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View Full Version : A sort of confrontation/fight scene I wrote



knightforce
April 24th, 2017, 03:58 AM
I CONFESS--THIS WAS WRITTEN FOR AN E-FED, BUT I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE IT ANYWAY:

With the fall of night, the forest became a cold dark universe. In the looming black sky, the sun was not merely absent, but banished utterly. As Tamra struggled against her bonds, her trained ninja-senses detected strange movement...not quite human nor beast. She who had on many an occasion assessed men's positions and weaponry from their footsteps alone, she who had slain entire armies blindfolded and armed, now founded herself unable to understand the pattern of movement she heard...save for one, single horrifying realization--that with every passing instant, it was coming inexorably closer. Sometimes it was the familiar sound of a wolf paws padding on the Earth, then the pounding feet of a gigantic man...and then it was simply the wind whistling and moving as something great, dark and fast cut through it like a single vast blade.

"Show yourself, blast you! Show yourself!"

With strength buttressed by fear, Tamra at last snapped her bonds. A fierce, defiant hope surged through her body at the newfound freedom. The feeling faded when she realized that the sounds of movement--which now were strangely like paws and footfalls alike--had closed in. Gusty wind rushed through the night, pressing on the door of the hut.

A dusky fist exploded through the wood, splintering open a gaping hole in the door before tearing away the rest as a child might tear paper. The dark goliath stood like a grim statue in the place where the door had once been. A leather jacket identical to Madman's own save for its size strained to contain the creature's massive form. That such a thing would wear the garb of men seemed almost a blasphemous jest, as if he were a soldier clothed in the enemy's garb even as he slaughtered them.

"Hello pretty...miss me...?" the creature asked, his ivory fangs gleaming, his red eyes blazing the primordial fury of a hungry wolf, yet tinged with the amused arrogance of a man. With an angry hiss, Tamra flew at him with, striking out with every bit of the martial prowess that her many years of training had built upon her innate, nearly inhuman talent. The blows she unleashed were as fast and powerful as they were precise in their aim. Wheel-kicks, elbows, ridge-hand strikes, spinning back-fists and tiger-claws comprised an attack as varied as it was flawless. Each strike was different from the one before it, each perfectly executed...each hitting empty air. Each utterly, utterly futile. As if to mock her, Rogar moved only barely in his evasions; enough to avoid her attacks, while all the while remaining in front of her, leering.

Ptolemy
April 24th, 2017, 04:53 AM
With the fall of night, the forest became a cold dark universe. In the looming black sky, the sun was not merely absent, but banished utterly (Utterly, doesn't really work here, do you possibly mean entirely? Even so, I'm not a fan of using adverbs to set the scene for an establishing exposition.). As Tamra struggled against her bonds, her trained ninja-senses detected strange movement... ​(Why the ellipsis? It's not like it has a point in the narrative. An ellipsis insinuates a long hard pause, so I read the line (in the narrative mind you) as: "strange movement. wait. wait. wait. not quite human nor beast." It seems like a cheap way to build suspense, but I'm not concerned about that, I'm kinda irked that it is in the narrative. This is third person, why would the third person narrator (who is akin to a god looking down on the story, or a bystander watching the scene unfold) need to pause? If it was first person, then sure, maybe there would be a pause in present tense, but this is past tense third person.) not quite human nor beast. She, (comma) who had on many an occasion(s) assessed men's positions and weaponry from their footsteps alone (What? She can assess men's positions and weaponry by their footsteps. Well, first, don't limit yourself to just "men" say eninmes or something nuetral so you can have some diversity in your select choices of minor antagnonists, (unless the narrative is implied that all of the Ninja dudes are strictly male, then just ignore this) but also, she can assess her foes weapons by the sounds their footsteps? What if they got knives? Or some sort of silent weapon? It kinda kills the suspension of disbelief that she can assess weaponry by footsteps. Positioning, I can get behind, but weaponry, eh, not so much., she who had slain entire armies blindfolded and armed (cut armed, obviously she was armed if she had "slain" the entire army, it's implied with the use of the word, plus it flow better if you just use "blindfolded", now founded (found) herself unable to understand the pattern of movement(s) she heard... (if anything use dashes here, since you end this part with a dash, it only makes sense to finish this insertion with dashes "--") save for one, single horrifying realization--that with every passing instant, it was coming inexorably closer (obviously they are getting closer, it's implied with the plot that you are building up the fight scene, there is no real reason for this realization, it basically just states what the reader can assume, and we want the readers to assume more than we tell them. Let her have her super hearing sure, I don't mind as a reader, but obviously these secret opponents have to get closer to push the plot forward. I suggest maybe have her being confused on if they were getting closer or farther, she's obviously impaired physically so I feel giving her that uncertainty will build some tension for the reader.). Sometimes, it was the familiar sound of a (cut this a) wolf paws padding on the Earth (say ground, I don't believe this story is based in the grounds of reality. So using Earth would be incorrect here), then the pounding feet of a gigantic man... (Another pointless ellipsis) and then it was simply the wind whistling and moving as something great, dark and fast cut through it like a single vast blade. (Yea, I can't read this line let alone understand it. It's just so choppy that your point that "something intimidating" is coming gets lost in translation. I suggest smoothing it out and condensing it to make your point clear.)

