REBLOG: How To Write A Fight Scene


In my desire to write fight scenes that were believable, I went searching on the net for an authority. I found one. This is a great article on writing fight scenes that I thought might help other writers. Form WRITEWORLD, here is How To Write A Fight Scene:

 

Admin Note: This post is a rebloggable copy of our page on fight scenes. The page is being phased out, so from now on all updates will be made on this post and not on the page.

Among the typically difficult scenes writers face in their stories, the fight scene definitely ranks high on the list. Below you will find several resources with tips for writing a good fight scene.

Action with a Side of Zombies: One of our articles focused specifically on writing action scenes. Bonus: the examples all include zombies.
ArchetypesAndAllusions: An article on the three main types of fighters and their various approaches to kickin’ ass (or not).
TheCreativePenn.com: Alan Baxter, speculative fiction author, gives some great advice on characterization, setting, martial style, and cliches.
StoryHack.com: A PDF that takes you through writing a fight scene step by step by Randy Ingermanson, compiled by Bryce Beattie.
MarilynnByerly.com: An extremely good guide to writing fight scenes. This guide includes tips on character viewpoint, mapping the fight, and tricks for writing each type of fight.
Shelfari.com: This site is an interview with famed fantasy author R.A. Salvatore on how to write great fight scenes.
TheBusinessOfWriting: C. Patrick Schulze gives some good, solid advice on identifying and writing your fight scene.
EzineArticles.com: Marq McAlister explains how to make a fight scene pack some serious punch. This article is good for fine-tuning.
Martin Turner: Focusing specifically on sword-fighting scenes, Martin Turner writes in great detail on every conceivable detail of this type of time-honored fight scene.
SeriousPixie.com: Susan tells you about the three types of fight scene writers and explains how to fix the problems that arise for each type.
David Alan Lucus: This multi-part guide gives advice in exhaustive detail on how to write an awesome fight scene.
NightFoot: This Tumblr post offers some great tips for writing fight scenes.
Film Crit Hulk: A shoe-in for screenwriters, the Hulk and special guest Tom Townend talk shop on how to write a great movie action scene.
Harry Edmundson-Cornell: Harry writes a series on the fight scene geared toward writers of Superhero comics.
How To Fight Write: The knowledgeable and thorough admins of this exceptional Tumblr blog will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about fight scenes and weaponry—even if they have to beat it into you.
Scholagladiatoria: A YouTuber with lots of weapons teaches you how they were/are properly used to their greatest advantage.
These links provide advice specifically for writing battle scenes:

Gerri Blanc: eHow’s article on battle scenes is a basic step-by-step list for you. It’s a good introduction to writing battle scenes.
StormTheCastle.com: This article takes you through an in-depth guide on how to write battle scenes for fantasy stories.
Rhonda Leigh Jones: Jones lists some dos and don’ts of writing battle scenes.
Other resources:

List of Martial Arts: Looking for a fighting style? Find it here!
List of Weapons: Every type of weapon you can think of is listed here.
List of Military Tactics: From troop movements to siege warfare, this list has got you covered.
Asylum.com: A few examples of awesome battle tactics from history.
BadassOfTheWeek.com: Get some inspiration for awesome fight scenes and fighting characters from this compendium of badassitude.
Thearmedgentleman: Austin has offered to share his knowledge on weaponry with any writers who have questions. Thanks, Austin!
Don’t see what you’re looking for here? You can find every post we’ve ever made or reblogged about fight scenes in our “fight” tag. You might also find our “action scene” tag useful.

We hope this helps! If you have another link or a tip for how to write fight/battle scenes, hit up our ask box and let us know!

REBLOG – 1 YEAR AGO WITH 11,934 NOTES
#FIGHT #FIGHT SCENE #RESOURCES #WRITING TIPS #WRITING #THEARMEDGENTLEMAN

You can find other great articles about writing at WriteWorld.tumblr.com

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Before and After


The good news is, I submitted book two of the Trey Fontaine Mystery series to my publisher. The bad news is a major revision is in order. On the other hand, the good news is, I have a chance to fix the manuscript and make it much better, but the bad news is, I’ll have no time to read, or blog, or breathe, until it’s done.

Here’s some more good news: I judged five published books in the Daphe this year, and plan to review all of them on this blog after the big revision. And I’ve also read several other books this year, and plan to review them this spring/summer. So after my manuscript for ULTIMATE GAME, A Trey Fontaine Mystery is re-submitted, you’ll have the opportunity to read reviews of DEADLY INTERITANCE by Suzanne Rossi, DEEP IN MY HEART by Patricia W. Fischer, STOLEN by Allison Brennan, THE FALLEN ANGELS BOOK CLUB by R. Franklin James, BETRAYED by Donnell Ann Bell.

