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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What would the effects of splashing a poisoned alcoholic drink into someone’s eyes? [closed]

Fight scene question, if character a splashed a bottleful of poisoned whiskey into character b’s eyes, what damage would B suffer? How incapacitated would they be for a fight?
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How to make a fight scene that is not bland? [duplicate]

I am a novice writer. Recently, I decided to write an action fantasy story but I just realized how bad I am when it comes to fighting scenes. I was struggling to create a good fighting scene that won'...
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8 votes
9 answers
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Military plans and the rule of failing the execution

A typical approach when presenting an elaborated plan and wanting to show its execution is to make sure that something goes wrong with it. In this way we can have a fairly detailed exposition during ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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This my approach to make a superhuman combat sport more fair? [closed]

This isn't really a world-building question. Since I im asking for y'all thoughts on my writing and writing a general. In the past, I said it would be hard to add an MMA/Boxing weight class type of ...
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2 answers
204 views

How do I write a fight scene between two characters when one is strong but slow and the other is strong, tough, and fast?

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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
115 views

How to write partner fighting?

To clear some things up, I define partner fighting as combat in which two people of the same side are fighting alongside one another as a pair against another person/other people. I haven't been able ...
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How can I find a good idea for a dragon-battle scene? [closed]

First of all, hello! I really, really, really do want to have an answer for my question. I’ve been writing a novel about dragons, but I can’t finish it. I’m just at loss of words (and ideas). To ...
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3 votes
1 answer
271 views

How do I write a "suboptimal" fight scene?

For my story I have been doing research on fighting in order to better write the fight scenes. However, once I got a better handle on how fighting in real life works I've noticed I've started nit-...
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1 vote
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I just made a song, its called "Ain't going there no way no how". Bards are useless cowards, how do I make them useful in combat? [closed]

This guy said he was an adventurer, we paid him to help us on a mission to kill some orcs. Because screw orcs! Turns out the guy really is just an useless bard, his sword is just for show, all he can ...
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8 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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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. ...
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3 votes
4 answers
507 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 '...
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23 votes
10 answers
5k 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 ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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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, ...
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7 votes
1 answer
176 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 ...
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5 answers
985 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 ...
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10 votes
6 answers
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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 ...
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7 votes
4 answers
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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)...
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8 votes
3 answers
276 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. ...
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4 votes
2 answers
134 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
112 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 ...
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11 votes
7 answers
943 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 ...
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5 votes
3 answers
371 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 ...
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7 votes
6 answers
657 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 ...
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18 votes
6 answers
6k 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 ...
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56 votes
13 answers
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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 ...
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15 votes
11 answers
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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 ...
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9 votes
4 answers
463 views

How to write a good fight/action scene?

It dawned on me the other day, after struggling through a fight scene, that I am lost when it comes to writing action. I usually write slower, dialogue-heavy scenes, and I have become used to taking ...
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5 votes
6 answers
641 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 ...
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10 votes
6 answers
1k 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; ...
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7 votes
4 answers
523 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?
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1 answer
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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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
785 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 ...
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4 votes
5 answers
275 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 ...
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35 votes
8 answers
4k 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 ...
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5 votes
6 answers
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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 ...
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0 votes
6 answers
849 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. ...
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12 votes
9 answers
3k 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 ...
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30 votes
11 answers
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 ...
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