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Fight Scenes

Discussion in 'Story Board Workshops' started by Stu, Jun 17, 2004.

  1. Stu

    Stu Marvel Animation Age Webmaster
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Hey,

    I haven't been writing fan fics long, and the part I struggle with most is action scenes. If, possible, I'd like some advice on writing them. This scene is from my newest fan fic, which can be found on the main Story Board Forum. This isn't the whole post, which will explain the abrupt ending.

    ________________________________________________________________


    Spider-Man dangled several feet behind the Vulture as they flew high above the city. With his webline stuck to the bottom of The Vulture's feet, Vulture wasn't getting away anytime soon.

    No matter how fast he flew, The Vulture couldn't escape Spider-Man.

    The Vulture: Leave me be, insect. This doesn't concern you.

    Spider-Man: Listen buddy, you've obviously had a good few years experience at this, but c'mon, I'm intrigued, how'd you think this would go down? You attacked a woman in a room full of people! Anyone wou...

    The Vulture: That witch will soon be dealt with...after you!

    The Vulture lent down and used his razor sharp wings to cut the webbing glued to his feet. Spider-Man began to fall.

    Quickly shooting another webline to a nearby building, Spider-Man quickly swung and used the elevation to spring himself up high, above the Vulture. The Vulture began racing forward but Spider-Man managed to land on top of him, wrapping his legs around the bird's shoulders.

    Spider-Man began punching, hoping to knock the birdman out cold. Unfortunately for him, The Vulture began spinning around, hoping to shake off Spider-Man's grip.

    The two began pounding each other, until a woman in a black cat suit came and kicked both of them, knocking them down onto a nearby rooftop.

    Spider-Man: Ow...the hell was that...

    Black Cat: Sorry, Spider. I only came to stop him stealing something that doesn't belong to him.


    Spider-Man, still on the floor clutching his side, didn't reply. That kick hurt. Black Cat leant down, and kissed him on the cheek, then swung away.

    Spider-Man: Well, she was a considerable step up from the morons I usually meet.

    He then noticed the Vulture, and sprayed enough web over him to keep him locked up for a lonnnnng time.

    The Vulture: You idiot! You let her get away...with the diamond!

    Spider-Man: Huh?


    The Vulture: She took the diamond from me. She has been stealing my loot for weeks now! I finally figured out who she is and you came along and ruined everything!

    Spider-Man: Sure. And now you swear revenge, and will curse the day I was born. Be sure to say 'Hi' to all the guys doing 25 to life. Maybe you can all work together and come up with a cool nickname you'll call yourselves, like the sinister stooges or something. .


    Suddenly, the cops came bursting in through the service door on the roof.

    Spider-Man: Officer Barr! To my left, you'll notice The Vulture, the man who...

    Officer Barr: It's Spider-Man! Raise your hands above your head and don't make any...


    He didn't get to finish his sentence before Spider-Man had leapt above them all and was nowhere in eyeshot.

    So, any comments?
     
  2. Eddie G.

    Eddie G. Former Wolf/Writer.

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    Hmm, a little too journalistic. Your descriptions would be fine if they were meant as descriptions for a comic book, play, movie, or TV show where you're allowed to be vague and let someone else worry about visuals. However with non visual supported writing you must fully paint for us this scene.

    Spider-Man, still on the floor clutching his side, didn't reply. That kick hurt. Black Cat leant down, and kissed him on the cheek, then swung away.

    Let me disect this scene for a moment. No one just kisses someone on the cheek, their heart beats a little faster, their cheeks get a little more flushed, sometimes they even get all tingly. I want to know what Pete felt, I want to know what BC felt, I want to know what it feels like to be kissed by this gorgeous woman, I want to know what it feels like to be kissing Spiderman.

    I think you really need to put a lot more detail in there, because like any scene detail is key. You have a well crafted scene in your mind, you just have to work on translating that to text.
     
  3. KitsuneSilver

    KitsuneSilver The Darkness cometh...

