How to describe fantasy fight scenes?

Question: So I'm writing a story about an old war between elves and humans the protagonist is a 17 year old boy who has both bloods but i seem to have a problem describing sword fights which are scenes in my head like back-flips,sword blocks and so on. Please tell me how to correctly describe motion.

Answer: I'm not much into reading or writing fight scenes. I'm the kind of person who wants to skip the combat in video games to get back to the story. However, here are a couple of links to articles by writers who do specialize in writing sword battles and other fantasy fight scenes. They should get you started.

Of course, if you really want to get a feel for this stuff so you can write it realistically, you might also consider taking a course in self-defense, stage combat (which typically covers things like Elizabethan sword and dagger play). or Samurai sword. The Society for Creative Anachronism also has fun staging medieval combat, but in manner that is less than fully authentic. A little library research might help too.

Comments for How to describe fantasy fight scenes?

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Apr 17, 2012
by: Amber

Hi there,

I actually have a tiny bit of experience with the SCA. When my boyfriend of 4 years and I got together he was a heavy combat fighter. They actually like to keep everything as historic as possible, in regards to persona and combat styles. I think it is the actual tournaments and wars that may be a little off in the authenticity department :)

Apr 19, 2012
by: Glen

Oh yes, I know SCA tries for accuracy in their rule structure and combat style. But I suspect there is a difference in how a person reacts if they are hit with a foam rubber sword versus a real sword. I suspect some of the moves would be different with weapons of genuine weight or that have a definite edge.

Nonetheless, I also think all the research the SCA does on medieval combat would be very useful to you as a fantasy writer, as well as having to enact the movements yourself, strategize with teammates, etc.

May 27, 2013
In Response.
by: Scarlet Blaze.

Describing a fighting scene. How to do it? You have to keep it flowing and do not randomly add some magical attack which ends everything. There also has to be suspense. Make sure you never end it in the heat of the battle. You have to make all the participants in the fight all do something other wise there is no point in putting them in the scene in the first place.

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