Questions tagged [combat]

This tag should be used for questions about fights of any scale - from small-scale fighting scenes in your action packed fantasy novel to large-scale wars between the nations of your modern alternate universe dystopia.

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8
votes
5answers
2k views

Can a fight scene, component-wise, be too complex and complicated?

Okay, there is some preliminary information for you to be able to answer this question: There is a sword of great power, a McGuffin, and a destined one who wields it. The destined one has two ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Firing Squad Escape Scene [closed]

Is it possible for a highly trained elite soldier to escape a firing squad? Details: The soldier asks for a blindfold and the MP obliges. The MP walks over and the soldier headbutts the MP's crotch. ...
3
votes
4answers
250 views

How can I portray a resentful character without making them overtly angry?

I am writing a fiction story about a elite unit, SFD (Strike Force Delta), during the Third World War. The war is basically extremely variable, it lasts from 2025 to 2030. I like to call it the '...
23
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10answers
4k views

…and then she held the gun

In the short passage I am writing, the starting point is that one character is being held at gunpoint, and the end point is that she now holds the gun, having disarmed the opponent. The idea is that ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How to make the POV character sit on the sidelines without the reader getting bored

My POV character has been seriously injured and is bedridden for three months. But life stops for no one. In fact, a major epic battle is brewing and to delay it would be unrealistic. If anything, ...
7
votes
1answer
141 views

What are some good historical sources for writing medieval battles?

This question popped into my mind after criticizing the strategic choices in a recent episode of a famous fantasy television show (coffs). A lot of genre fiction (mostly fantasy, even if we may cast ...
9
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5answers
966 views

Does detail obscure or enhance action?

I have two versions of a pivotal scene in my novel (both already written). My SP is a rather impulsive young woman who is learning to be a bit less of a hothead. She saves the MC by literally taking ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

What makes a siege story/plot interesting?

I will have to write a story arc where the main characters will be trapped in a town during a siege. What are the key points I should address / display to make the siege interesting for readers? They ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Crossing the line between justified force and brutality

A beta reader of sorts (cousin) mentioned he thought my MC2 rather brutal in her capture of MC1 - though justified. I have her dupe him into surrendering (believing himself outnumbered and outgunned)...
8
votes
3answers
268 views

Pre-modern battle - command it, or fight in it?

If I were to describe Waterloo from Napoleon's point of view, it would be very different from that same battle from the point of view of a soldier, or even a cavalry lieutenant in the front ranks. ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

Future battlegrounds

What makes a battle scene tense and visceral is the immediate danger and the fast-paced action and reaction. For that, the human soldier needs to be on the battlefield, in the action. Here's the ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

Switching perspective in battle scenes?

I have written a book with an ensemble cast. Prior to them meeting, I simply gave each character his/her own chapter. Once they met, I narrowed the perspective to only a couple. The battle at the ...
11
votes
7answers
763 views

How do I write a MODERN combat/violence scene without being dry?

Warning: I have ADHD and this might be a little ramble-y, sorry. I'm completely stumped. I'm trying to get into writing fiction but I feel that I've hit a roadblock. My story is told from the first ...
5
votes
3answers
321 views

What can a fight scene prove about characters?

My story begins with a woman minding her own business and is forced to fight for her life; against a grotesque (but unseen) creature. The creature is too strong for her, she isn’t strong enough to ...
7
votes
6answers
542 views

How do I write an action scene?

I have recently written an action scene, and I am not satisfied with it. It sounded choppy and inconsistent, and I'd love to know how to write it so it makes sense, doesn't sound like a robotic ...
18
votes
6answers
3k views

How to express martial arts action in fiction?

In the context of an actual as opposed to training fight scene in a fictional narrative, how would one express martial arts action? Generally, martial arts has a distinctive disciplined but powerful ...
54
votes
13answers
10k views

How to write a character that knows a lot about explosives?

I'm writing a story where the main character makes and detonates bombs. The character could be considered a terrorist. I want to portray the character as an expert, but I don't know a way to obtain ...
14
votes
11answers
787 views

How can I have a war with no “good” or “evil” side?

I'm conceptualising a story involving two heroes who go on an epic journey and return bitter rivals etc. etc. and form their own forces in a sort of civil war. My issue is that I want them to both be ...
5
votes
6answers
451 views

Is a bandit ambush a fatal, cliche mistake?

Background I've planned the chapter I'll write tomorrow. It features a bandit ambush! That's so exciting! Wow! The sickly scent of blood, the glistening blades and powerless enemies. They are nothing ...
7
votes
6answers
564 views

Can a scene be written to be disorienting and not be too confusing to readers?

I've written a scene in a short story where the character and her party are suddenly attacked in the night. It's written in first-person and the character had just been shaken awake from a nightmare; ...
7
votes
4answers
380 views

Learning about hand-to-hand combat?

I am writing heroic fantasy. Plot demands hand-to-hand combat, about which I know little. What is the best/quickest way to learn enough about pre-firearms defense to write convincingly about it?
0
votes
1answer
132 views

What to avoid when writing a war scenario? [closed]

For example my story is placed in WW3, well the second chapter is placed in WW3, and yet I struggle, to write a plausible WW3 scenario. I have planned to make it about false flags committed by one ...
3
votes
2answers
645 views

Describing a large scale battle in a science fiction/fantasy novel

In my novel, there is a large scale battle involving several factions, tens of thousands of fighters, and is a defining part of the book, as it lasts for a good deal of the novel. As I wrote it, I ...
3
votes
5answers
252 views

How do I describe Newtonian physics to the reader in a way that is realistic yet not too complex?

I have a story where I adhere strongly to plausible physics for space combat (some behind-the-scenes development for the story: How to Conduct Plausible Space Combat Intercepts and Tactical Options ...
34
votes
8answers
3k views

Where to draw the line between fantasy and reality in a story?

I realize this question may sound broad or vague, so allow me to explain. I never knew much about combat or dealing with injuries until I started gathering research for a fantasy novel I'm planning ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I realistically describe using a whip?

I'm writing a character who is going to be using a whip. While the scenario is clear in my mind, whenever I try to describe the character's usage of the whip while fighting, the only thing I can come ...
0
votes
5answers
558 views

Skipping the action scene

My novel has a lot of fighting scenes. It's natural since its about a war. The problem is that people don't read books for fighting scenes. Numerous fighting scenes is just bad writing. J.R.R. ...
11
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9answers
2k views

Where to find some good examples of combat or action scenes?

I always learn a lot about about writing by reading other works and following their examples. Right now I'm very bad at writing action scenes; the best I can do is write around them, describing the ...
27
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11answers
3k views

What's Essential In A Combat Scene?

I've just been reading a bunch of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books. Although they were the most enjoyable read I'd had in ages I always found myself skimming long segments that described involved ...