Throwing The First Punch

Ronda Rousey

Get your boxing gloves on.

Violent encounters have always been hard for me to write. I get nervous before starting and somehow end up circumventing it completely. I don’t want to admit it but I don’t do confrontation well.

I can’t throw the first punch.

I have written scenes involving torture with no problem, but when the two characters are fighting each other, I am screwed. Though I struggle, I have found what some of my problems are.

  • There is no build-up.

I’m not good at creating physical conflict because I am currently unable to escalate the tension to a point of physical confrontation. My suspense skills are horrible, and yet I expect myself to be writing about a pack of werewolves, solitary witches, and psychotic cults…. go figure.

  • I let my feelings get in the way of my characters’ conflicts.

I will admit here that I have a bad habit of being the mediator between my characters. I’ve been that way since I was a kid, but when you have a lot of cousins and a quite a few violent sibling rivalries among them I was really good at mediating. Because I don’t like conflicts lasting long, I end up going for the easy way out before letting it really settle itself through physical action. I am an all words kind of girl.

  • I’ve never been in a physical fight before.

I wasn’t kidding when I said I was all words. I have never hit someone in anger. I can hit pretty hard but I have never physically got into a fight before.

You see my dilemma.

There are also something I’ve learned that are very cliche but works very well when trying to write fight scenes. Acting the scene out. If you don’t act it out how do you know if the flow is right. Go find a friend to act as the other character. Use props if your character uses them. Take a fighting class, like Tae Kwon Do or Kickboxing, in order to understand the styles of each fighting type. Plus you’ll get a really good workout. The hard part for me is trying to act out scenes when my character is in wolf form so I end up watching a lot of nature of videos of wolves fighting.

How do you get yourself ready to write a fight scene? Do you have a specific method to it?

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