Fight scenes in the Hyllethan Gifts trilogy

days - fight 2Two weeks to go till the release of Days of Wind and Snow. Since the first chapter was attached to the back of Dawn of Purple and Gray, some of you may remember the excerpt reproduced in the picture.

Writing fighting scenes can be both fun and problematic. Short phrases instead of whole sentences, or short sentences help to quicken the pace and give the impression of a lot happening in a short time. Alternatively, one can ‘stretch’ a moment in time to create tension and a feeling of doom. Using multiple senses (smell, touch, sound, not just sight) helps too to make the scene seem realistic. Below is an excerpt from a fight scene in book 1:

The (cloak’s) ties dug into Shael’s airways. She couldn’t breathe. Frantically, she groped for the hilt of the knife in her boot. The comforting touch of wood in her grasp, Shael slashed.

Yelping, the girl let go of the material, a line of blood trickling down her arm.

Shael gulped in air, sweat stinging her eyes. She pulled herself away from under the girl’s weight, the asphyxiating smell of unwashed clothing and stale sweat making her head spin even more.

As can be seen from the above passage, concentrating on the protagonist’s thoughts and reactions and on particular details (e.g. the smell of unwashed clothing) makes, I think, for a better read than a blow-by-blow account.

Do you enjoy reading fight scenes? What makes them enjoyable, or not?


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