I am writing a fight scene between two monsters. One is heavily armored but comparatively slower, whereas the other is a Lightning Bruiser: fast, tough, and powerful but compared to the first character is relatively frailer and quicker, even though by most standards they would be very tough and can definitely take hits well. A good comparison might be a video game or tabletop RPG analogy: both have very high amounts of "skill points" but the former put more of them in defense and less in speed, whereas the other is equal across the board. Another analogy might be Thanos versus Hulk in Infinity War: Hulk is bigger and has more raw power but Thanos has speed and skill, albeit in this case it's not a one-sided Worf effect as in Infinity War

There are several prior fight scenes between the big, armored character and a much frailer but more nimble opponent. I know how to write these: having the frailer fighter dart out of the way of the bigger character's blows and pepper them with hit and run attacks to avoid getting hit with the one good blow that would end the fight instantly. However, I've been having trouble writing fight scenes with a character who is more durable, but simply less so than the armored character. The issue with this is I am trying to establish in these scenes that the Lightning Bruiser is a credible threat who can fight with the armored character on equal footing to raise the stakes of the fight, rather than the armored character easily overpower.

The problem is that in practice the fight seems to play out exactly the same, the less armored Lightning Bruiser ducks and darts around the blows of the more armored one, even though in practice this character is a lot tougher and a lot more powerful than previous foes. The two characters are supposed to be on an equal footing, even if their "stat distribution" is different. This creates an issue in that it gives the impression to the reader that the Lightning Bruiser is not a threat to the armored character and is exactly the same as the previous foes they faced, and overall makes the fight scenes come across as repetitive or boring.

Given this, how do I write a fight scene such that it highlights that a Lightning Bruiser character is strong, fast, and tough, and that this character presents a legitimate threat to the armored one that can fight them on equal footing.

  • 1
    Which of the two is the hero of the scene?
    – hszmv
    Jun 9, 2021 at 12:41
  • @hszmv The armored one. I'm trying to establish the lightning bruiser is a credible threat to the hero Jun 9, 2021 at 13:17
  • It also depends on the intended outcome
    – Weckar E.
    Jul 11, 2021 at 9:57
  • Watch the fight scene in The Princess Bride between Fezzik and The Man in Black Jul 12, 2021 at 19:31
  • Further to Chris Sunami supports Monica's Comment, can you cite three or four stories, in print or on screen, which in your view got that right, and three or four failures? Mar 9, 2022 at 19:15

3 Answers 3


I always suggest that to write a fight or major action scene, you need to use brief sentences. Try to keep each sentence limited to describing one action of the speedier character's movement. Don't complicate it. This creates a sense of urgency and swiftness. As you said you wanted a hit and run tactics or at least that the speedier character can't stop least he get hit. The tank can be hit but can't keep up and takes more hits as the fight goes on.

Depending on how one sided you want this to go, allow the speedier character to be hit and show it hurts him and momentarily slows him but that he's able to get back into the fight quickly.


In order to show that your "Lightning Bruiser character" is a legitimate threat, you might have it launch a surprise attack that does considerable damage to the larger armored character. That would show that character not only as a threat but also as a treacherous, sneaky villain who will stop at nothing to win.


Agree with RobJarvis - the best way to do this is to show that the other character is a legitimate threat. There's a few ways you might consider doing this:

  1. Have a 3rd character "talk up" the threat before the fight, they might be a trusted ally, a bookie, or someone who knows their fighters. "Best I've seen for 20 years, ripped that guy's arm off" etc

  2. Show the lightning bruiser fighting another opponent (maybe your guy goes to watch him, study his technique?) and dispatching them easily. Perhaps with excessive violence. It could even be another "armoured bruiser", similar to your MC.

  3. In the actual fight, have the lightning bruiser land a devastating opening blow, that shows the reader the MC is in serious trouble from the off.

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