I’m considering doing sketches for my posts, so you can have visuals to go with my entries. “Considering” is the operative word.
Being a fan of action-packed books and movies, being a gamer and martial artist, and having dabbled in stage combat for theatre, my writing is full of action and fight scenes. I love watching good fight choreography on stage and onscreen, along with scenes written blow-by-blow that have you reading as fast as you can. There’s something riveting about watching to see who’s gonna win the fight, and how.
I don’t understand where this love of mock-violence comes from. All the Jackie Chan movies contain creative choreography where Jackie’s characters implement what’s available around him, along with what his assailants throw at him, to defend and fight back. The choreography cracks me up. I never tire of it or the blooper reels. Other choreography that sticks out to me is that from the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I’d never seen anything like it before. It’s so witty and creative. It got me laughing and glued my attention to the screen. A third good example is the fight scenes with light sabers from Star Wars. Of course, there’s a full ensemble belting out “Duel of the Fates”, which makes all that action sing. Maybe one day eBooks will contain playlists so you can have music accompanying all the drama unfolding on the page. eReaders’ll have scanners that detect eye movement, and the appropriate music start playing once you hit the correct line. The music can loop if you read slow, or compensate if you speed through all them words. Just an idea.
Despite all the crippling and lethal moves I’m being taught via Kempo, I don’t like causing pain. I can’t stomach cage matches where blood is drawn, bones are broken, and fighters knock each other senseless (I doubt that’s obvious from some of the fight sequences I’ve written). However, I love to spar, which involves fighting for points, not knockouts. It’s a strategy game where two people see how fast they can anticipate the other’s moves and counter with blocks and attacks. It’s artful. Still, I have inadvertently caused pain while sparring. When my legs get tired, my kicks drift lower and lower, which every once in a while sends a man to the floor in a heap. Sorry about that.
Bearing all the above in mind, it’s inspired and motivated me to emulate their awesomeness as best I can. It takes three drafts on average to reach the results you see in Anticipation. They start out as sketches in my head–I rarely outline the fight on paper–and then I type out the fight I’ve been thinking about all day. Yes, I think out the fights, so I often drafts them several times over in my head before I get home and put my fingertips to my keyboard. I read through my typed draft, make inspirational changes, and then I let it sit for either hours, until the end of the day, or until the next day. The break lets me review the scene with fresh eyes, and I get a feel for the pace and flow of the scene so I know where to speed up, slow down, clarify or tighten descriptions, and maybe even beef up the action some more. That’s essentially it.
I didn’t start Kempo until after Anticipation was published. There might be a noticeable shift in fight creativity in future books. We’ll see. Whatever happens, one goal of mine is to make the fighting not seem like it comes from Earth, since my characters come from worlds scattered all over the universe. I try to have my choreography reflect my characters’ fight styles, personalities, and cultures. Aerigo’s fight style is the most challenging since he’s been so many places and learned so much. It’s like Kempo on crack with magic thrown in. I really have to sit and think about what he can do and what he’d choose to do. I’ll elaborate more in another post where I focus on Aerigo and where his personality and character comes from.
Progress on Hesitation: roughly 2/3 of the way through chapter 28 and 130.6k words in. Just two chapters left after this one. *bites on knuckles* Must keep quiet about content! I can’t wait to bring this one to bookshelves. You’ll all see a marked improvement in my writing skills and storytelling capacity. I will need test readers soon.