Fantasy Battle scenes

Discussion in 'General Fantasy' started by B.P.Baggett, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. B.P.Baggett

    B.P.Baggett Legends of Aeolyne

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    In a fight scene who thinks its a need to have character conversation. Would you find it less entertaining if there was just descriptions and narrative?
    I feel that it is not necessary if the narrative puts you on the field with the descriptions. What do you think.
     
  2. Detth

    Detth Wanderer

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    Hm i don't think it's necessary, if you know ho to describe the fight scene to make it entertaining and intense..I rembemer a fight scene in a book called Crusaders and it was about the battle of Grunwald. Amazing battle scene, but during the battle there was no conversation between the characters, only narration of what was going on and the strategy etc.
     
  3. B.P.Baggett

    B.P.Baggett Legends of Aeolyne

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    I will have too look into the at one.
     
  4. B.P.Baggett

    B.P.Baggett Legends of Aeolyne

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    Whats makes the battle descriptions better, details on armor, weather, size of army's, stakes in who is the victor, who they are protecting or attacking. What makes a great scene?
     
  5. Richard Falken

    Richard Falken The Best Epic Literature Ever Written.

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    I think some conversation is good, if it does not distract from the action. Many readers are not very interested about the head-chopping, but on the story implications of the events.

    What makes a great scene is tension. Something the reader cares about must be compromised. Make characters be wounded and don't let the reader know if they are dead or alive. Make the bad guy dissapear in a burst of magic flames in such a way that it is unclear if he is gone for good or just has got some minor burn on his robes. You get the idea.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    It depends on what kind of fight scene you mean;

    A one on one battle between two combatants might have conversation if its a more casual affair or if the two are squaring each other off during periods of the fight. However it can also easily be just the pure moment of the battle itself; no conversation, no time to pause just a straight on fight.

    A skirmish again can go easily either way depending on how brutal and hard pressed it is.

    Remember most of the time you won't get breath to hold a conversation in a fight. A sword fight might be only a few moments long before both wear out, but its an intense few moments leaving little time for talk or breath to worry about it. It's only when you get posturing that you get time to converse or antagonise your opponent.


    For a large battle I would expect more chance of conversation if the writer is following the battle in detail; because if you're covering multiple characters across a battlefield chances are some are in a pause - maybe they are giving orders; moving from area to area; sneaking; recovering; hiding etc... There will be breaks and pauses and time to slip in conversation.


    Note that a large battle can be focused in on a single moment; a single fight - so again it depends really upon what you the writer are choosing to show to the reader.
    Many times I find that fights will often have all action, but thoughts behind the character as well. You've not got a conversation but you've got the feelings, emotions, choices and worries going through their mind presented to the reader. That really helps draw them in, even if its just a little, as you are sharing the struggle to the reader. It's something films or drawings can't easily do but which books are made for so capitalize upon it.
     
  7. Detth

    Detth Wanderer

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    it's Sienkiewicz if you're gona read it
     
  8. B.P.Baggett

    B.P.Baggett Legends of Aeolyne

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    Thank you Detth.
    Those are some good points.
    I am wondering if there are other ideas. I feel that a conversation takes away from the grand scheme of combat. I like the idea of being totally involed in the heat of things. I guess I could find it a bit confusing. example:

    Arrows rain hard onto the position of the man at arms cutting flesh and impaling hands through the shields.
    "Hey bill"
    "Yeah Jim"
    'You going to Cathie's tonight?" Jim paused as a trolls charged the hill towards them, "Maybe"

    Of course the conversation wouldn't be like.
     
  9. zmunkz

    zmunkz Member

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    As usual, I defer to Brandon Sanderson:


    He goes through his own thoughts on the matter, and points out a couple things that might not be obvious (namely in the differences between movie fight scenes and book fight scenes).

    TL;DR version: yeah, some dialogue is ok, but don't break the timing of the action.
     
  10. Black Tattoo

    Black Tattoo The Corruptor

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    Personally in my writing, I find it depends on the personalities of the characters involved. I have one character who is a quiet sort. He lets his actions speak for him. Needless to say, in a fight involving him there isn't much dialogue (if any).

    On the other hand, I have a character who tends to use colorful expletives quite frequently (WTF is his personal favorite). Plus, he tends to let his temper overrun his actions. With him there's a good deal of dialogue in key points while still describing what's going on.
     
  11. B.P.Baggett

    B.P.Baggett Legends of Aeolyne

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    This is good input. Thank you guys for having this discussion with me.
     
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