In the meantime, if you haven’t had a chance to read some of the past reviews and articles, you’ll find over two hundred options for a short read about books, writing, authors, classes, guest posts, interviews, promotions, and moi. I’ll be back.

#Writer’s Conferences


This article is part of the Rolling Mystery Writers Blog Tour roll for Monday, August 8, 2011.  Today’s subject is Writer’s Conferences. This roll started with KT Wagner’s blog, followed by Mollie Cox Bryan’s blog. Thanks KT for getting us started and Mollie for introducing my blog. We hope that you will take the time today, or this week, to visit each blog on this roll. The list of participants follows my article.

And now, on to my thoughts on Writer’s Conferences

I’ve attended large conferences, and small ones. Both have their positive and negative qualities. Large conferences draw more big names, and have more of a variety of classes. But I found myself frazzled by the end of each day and when it was over I needed a few days to recoup.Though I went home with dozens of business cards, I didn’t really remember anyone, except James Patterson and I’m sure he didn’t remember me. The classes were great, but short and filled with others who had questions, so sometimes I didn’t get to speak.And I spent way too much money.

Then there are the small conferences. They may be a little shorter, have fewer participants and fewer classes, but they have something their big counterparts lack. Here’s a perfect example. A chapter of RWA in Shreveport call themselves the NOLA Stars. They meet once a month, have about twenty-five to thirty members at any one time, and sponsor a great little conference each March called Written In The Stars.

I’ve been an insider at this conference and know for a fact that everyone involved in the planning, teaching, sharing, etc., cares about every participant. We usually limit the participants to one-hundred. The conference starts with a finger-foods tete a tete Friday night. This is where the small conference shines. Editors, agents, and all levels of writers rub elbows, converse, tell jokes, and talk writing. I’ve actually stood talking with Jennifer Blake  as if we were old friends. I’ve gotten advice from multi-selling authors on my WIP. I’ve talked to agents and editors on a personal level.

There is also an awards luncheon where the Suzannah Contestants find out who won, and someone in the business does a little talk on what’s new in the industry, or how they made their start.

The next day is filled with panels of editors and agents who answer questions about their companies/agencies. Then classes start–only a couple, but excellent–usually by names like Jennifer Crusie, JoAnn Rock (a member of NOLA Stars), Debbie Macomber and Judith Ivory, and senior editors from major publishing houses. There are always special teachers who share their experience and knowledge, and enough time to cover a topic thoroughly and get questions answered.

Oh, and the prizes! A table full of books, tea pots, mugs, knick-knacks, do-hickies, and whatchamacallits, sit in the back of the room, waiting to be chosen by someone who has purchased a chance to win. A dollar could get you a great book on writing–or a basket full of a variety of books from different authors. I once won a basket filled with books, mugs, bookmarks, and choclate all from Christine Feehan. Great books. Huge mugs. Wonderful chocolate. Thank you Christine.

There are the individual pitch sessions, where you get five minutes to pitch your book to an editor or agent. And that five minutes it yours. Even if they are not interested in your book, you will learn tons by just getting in there and participating.

Saturday night is the big dinner when you get to sit by the agents, editors, writers, teachers, and all around giving people, who often drink a margarita or two, and enjoy a meal–we have to reserve a whole room at the restaurant for this event.

You can see where my heart lies on this subject. I had great experiences at large conferences, but for me, the less expensive and more personal small conference wins out every time. If you get a chance to attand a writer’s conference, I hope you take advantage of it. Large or small, which ever you choose to attend, it will be well worth it.

I hope this article has been helpful to you, and also that you will visit the other participants on this roll and see what they have to say about Writer’s Conferences. Next on the list is Sara Wisseman’s blog: http://www.sarahwisseman.blogspot.com/ Thanks for visiting.  Come back soon.

KT Wagner http://www.northernlightsgothic.com/blog
Mollie Bryan http://www.molliecoxbryan.com
Ryder Islington http://www.ryderislington.wordpress.com
Sarah Wisseman http://www.sarahwisseman.blogspot.com/
Kathleen Kaska http://www.kathleenkaskawritesblogspot.com

#Ryder’s Journal–Saturday August 6, 2011


I’ve been thinking of how I can manage to blog something everyday and finally came up with a solution. Starting tonight, my plan is to make an entry to my journa every day. The theme of this journal is the dilemma that authors face after we are published. Our job doubles. Now we have to write and we have to promote. 