"Show yourself, blast you! Show yourself!" (Alright dialogue, but it needs a tag to really drive home the suspense of the scene. Also, isn't it implied that there are more than one attacker? Why does she insinuate singular then? )

With strength buttressed by fear, Tamra at last snapped her bonds. A fierce, defiant hope surged through her body at the newfound freedom. (Both very "meh" lines. She broke her bonds through divine intervention and now she has hope for some reason. But then it leaves in the very next sentence. Other than her breaking out of her bonds, what do these two lines have to do with the plot? Literally one of the descriptions you give is muted in the next sentence. It's a net zero and it doesn't move or improve anything.) The feeling faded when she realized that the sounds of movement--which now were strangely like paws and footfalls alike--had closed in. Gusty wind rushed through the night, pressing on the door of the hut.(She's in a hut? Why didn't you establish this in your establishing exposition of setting? it's kinda vital to upcoming action scene so it seems pretty important to the plot overall. Also, she screamed in a hut for people outside of the hut to "show themselves,". Yea...)

A dusky fist (The hell is a "dusky fist" do you mean dark? Just use fist. No need for dusky, it doesn't add anything to the story.) exploded through the wood, splintering open a gaping hole in the door before tearing away the rest as a child might tear paper (So he tore laterally, or like vertically then? So the attacker punched a hole through the door, then pulled it down? Why not pull it out? Or pull it out then throw it at his target? I don't logic fails here I guess.) . The dark goliath stood like a grim statue in the place where the door had once been. A leather jacket identical to Madman's own save for its size (cut "save for its size" it makes the sentence choppier.) strained to contain the creature's massive form. That such a thing would wear the garb of men seemed almost a blasphemous jest, as if he were a soldier clothed in the enemy's garb even as he slaughtered them. (choppy sentence, rewrite and condense make it more clear on the point you are trying to make.)

"Hello pretty...miss me...?" (No need for a double ellipsis. One would do, and maybe work here, as a tone setter for the attacker. I suggest just aver "pretty" drop the one after "me" the creature asked, his ivory fangs gleaming, his red eyes blazing the (should be 'a' not 'the') primordial fury of a hungry wolf, yet tinged with the amused arrogance of a man (What? The metaphor is pretty weak overall. Idk really how to fix it other than cut it). With an angry hiss, Tamra flew at him with (with what? you never say.), striking out with every bit of the martial prowess that her many years of training (You already say that she is "ninja-trained" so the reader already knows that she is very good at fighting or else she wouldn't be a ninja. It's just moot repetition at this point.) had built upon her innate, nearly inhuman talent. The blows she unleashed were as fast and powerful (unleashed insinuates both 'fast' and 'powerful' but eh, it's a so-so revision that could go either way.) as they were precise in their aim. Wheel-kicks, elbows, ridge-hand strikes (No idea what this attack is.), spinning back-fists (Drawing a blank here too.) and tiger-claws (Strike three for me, I'm out.) comprised an attack as varied as it was flawless. Each strike was different from the one before it, each perfectly executed (you already said flawless, again a moot repetition at this point.) ... (No need for the ellipsis. This one is actually worse than the others, it actually slows the action down.) each hitting empty air. Each utterly, utterly (why repeat 'utterly' twice? There's no need for it, and we as readers can see it futile because they all missed. Don't show us something, the tell us what it means right after, let us as readers assume and infer.) futile. As if to mock her, Rogar moved only barely in his evasions; enough to avoid her attacks (again, it's obvious he moved enough to avoid her attacks or some of them would of hit him. There is no need to imply something then just flat out tell it to us. It kills it., while all the while ("While all the while" doesn't read well at all. Just cut "while" in front.) remaining in front of her, leering.


Overall, it needs some work, and for an action scene, there is very little action shown. There is some action told, but barely is shown to the reader. We are not able to infer or assume anything because everything is told to us by you the author. This woman is a bad ass who is really good at what she does, but she gets semi foiled by this "Rogar" dude. It's all told but never implied. It needs work on not only pacing (with removing the ellipsis but also on removing repetitiveness or things that the reader already knows through assumption.

Keep at it though, I still feel it has a shot of turning into a real decent action scene, it just needs some work overall on the stylistic side. So keep on going, and best of luck in your endeavors.

knightforce
April 24th, 2017, 05:22 AM
Many thanks! I actually meant to say "unarmed", rather than "armed." So she killed a ton of guys with her barehands, blindfolded. I like the term dusky as description for Rogar's skin complexion, I guess because the dusk is darker than the day, but not as black as night, but also has that connection to night time, etc. And in Rogar's case, he his a black guy who is basically a vampire or something similar to a vampire and is paler than he once was...but I don't imagine him being pale white, more like, well, grayish or something. So anyway, dusky is a term I use to describe his complexion.

