How to write a fight scene in a screenplay

Patrick Regan1 year ago 1 1 min read Is there anything more fun than an epic fight scene? And when written well, they can say as much as any other scene in the most serious dramas. Many writers struggle with how to write action scenes.

How to write a fight scene in a screenplay

Happily, there are a few devices you can use to ensure you write the kind of fight scene that grips a reader from start to finish. Let the reader choreograph your fight scene. This is their time to shine.

Pace Intensifying the pace of your writing can communicate the immediacy and suddenness of conflict. Short, simple sentences keep the reader on their toes. Fights happen quickly and your description needs to match that. In The Princess BrideWilliam Goldman writes a brilliant sword fightand perhaps the most enjoyable fight scene ever put on paper: The cliffs were very close behind him now.

Inigo continued to retreat; the man in black continued advancing. Then Inigo countered with the Thibault.

How to Choose

And the man in black blocked it. Each sentence is short, the written equivalent of a sudden move. Every time a new person takes an action in this passage, Goldman starts a new line, making the reader encounter each attack as a sudden, vital event. Hovering around the fight describing the actions of both characters sets a limitation on how gripping the experience can be.

The key is to thrust the reader into the thick of the actionand to do that they need to experience the fight through a character. McDonald mimics this experience for the reader by having longer passages between the single sentences of violence: Instead of looking who had pushed him, Fletch tried to save himself from falling.

Someone pushed him again. He fell to the right, into the parade. A foot came up from the pavement and kicked him in the face. You can also write to match the perspective of the attacker: Verbs not adverbs Fight scenes demand brevity and adverbs are the opposite. There are too many adverbs in your fight scene.

The best fight scenes have an ebb and flow -- for a moment, the hero has the upper hand, for a moment the villain. This is true whether it’s the final epic fight scene of a kung-fu movie, a gun battle between Bond and Bloefeld’s nameless goons, or a monster closing in on his kill in a slasher film. When deciding that you want a fight scene in your screenplay there are three primary concerns you must address. The first is why do I want to have this scene? How to write it. ROCKY. Knowing that the fight scene is necessary, how long it’s going to be, and what purpose it will serve you now decide to write it. But how? A fight scene has the ability to transcend the words on the page and make or break a script. If it’s done well, it will be a scene that the reader and viewer will not forget. And, if it’s done poorly, it will be a scene that the reader and viewer will not forget as well.

There are a few exceptions. They embrace guttural simplicity to communicate that same quality in the action, but this trick only works once before you start sounding like a caveman. What there is plenty of is sensory information. The taste of blood, the ringing in their ears, the ache of their injuries.

Evan Hunter wrote fantastically brutal fight scenes by stating a simple, physical act and then following it up with evocative sensory information: He pulled him to his feet, almost tearing the collar… He heard the slight rasp of material ripping. That description, from his short story collection Barking at Butterfliesadds more physicality to the encounter than any physical description could.

Use sensory information to make a fight scene relatable. Click To Tweet Sensory information is also more relatable to readers. Not everyone has been held up by the collar, but everyone has heard fabric tear and tasted their own blood after an accident.

You can summon incredibly detailed information through these minor descriptions: Just the results The opposite of writing a fight scene, but worth the occasional consideration, is to skip the violence entirely.

I asked Tyler what he wanted me to do. Detail is a dirty word The key to getting a fight scene right is learning that detail is a dirty word. Television and movies have taught us that the choreography of a fight is the important thing, but different mediums call for different tricks.

The pace is so non-stop, the skill and commitment of both characters so well-written, that the reader imagines every thrust and parry and accepts them as expert.The best fight scenes have an ebb and flow -- for a moment, the hero has the upper hand, for a moment the villain.

You Are Not the Stunt Coordinator

This is true whether it’s the final epic fight scene of a kung-fu movie, a gun battle between Bond and Bloefeld’s nameless goons, or a monster closing in on his kill in a slasher film. Oct 17,  · Writing a fight scene doesn’t require years of intense training.

Learn how your favorite movies put their fights on the page. Advanced Screenplay Formatting Tips: FRIDAY - . Learn how to write a screenplay the right way with this script writing example and screenwriting tips!

You'll also find the best software for writers and more. A scene heading is a one-line description of the location and time of day of a scene, also known as a "slugline." It should always be in CAPS. Example: EXT. WRITERS STORE - DAY. However, like so many scenes you find posted online it's from a shooting script rather than a spec script.

95% of the writers out there are writing spec scripts (trying to get one sold) where everything has to be greatly abbreviated. Writing fight scenes.

How much should one describe a fight scene in a screenplay?

how to write a fight scene in a screenplay

How specific should you get? What do you leave for the director/choreographer to figure out? — Evan. Always remember that you’re writing a movie, not a screenplay. Even though you only have words at your disposal, you’re trying to create the experience of.

Writing Action Sequences: Die Hard. By Andrew Watson January 6, Screenwriting What you have left over from all that is all you have to work with when writing an action sequence in a screenplay. 5 Ways to Write More .

How to Write Fight Scenes (with Sample Fight Scenes) - wikiHow