He's some #writingadvice: Writing a fight scene (and to a certain degree a sex scene) is not about describing the movement of limbs, jaws, and bodies. You are not writing choreography. You are writing about people who are attempting to do something with other people who have a totally different idea of the outcome they want.
First and foremost, describe what your POV sees, feels, hears, and if applicable tastes and smells. Blood has a distinctive ferric taste and smell, and no one appreciates the range of scent perceived having their nose mashed into a sweaty chest.
Remember there's propriosception. Humans or beasts move through space, making or missing contact, sweeping limbs, snapping nasal cartilage. Keep in mind the physics of launching oneself or limbs through space. Vectors. Momentum. Expected or unexpected trajectory changes.
Impacts on armor and flesh sound totally different. So does the whistle of sweeping swords, the hiss of javelins in the air, arrows springing from bows, or the metallic click of gun misfiring. If you plan to use armor or weapons, play with objects and fling them around for yourself, bashing and banging with abandon. Make your reader be there.
Contrary to Hollywood, a good hit can be fatal or knock an opponent down. Prizefighters make contact and defend well. Regular folk miss a lot, stumble, bounce off when they make glancing blows (which is most of the time), and have lots of trouble managing momentum. Defense often means taking damage like cracked bones, cut skin, or bruises; nothing is clean.
Damage always hurts, and different people have wildly different pain threshold that have no relationship to gender. The bruises and bashes, along with torn clothing, will persist into subsequent scenes. A little blood goes a long way, and it doesn't take much to make it look like a horror scene. Worse, it is hard to clean on the spot, and really hard to hide. After just a few minutes, damage interferes with movement, the bounce in one's step, and makes further fighting more difficult and more dangerous.
On the highest level, there's the aspect of what the character thinks they are doing, admits that happened, and how they justify their choices of strategy or running/not running. Most people don't fight and don't want to; that's why it is what fascinates readers most: The why and the how? Is it fun? Or is the fighter deluding themself? What does the fighter fear: loss, the opponent, or weakness? Do they deride the other, making fun, or do they have a running horror movie playing in their head as they rocket toward dismemberment? Everyone has an opinion, and being able to effectively fight requires judgements that the reader should hear, will want to hear. Make them snarky or zen; just don't make them ordinary.
Describe judgements and opinions, feelings, more than any "move"—and certainly never name a move! Naming a move is like calling a milkshake a dessert, or worse, food—instead of a reward earmed as a child specifically for knocking down the quarterback to win the football game. Sticking with the sports theme, a good fight scene is what happened, the history it evokes, and the prize (cup or ring) that inspired the announcer go on and on about.
Physical description has a place, but eluding and implying by giving meaning is the key to greatness—for the fight scene or the sex scene. In both cases, it is animal. Aim for the book of poetry, primal or sublime, not the book of anatomy.
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A recent Ars Technica article covered the impactful work of Shahar Keinan and what she and her team is doing at POLARISqb. The brand new episode of QuBites is quite timely then and I have to say I was really impressed. This work could save the lives of many people with much faster drug discovery thanks to #QuantumComputing. 🙏
Want to see some video of a grassy drive-in theater field, along with some good news about the 2023 season? Check out Pennsylvania's Point in my latest Carload.com post:
Allow hope to visit you! Shatter the barricades which are stopping you from experiencing joy! With new music collaboration, a taste of famous Vivaldi, with the Guelph Symphony Orchestra of Ontario & heart-touching winter wonderland around my cabin in the Yukon wilderness, I'm sending joy, healing & positivity.
Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/_2EhazuQ60s
Join us JAN 20TH in San Francisco for our in-person celebration of the #PublicDomain and #accesstoknowledge! Reserve a spot now: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-domain-day-party-in-san-francisco-tickets-477675589547
Gonna say this early and loudly: I will be sharing compliments. When people tag me in to nice stuff, I’m gonna share some of that, because it feels nice to me, and it encourages people to give me compliments and I like those. I hope you do the same if you want to - it’s nice to see the things you’re proud of.
Today we welcome works of art from 1927 into the public domain. Check out the movies, music, periodicals & books that are now free to remix & reuse in our latest blog post:
My New Year's Message.
We need to create space for everyone in 2023. Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/9SLOaET1nrE
@gethin76 I have a tradition of finding as many NYE live video feeds as possible. I look for online streams for some; for others, I use a Free-To-Air satellite dish. (I run FTAList.com.)
So far today, I've watched Tokyo, Manilla, and Hanoi. As I type, I'm watching a Kazakhstan music special.
India, on the half hour,
Rio de Janeiro,
and Las Vegas.
I've always had this mad idea to do an NYE where every hour you serve a drink & a snack from a country where it's just turned midnight.
Start at 1pm UK time with New Zealand & keep going until 8am with west coast USA. There's even a few "half hour" time zones in Oz, India & Iran to think about. Bit of a lull at UK-2h where there's pretty much nothing
Think it's probably a good thing that I only remember this bloody twp, impractical idea on NYE when I don't have time to do anything about it 😂
But Mastodon, more so than the other place, is allowing me to connect with others of my #AutisticCommunity for which I am very grateful.
I have never felt so free to share my thoughts as I do here, and amazingly people respond, which has been so touching.
Thank-you everyone and I hope your Christmas / holiday season is restful - From Isolation Day 10 of Covid!