Monday, March 31, 2008

Making a Fight Scene Seem Real

QUESTION: I'm writing a fight scene, and I'm having a horrible time making it real. I've never hit anyone or been hit. How do I make it real?

That's a good question. If the scene and actions don't seem real to you, you can't make it real to the reader.

One way to make a fight real for you is to choreograph it by yourself or with the help of a friend or family member.

You play the hero and have the other person be his opponent. Don't just figure out the blows and what the other person will be doing.

Imagine yourself hitting that person. What are you feeling? Where would your hand hit? How would that feel to you?

If your hero is a trained fighter, how would his feelings differ?

Imagine how it would sound. To do this, hit your fist hard against your other hand and listen.

Also ask friends if they have ever hit someone and how did it feel?

The research lists I mentioned in a recent blog are good resources for asking questions about fights because many of its members are police and military who have experienced it first hand.

You may never have been hit, but you have been hurt. Remember how it felt when you were hit in the face while you trying to diaper a rowdy toddler who clobbered you with his foot. Or that baseball that hit you in the face or chest. Increase the sensation, and you've got some idea of what it feels like to be hit in a fight.

SCHEDULE NOTE: Blogs for the next few days may be delayed or not posted because of a family health problem.

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