Gold Bearer
April 24th, 2017, 11:42 AM
With this bit...

"With an angry hiss, Tamra flew at him with, striking out with every bit of the martial prowess that her many years of training had built upon her innate, nearly inhuman talent. The blows she unleashed were as fast and powerful as they were precise in their aim. Wheel-kicks, elbows, ridge-hand strikes, spinning back-fists and tiger-claws comprised an attack as varied as it was flawless. Each strike was different from the one before it, each perfectly executed...each hitting empty air. Each utterly, utterly futile."

... I think you wait far too long to reveal that her blows aren't connecting. I had to backtrack the whole thing in my mind, you even said the blows "were precise in their aim". Maybe 'Despite the blows she unleashed being as fast and powerful as they were precise in their aim...' or something like that.

MadMickyG
April 24th, 2017, 12:26 PM
I would put something like "The blows she unleashed were fast, powerful and perfectly executed. She attacked with wheel-kicks, elbows, knife-hand strikes, spinning back-fists and open-hand tiger-claw strikes. Each attack was flawless...but useless. There was nothing to hit. Rogar, as if to mock her years of training, barely moved to evade her strikes, all the while remaining in front of her, leering."

I would probably write a scene like this entirely different. But adding my 2 cents regarding a fight scene. Gold Bearer and I are students of the martial arts, so see/read fight scenes different to untrained people. Although that's assuming people on this forum never did any karate, kung fu, kickboxing or Tae Kwon Do. :P

As for Ptolemy not sure of the attacking strikes, adjusting the name as I did, from ridge-hand strike to knife-hand strike may help. Although, spinning back-fist. :P

Anyway, my 2 cents as I said. I can sense so much potential in this scene.

knightforce
April 24th, 2017, 04:54 PM
I would probably write a scene like this entirely different. But adding my 2 cents regarding a fight scene. Gold Bearer and I are students of the martial arts, so see/read fight scenes different to untrained people. Although that's assuming people on this forum never did any karate, kung fu, kickboxing or Tae Kwon Do. :P



Me too; I come from a wrestling family and catch-wrestling/submission-grappling is a big, big part of who I am. Based on your post I'm assuming your training background is more striking related? I don't necessarily attempt to have my training inform my fight scenes although, at times it obviously does. In the case of some of the moves, I sort of what to go deliberately over the top in a comic-bookish manner rather than attempt to ground things in reality. In other words, I was trying to convey something more like a Rummy Shaw kung-fu movie than a K-1 match.

Grappling is interesting when it comes to its place in fiction, because imagination is such a huge part of submission-grappling and in a sense, a grappler's imagination is limited by body's capabilities and of course, his opponent. So, when those considerations aren't present, it presents an interesting question as to how it should be presented.

Some of the stuff I've written is very, very heavy on grappling, though I'm not sure if it is too its detriment or credit.

MadMickyG
April 25th, 2017, 06:56 AM
Having done a style of ninjitsu, as well as the others I've listed (and so many more), the strikes are perfectly fine if that was how she was trained. The labeling of the type of move/attack would be better described for readers based on the assumption they are not trained. But at the same time, you don't want to over-describe an attack, as it would slow the action down.

Ptolemy
April 25th, 2017, 03:35 PM
As a normal guy who last did karate when I was in Kindergarten, I have no idea what a "ridge-hand strike" or a "tiger claw" is. You either need to describe it or make it simpler so any ordinary reader can get what you are trying to say.

Gold Bearer
April 25th, 2017, 04:32 PM
I would definitely break the flow if you have to describe the techniques so you might be better off replacing those two with more intuitive ones. Maybe palm strike and knee.

knightforce
April 26th, 2017, 02:26 AM
I would definitely break the flow if you have to describe the techniques so you might be better off replacing those two with more intuitive ones. Maybe palm strike and knee.

Yeah, I sort of intended something slightly humorous and kind of over the top by listing the movese, but I don't know if it really works. Perhaps it could work if someone totally committed to it and gave increasingly ridiculous names...? Or maybe, if one totally committed to making it tongue-in-cheek, the character calling out the names of her moves, perhaps...? And her own names becoming increasingly convoluted and ridiculous...? Just a thought.

I sort of intended a comic-bookish medium between silly and serious, which might be a hard balance to strike.

Bard_Daniel
April 29th, 2017, 02:31 AM
Woah! There's a lot going on here and it needs to be clearer to make it more palatable to the viewer. Don't go too fast for the reader. You might be getting ahead of yourself.

As Gold Bearer and MadMickyG have applicable experience with their training in this sort of thing I think you should consider them as assets in their commentary. Also, Ptolemy is a very honest reader and offers a great perspective-- so consider that as well.

Just my two cents! Write on!

MadMickyG
April 29th, 2017, 03:24 AM
I think the calling out the name as she does it would add to this story, IMO. Funny and serious at the same time.
The main reason being Ninjas are known for the stealth, yet here she is yelling every move she makes.
Like Grue from Despical Me, or Inspector Gadget. (OMG, am I showing my age here? :P)