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    First of all, Blue Wolf is right. Action/fight scenes require detail, but the tricky part is balancing detail with vagueness, when appropriate [which is actually rather rarely], and giving a reader the sense that he or she could really be there, in the midst of the action.

    Second, if Wolf gets to dissect a scene, then I do, too. Well, the logic is faulty, but...eh.

    The Vulture lent down and used his razor sharp wings to cut the webbing glued to his feet. Spider-Man began to fall.

    The first part of the sentence is decent [but are you certain you mean "lent?"], but "Spider-Man began to fall" could use some work. Falling fast? Slow? Classic "hero in distress arms waving?" Keeping his head and taking action? Spider-Man fell [from the {location}], his gaze darting around for a new hold.

    Quickly shooting another webline to a nearby building, Spider-Man quickly swung and used the elevation to spring himself up high, above the Vulture. The Vulture began racing forward but Spider-Man managed to land on top of him, wrapping his legs around the bird's shoulders.

    You overuse the word "quickly." I would advise cutting it out the first time rather than the second ["Shooting another webline"...]. Also, swung where? Around a corner? Scaling up a building? And, I don't know Spider-Man too well, but is it necessary to call him "the Vulture?" How about just "Vulture?" Good closing sentence, though.

    Spider-Man began punching, hoping to knock the birdman out cold. Unfortunately for him, The Vulture began spinning around, hoping to shake off Spider-Man's grip.

    This is where many good authors fall. "Spider-Man began punching." That's painfully non-descript for the reader. Is he launching an unblocked barrage? Is Vulture fighting back? Is Spider-Man strong on the left? Leaving things up to the reader's imagination is all well and good, but in fight scenes such as this, I want an image to form in my mind that will be the same as my friend's if he reads this.
     
  4. TheVertigo

    TheVertigo The Dark Passion

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    The key to writing action scenes is giving your reader a sense of suspense. How do you do that? Short sentences, fragments, powerful verbs and action "buzz words" (any of the details that really signify that there's a battle going on, like blood, a throbbing cheek, a cut lip, or uncontainable rage.)

    Be creative with describing the fight scene. Take heed from the television shows, movies and comic books that paint a picture of the surroundings that the battle is taking place in. Note that the background and nature of the battle can mean the difference between nail-biting and sweating buckets. I'm sure a fight atop of the a tall building is more pulse-pounding than a fight on street level---however, note that both set different moods. Make sure you capture that essence by taking time to describe the character's reaction to where they are and don't shy away from highlighting the danger of a fall or reminding your reader that they're at high elevation with a cool sweep of wind.

    As with surroundings, be equally creative with the fight. I'm sure you've noticed that action characters don't just throw typical kicks and punches anymore---that'd be boring. They dodge, they back-flip, they use a variety of martial art manevours to bring their enemies down and sometimes even resort to props. There's more than one way to give a hero/villain a good beating. A chain can be used as a bola to wrap around a villain's legs, a crate can be picked up and aimed directly at a hero's left nostril, and a bright light can temporarily blind either.

    In the end, it really is a matter of the details. Oh... and the language use. I already mentioned Powerful Verbs, but I'll elaborate on them. The difference between a verb and a powerful verb is cut vs. lacerated. Swiped vs. clawed. Ran vs. rushed. Directed vs. Orchestrated.

    Words like that just really add a splash of life to a scene.

    Good luck :D
     
  5. MR.MXYZPTLK

    MR.MXYZPTLK Mild Mannered Reporter

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    i think that was ok

    it was good though when black cat appered u got a little sloppy
     
  6. cleasterwood

    cleasterwood Author

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    Truer words have never been spoken! Okami is 100% right. Action scenes are meant to be written with short sentences, fragments, and action verbs. And don't forget to throw in the occassional smell. When writing, remember to use all 5 senses and your work will greatly improve. Even adding the taste of blood in a characters can have a dramatic effect is placed in the right area. I watched a lot of Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Van Dam movies before I sat and wrote my first fight scene. It really helped me come up with the right moves and feel for Fight scenes.

    Blessed be,
    C. L. Easterwood
     

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