Have you ever read a book where every fight scene has your heart racing with anticipation? Where you feel as if it’s alive and you’re a part of it?
I can’t really say that I’ve read a book where all the fight scenes are like this, but I can definitely say I’ve experienced this phenomenon before. The writers who are really good at it can do it over and over again effortlessly, but for others, it’s a matter of how lucky they are. One of my favourite authors, R.A. Salvatore, is very good at this. In his series The Legend of Drizzt, I often found myself feeling as if I were a part of the action. And that, in addition to the amazing characters, was why I continued to read his books again and again.
How does someone make compelling fight scenes over and over again? Don’t you get bored of reading the same character do the same things? Well, you see, the thing is that in fantasy, combat is very flexible. Swordplay is an art of its own and a master can surprise you with every move they take. Magic is flexible and won’t always result in the same “BOOM, DEAD” effect. You don’t really know what to expect until it’s already happened.
And honestly, I’m not going to try delving into explaining this technique. It’s something I’ve yet to master, but I am dutifully working on doing so. I think it’s something I need to take my time with.
What about you? Do any of your favourite authors have an innate skill for weaving exciting, fresh combat scenes?