So for tonight I’m just going to say that on Saturday, I don’t do either. At least not until sundown, when the Sabbath ends. I want these entries to be short enough so that you don’t mind visiting everyday and seeing what it’s like to face both challenges at the same time.

Since I’m working on a #trilogy, and the #first book came out in June of this year, readers will expect the second book next year. The problem is that it took me years to write the first one. Granted, I learned a lot in that process, but that doesn’t make the writing easier. And now I have to #promote book one while I’m writing book two. This is a bit overwhelming.

I used to be able to multi-task, but no more. My mind can only concentrate on one thing at a time. Tonight, I plan to work on the #plot of book two, which for me is a challenge in itself, since plotting is not my strong suit. Since bookstores and newspaper offices are generally closed on the weekend, I can only do #promotion online tomorrow. Or I could write. Whoa is me! What to do. What to do.

Come back tomorrow and see how it goes.

My Favorite #Reference Books


This is the third blog of the Rolling Mystery Writer’s Blog Tours roll for Wednesday. The two blogs on this roll before mine were Nancy Lauzon’s and Katherine Wagner’s. If  you haven’t yet visited their blogs, the addresses are below, along with the other blogs featured today on the subject of Reference Books. 

And now, on to my article:

I have a lot of reference books, and I plan to list most of them at the bottom of this article. But I do have a few that I depend on for every novel I write.

First, I have an unabridged dictionary, a thesaurus, Allen’s Synonyms and Antonyms, The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, and Body Language by Fast. I don’t use these every day, but I know I have them, and they are vital on those days when my brain doesn’t function well. I think every writer needs these basic reference books.

Then there are my absolute must have favorites:

1. The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler.  I’m not a good plotter. But this book helps me to create a very nebulous skeleton of a plot. Others take more from it, and learn to plot according to mythic structure.  In addition, it has some great descriptions of mythic character types that help me shape my characters into believeable people. It has great examples, including the break down of several classic films/books to show exactly how the mythic journey works.

2. 45 Master Characters, Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. To really round out those characters of mine, I use this book as well. It explains the mythic models, and adds supporting character types, gives examples of what those characters look like by use of book, TV and movie characters, and shows how characters change, according to their type.

3. The Writer’s Digest Character-Naming Sourcebook by Kenyon, with Blythe and Sweet. A character’s name is important. Both the given name and the family name. They speak to the character’s history and age, and sometimes personality. This book is indespensible.

4.Writing The Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. This books helps me take all the information I’ve gathered from the previous three, and create a strong plot and believeable, three dimensional characters. It discusses areas where the writing profession has grown and changed, allowing writers a freer hand in the creation of novels that used to be considered too complicated or out of the acceptable norm for publishers. It teaches advanced plot structures. Can’t do without this one.

5. The Power of Point of View, Make Your Story Come to Life by Alicia Rasley. This book helps me decide who’s pov to write in and what type of pov to use. It’s great for those who want to deepen the experience of the reader, to help the reader really get into the mind of your characters.

6. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, How to edit yourself into print by Renni Browne and Dave King. Once I have that first draft done, this book helps me edit thoroughly. It reminds me of all those things that are so important to the polish and preparation of a manuscript.

These six books sit in a basket beside my desk, within arms length along with a few specialty books on language and mystery writing, which I will list below. The  basket also holds a few gold nuggets, primarily in the form of notes from classes I’ve taken from some of the best writers and teachers I’ve ever known.

Here is an additional list of books that help me on occasion, especially if I’m having issues I can’t solve:

  • The Plot Thickens, 8 Ways To bring Fiction To Life by Noah Lukeman
  • Novelist’s Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes by Raymond Obstfeld
  • Conflict, Action & Suspense by William Noble
  • The Crime Writer’s Reference Guide, 1001 Tips for Writing the Perfect Murder by Martin Roth
  • Cajun Vernacular English: Informal English in French Louisiana by Louisiana English Journal Special Issue 1992
  • Writing Mysteries, A Handbook by the Mystery Writers of America

There are writers out there with MFA’s and others with perfect memories, and some that just seem to have so much talent they don’t need guidence. I don’t fit into any of those catagories. I’m, for the most part, self taught when it comes to writing. The simple art of putting sentences together has always come easy to me. Storytelling is one of my natural abilities. But novel writing is a whole other animal that requires a lot more than what I have naturally, or as a result of education. I’ve found that I need a lot of help, and I’ve found that help in the books listed here.

Below is a list of the participants in today’s blog roll, which ends with John Hines. His blog not only has a great article on this subject, but also a plethera of articles, ideas and opinions. Please stop by and check it out. For information on previous blog rolls, see the other articles on this site dated July, 2011 and newer.

