What makes a good fight Scene?

What makes a good fight Scene?

Surely all of have done it least once or twice, skipped the fight scene? The question is why did we decide that it's not worth our time? What makes a good fight scene that is worth our time, are there any series that eludes these traits?

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  • Any fight scene that does not include spell calling/skill calling is good.

    I just hate those fight scenes where one will call out his skill then the other will simply call out a higher tiered skill.

    i mean, in a real fight, a knife could kill someone with a gun.
  • edited April 2016
    DURATION

    For me, the longer a fight is, the more it turns me off. Fights are cool and I love them, don't get me wrong, but reading about a single fight for more than 20-30, or even 50 chapters? Hell to the no, it's nowhere near enjoyable. The Burning Heaven arc in ATG is a perfect example of what I don't like, 1 fight = 1 arc.

    FREQUENCY

    If you're going to include fighting in your novel, go head, that's cool -- but including small novel-like themes in prolonged, boring blocks of text centered around nothing but fights? I'm not reading any of that, nuh-huh. In my opinion, the perfect example of how a good fight frequency should be maintained can be found in ISSTH, because there are entire arcs there that have no fighting at all -- and they are super awesome to read about. The worst example? I'm afraid I'd have to go with ATG again, some plots in there are filled with nothing but fighting. It's not fun reading about fighting, while knowing well that what you're going to be reading tomorrow, the day after, and probably next month, is still going to be about the same. Fights need to be scheduled out evenly within a novel.

    RESULT

    Fights need to have clearly defined results -- losers and winners, rewards and losses. I don't like reading about how the MC of a novel battles someone, wins, gains little to nothing, and then is forced to fight the bad guy again after X chapters because the bad guy either reincarnated, got more powerful, asked for help from his sect, or is just downright stupid and wants to lose again.

    DEVELOPMENT

    Novel fights are near-death experiences most of the time, so they should be treated as such by their participants. What I'm trying to say is that the MC and whoever bad guy he is fighting should learn their lesson and get better/worse after the fight is over. I despise novels in which, for example, the bad guys can't bow their head at least once, even after they are spared from death. You lost the fight and almost died, but the guy decided to spare you, why turn your back on him?! That's not realistic, I really don't like novels where the concept of fear doesn't exist, it's just not realistic for every second character to be brave, fearless and ready-to-die-for-anything. Too much masculinity is bad for novels, there has to be an equal, if not bigger amount of wimps available in a story, just like there is in real life. There has to be a balance between masculinity and femininity in novels.
  • edited April 2016
    A fight which keeps the crowd reaction to a minimum. I am fed up with author who think giving as much feedback from the crowd makes the story more realistic. No it doesn't, it is just info dumping. Even more so when the crowd is giving false information, which have to be corrected by someone else later. Filler much.
  • @Mexican Ninja

    I applaud your insight; mainly because you saved me the from writing how I felt. I can honestly say you summed up my position on this topic...
  • Thanks, I learned a lot.
  • edited May 2016
    Here's how I view fight scenes:

    1) The Buildup
    -setting up for the fight; Where/when it takes place, Why are they fighting? Why should the reader's care? This is where most of the drama should come into play.

    2) The action
    -Shouldn't be overly drawn out

    fight scenes are better when they're more DYNAMIC. A lot of CNs have this issue where every single character has to have 30 different lifelines and 100 get-out-of-jail-free cards at their disposal that they can use to drag out fights. To make things worse, a lot of the times when a character tries to use, or is getting ready to use, a certain technique/spell, all of a sudden the other character's plot armor/spider sense starts tingling and they immediately retreat 100 miles away before resuming the fight. Honestly this is just boring as heck to read. Short and simple are usually better than long and drawn out.
    -Combat system should be interesting. I dont' think I need to explain this one.

    3) Conclusion
    What did the battle mean? What is the result? Should feel satisfying, or leave readers in meaningful suspense. Blueballing in this area is usually a bad idea (i.e. the bad guy gets away with 1 hp after the longest fight scene ever, etc.)
  • edited May 2016
    Good fight scenes don't stretch out more than 2-3 chapters. Much preferable for it to finish in just 1 chapter. 

    For example, ISSTH is horrible in this aspect. They throw items at each other and spit blood for 4+ chapters and then run and chase for another 5, etc, because everyone has like a million life-saving items. That's terrible fight scene writing. Or they lag with their abilities like Goku, MC always starts off at the weakest level possible to survive a few rounds and then decides to move up in power, etc when he has the power to win right away. It's stupid. 

    Good fight scene writing is like in TMW. It's short and sweet. There is no stretched out 5 chapter long chase scene. They fight and the winner is decided fairly quickly. Martial World is the same thing. The fighting scenes aren't super stretched out.

    Another bad fight scene example is where it is way too short/repetitive, that is CSG. It was terrible reading the monster mountain arc where it was literally the same thing repeated over and over. He gets surrounded by a group of dudes and stabs them all in the throat. Same kill move and scenario over and over.

    So I guess the things to stick to are:

    1. Don't stretch it out too much. If your MC is powerful then great, write him that way. Don't make him half-ass shit to stretch out the conflict so that you can fill more of your quota. It's annoying and very boring.

    2. Vary it up. Don't keep presenting the reader with the same scenario over and over again or with the same winning maneuver. 

    3. Don't have too many fight scenes. That will help with keeping the fights varied/interesting. Some novels run into the issue of having way too many crappy/cheap confrontations. I'm talking about stuff like in PMG where it was just people getting offended over the smallest thing over and over again. It's ridiculous and meaningless filler. Have the fights actually mean something beyond just the character's pride at stake. 


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