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Everybody Was (Kinda Sorta) Kung Fu Fighting

January 4, 2010

There I was: ready to go, ready to follow my characters into the dark, ready to show no mercy. I was A Very Serious Writer prepared to tackle Very Serious Subject Matter. Blood was going to be spilled. People were going to die.

Until something rather unfortunate became clear.

I am rubbish at writing fight scenes. Seriously, it’s embarrassing. I don’t know what sorts of weapons cause what sorts of wounds, or in what direction bodies fall when they’re hit, or what it sounds like when someone’s hand gets stepped on with a heavy boot. (I mean, I know the sound I make at that last image–ew!–but that’s not what I’d call useful information.) I clearly have some research to do before I can even approach the land of “pretending I know what I’m doing.” (It’s a nice place for a writer to live, that land, filled with kind people who smile placatingly at you and say, “Yes, darling, that’s exactly right, carry on just as you are. You can always tidy up later.”) I like doing research, though, and maybe exploring the wide world of wounds and weaponry–totally accidental alliteration, I promise–will help me get over my squeamishness.

I’m also going to try rearranging my writing schedule. I’ve pretty much only been writing at night, after getting home from work, and I initially thought that would be best as I tend toward the nocturnal. Now, though, I’m realizing that that schedule both pits me against post-work sleepiness and makes me more susceptible to waking up in the middle of the night with ostensibly brilliant thoughts about the book. I’m always thrilled when my characters have musings to share, but I’d prefer it if they didn’t babble at me in a sleep-interrupting sort of way. So I’m going to try writing in the morning for a few days, and see if getting it done first thing makes this project a tad easier on my brain.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll find fight-scene inspiration in my bowl of Quaker Oat Squares.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2010 6:19 pm

    Hi! Here’s a link that might be helpful to get you started on your crime research: http://www.writerswrite.com/journal/feb99/gak12.htm.

    Also, writing in the morning can really be invigorating. Gets all the brain cells fired up for the other parts of our day as well.

    Good luck!

    Cheri

    • January 4, 2010 7:42 pm

      Ooh, that looks terrific, thank you so much. I also started reading your blog, and I’ve already bookmarked it as a resource–it’s always great to learn from others who have gone down this road before!

      It’s good to hear a vote in favor of morning writing. I’m hoping it’ll work for me!

      Thanks again for your help!

  2. January 4, 2010 11:07 pm

    Good luck with your fight scene! I have one that needs some serious help, too, actually. It sounds very, like, “He hit him. Then he punched the other guy. Then this. Then that.” It doesn’t really have the zip that a fight scene should have.

    Good luck writing in the morning! I’m under the impression that REAL writers write in the morning, but I’m a nocturnal writer, myself. All I can think of when I wake up is coffee. Hope you find the morning hours helpful, and if not, you know I’ll be here at my sad little desk procrastinating in the middle of the night! : )

    • January 5, 2010 12:17 am

      Ah, yes! That’s one of the biggest issues my fight scene has, too–even ignoring my sheer lack of comprehension of how fights actually work (which is ignoring a LOT), I just feel like it’s boring. I’m going to link to some related resources in my next entry; I hope maybe I can point you to something helpful!

      Thanks for the supportive morning thoughts! I’ve a feeling the first couple are going to be rough, but it might be just the shake-up my schedule needs. And who am I kidding–I’m sure I’ll still procrastinate (err, I mean, work) at night, too. I tend to write in hodge-podge bits rather than massively long sessions.

      How’s it been going for you? I love that you posted a picture of your desk. :)

      • January 5, 2010 9:29 pm

        Ha! Yeah, my sad little desk. I’m easily distracted, so I’m literally, like, down in the basement in a nearly windowless room. I’d turn off the internet if I could, but then I wouldn’t have access to thesaurus.com or Wikipedia. Then what will I do if I need to know three different synonyms for (and size, shape, and habitat of) wild boar? Can you guess what I was writing about last night?

        Two days back in the habit and it’s going… okay. I’ve attempted to reinstate my 1000 word/day goal and I have not managed it yet. Spitting distance, though! 974! Just got to get back in the groove, I guess.

        Don’t give up on the morning routine if you think it will be helpful for you. Every “advice for writers” idiotic thing I’ve read has said mornings are best and OMG REAL WRITERS GET UP AT THE CRACK OF DAWN FOR THEIR CRAFT!!! It hasn’t worked for me. Occasionally I’ll have something right away when I wake up and I’ll quickly write it out, but I always end up doing the real work at night.

        Isn’t it interesting how there’s as much to write about writing as there is writing itself? Fascinating. Or egotistical. Never can tell, can you? ;) I emailed you, by the way. Talk soon! And keep up the good work!

      • January 5, 2010 9:53 pm

        (That came out wrong. Meant to be self-deprecating. Came out insulting. I love talking/reading about writing. It’s usually more fun than the writing itself!)

        • January 6, 2010 5:41 pm

          Haha, I totally understood! I love it, too, and it’s a handy way to procrastinate the actual writing, as it feels like you’re still being productive… :)

  3. January 5, 2010 7:09 am

    Thanks so much for bookmarking my blog. I’m looking forward to our continuing dialogue.

    Cheri

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