Friday, April 22, 2011

Write the Fight Right, by Alan Baxter

Write the Fight Right, by Alan Baxter
Published April 4, 2011
Ebook available on Smashwords and Amazon

From the Smashwords page: "Author and martial arts instructor, Alan Baxter, presents a short, ~12,000 word, ebook describing all the things a writer needs to consider when writing fight scenes. Baxter's experience from decades as a career martial artist make this book a valuable resource for writers who want to understand what fighting is all about - what it really feels like and what does and doesn't work - and how to factor those things into their writing to make their fight scenes visceral, realistic page turners."

Baxter has a number of good pointers and practical tidbits about fighting. "Something unexpected will happen almost immediately" and "Describe the reaction to the hit instead of describing the hit" particularly got my brain moving. I've done a fair amount on research into hand-to-hand combat over the years (he notes, and I'm sure he's right, that taking classes would be better than reading) so I had heard some of the thing he says before. Even so, I found this a good and useful set of pointers. 

I wish he had explained more about what "disrupting the opponent's centerline" means and entails. Disrupt how? By hitting? Knocking off balance? Both?

He includes a Cheat Sheet Checklist at the end with the major points -- I'll be using that for quick reference.

For only two dollars, a tasty twelve thousand words of insider information. I don't know what rating system we're using this week, so I'll give this two thumbs up!

ETA: We are using a five weeble system, so I give this 3.5 weebles! Now, as they say "weebles wobble but they don't fall down" but I'm thinking that half a weeble would indeed fall down... that's another post, though.


  1. Guess I can spend that $2 on this instead of a jello shot Saturday night.

    And it's all about the weeblies.

  2. Out of five stars or weebles (what the hell is a weeble? o.O)

    I've found this to be a useful guide on writing action scenes:

    It takes a regular old paragraph and turns it into something actiony.

  3. Looks interesting. Though I wish the Smashwords sample actually contained some content rather than just introduction :).

    The web page is a handy link too, I'm not sure I agree with the extent that they rewrote the sample paragraph (I found it too choppy for my taste), but it certainly demonstrates how to spice up an action scene that isn't working.