fighters, and they aren’t even remotely realistic either as women or human beings in fighting methods, stamina, and strength.

Maybe your warrior princess or action babe in leather and overpriced stilettos is as tough as any man, but she will have certain physical limitations. Use those limitations to be creative in fight scenes.

The strongest woman is rarely as strong as the strongest man, but she may be faster, smarter, or more supple, or she may be trained in combat when he isn’t. Use her realistic strengths rather than using unrealistic strengths.

Many women are pragmatists as well. The rule that both parties must use the same weapons for the fight to be “fair” has nothing to do reality, and pragmatists know this. If a huge man with a knife charges toward your action babe, she should shoot him and not feel bad about it later.

Years ago, I had a long chat with a world-class weapons and combat expert about fighting. I asked him who was the most dangerous opponent in a fight.

His answer-- “In a bar fight most men will keep fighting until they go down. Later, they’ll get up, and we might have a beer together. A small man doesn’t do that.

“To him, it’s not a fight, it’s survival. He’s fighting to kill because he knows he might not survive otherwise. If he goes down, he doesn’t stay down. He comes right back up and keeps fighting until he takes you down.

“He’ll use any weapon he can find to kill you, too.

“Never pick a fight with a small man.”

Think of that attitude when you write a woman fighter.


I?m teaching two writing workshops in July.

“Keeping the Reader Reading the First Chapter”

Drawing a reader into the first chapter of your novel is more than an exciting beginning, more than a “cute meet,” more than a sexy hero and a feisty heroine. Step by step, I?ll show you the craft needed to draw the reader into your novel and make her eager to keep reading.

To learn more and register, go here:

“Magic, Monsters and Amour: Creating a Believable Paranormal World”

Are vampires, fairies, and space aliens real? If you create the right background for your novel, they will be to your reader.

Marilynn Byerly, lauded by reviewers for "building a world that combines both integrity and depth in an entertaining way," shows you how to develop a fantasy, science fiction, or paranormal world from to invent creatures to populate it...and how to make your novel utterly believable. She'll teach you the ins and outs of research, fresh ways to use creatures like vampires, and the means to avoid various traps many authors have fallen into.

To learn more and register, go here:


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