Nancy Lauzon–www.chickdickmysteries.com
Katherine Wagner–northernlightsgothic.com/blog
Ryder Islington–www.ryderislington.wordpress.com
John Hines–www.johnhines.com

Genre Bending and Blending


This post is part of the Rolling Mystery Blog Tour. My blog was third on this list for this roll, which started with John Hines, who was followed by Kathleen Kaska. All of the participants of today’s roll are listed at the bottom of this article, and all have written articles on the subject of Genre Bending and Blending. Please take time today, or this week, to visit all the blogs on the list. And now, on to my article on Genre Bending and Blending:

This topic wreaks havoc with writers, especially unpublished writers. We plot and plan, write and revise, polish and submit, and our manuscripts are often returned for the simple  reason that they don’t really fit into the category the agent or editor represents. I have a friend who is in the midst of writing a wonderful story. It has a literary feel, but with mystery, and unending sexual tension. So, what genre is it, really? I don’t think it will pass for a romance, though it has hot spots. It might be a mystery, but not the typical who-done-it. It’s not a cozy, or a thriller. If we can’t name it, put it in a nice, neat slot, does that mean it deserves to sit in the slush pile for ever? If the storytelling is wonderful, the writing is crisp, and the plot is intriguing, if the characters are well-rounded and interesting, and the script has been polished to within an inch of its life, but it doesn’t fit anywhere, does the writer deserve to go on being unpublished just because her writing is unique?

Fortunately, there are small presses out there that are willing to take a chance on those of us who have trouble fitting our writing into preconceived notions of what is and isn’t publishable. And with the advent of ebooks, and the ease and availability of self-publishing, almost anyone can get a book published. The kicker is, readers need to be able to find your books, no matter what you write. So if your writing doesn’t readily fit into a genre, how will readers know what to expect?

As the publishing industry continues to go through growing pains, and readers become more open to the bending and blending of genres, it will get easier for those of us whose writing doesn’t quite fit the molds out there. But until that time, writers may have to hold on to those manuscripts they have worked so hard on, or else, compromise their writing to fit into the stereotypical genre of the week.

There has to be an answer to this problem. There must be a way for writers who bend and blend genres to let readers know what to expect from their writing. One way is to blog about it, and to set up their platform so that it praises the newness, the uniqueness of the writing. We need to find words that fit our writing and use them to put our names and our work out there for readers to find. Celebrate your uniqueness, and then make sure readers are able to find that uniqueness and celebrate it with you.

The next stop on the Rolling Mystery Blog Tour for this roll is Mollie Cox Bryan. Mollie has a great blog and her articles are full and fun. Below is a  list of blogs participating in this roll of the rolling blog tour. Please enjoy the articles on Genre Bending and Blending at each of the blogs.

Claim Your Village


You know the old adage: It takes a village to raise a child. Well it also takes a village to develop a writer. We may work in a field that requires solitude, but the truth is, we could never get a book written, revised, submitted, and published without some help.

Our families may or not be of help. We certainly need them, but sometimes the ones we love the most don’t understand our need to write. Most of us have a friend or two who support our desire and dreams, but we need more.

I added to my village by finding people online who appreciate what I do. I’m a member of a couple of yahoo groups. I joined She Writes and Writing.com, and took some classes where I met likeminded people whom I stayed in touch with.

Without people who are willing to critique our work, people who give us a pat on the back when we do good, and help us make our writing better when it’s just not what we want it to be yet, this job becomes almost impossible.

I’ve been fortunate to find a publisher and editor who are both professionals, well educated and experienced in the area of book editing and publishing. And they have taught me as much if not more than all the books and classes put together. And then there are the websites like Savvy Author and The Editor Devil, where I can not only learn how to hone my craft, but also can find others who are in the same boat.

I guess the point of writing this article is to encourage every writer to make friends with those who are like us, who understand us, and then don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Every writer needs to know and associate with writers, agents, editors, publishers, booksellers, readers and fans. No matter what level you are at as a writer, you need to spend a few minutes a day talking with others who understand what you’re trying to do, and how you feel. There are thousands of people out there who are willing to help you, or any writer who needs help. And in the long run, these are the people who will be your best supporters for success.

If you’re shy, or think it’s too overwhelming to get involved with Facebook or online groups, leave comments at blogs and websites. And by all means see if you can join a group or create a group in the town where you live. Put up a flyer at the library. Check out the high school and offer to help a young writer, or a group of them. There are ways to meet people who will be an asset to you, and people who need a little help in this endeavor we call solitary. So, don’t try to do it alone.  Claim your village, and then make sure to become a village member for someone else.