Monday, March 26, 2012

Fighting and writing workshop, from the Catholic Writer's Conference: Introduction

Two weeks ago, I had mentioned that I was going to be hosting an online forum workshop in writing fight scenes, for the Catholic writer's guild.  Karina Fabian had managed to draft me ... or I volunteered, I'm not entirely certain.  Either way, it was an interesting little experience.

Since most of you folks have been with me for a while, I'm going to give it to you.

Don't worry, I wasn't paid for this, so giving this away for free will hurt no one. And, few to no people wanted to show up and play with my workshop, even though there were over 25 viewers for each post.  But, I've been told few people showed up anyway for the forums, something to do with schedule confusion.

So, since this workshop screwed over my blog posts last week, I figure that I should get some use out of it.

This is how I began.

Introduction: Writing a fight scene – Who or what is a “Declan Finn,” and why does he get to tell me about fighting?

It's a good question, and one that needs to be answered before many of you begin this workshop. I have been writing fight scenes since I was sixteen. I've written many novels, most of which fester on my home computer, and that I constantly revise the more I learn about life, the universe, and how to better destroy both. I grew up wanting to write thrillers and science fiction military novels, and I originally thought the best way to go about having a fast-moving novel was to have as many fight scenes as often as possible. Then I read them, and spiked more fights than I can recall.

In short, I'm a person who has studied many a fight scene, and has learned from his own mistakes. I mention this because there will be instances where you will read some of this and wonder, “Why is he telling me this? Does he think I'm stupid?”

The answer is no, but these were mistakes that I have made repeatedly over time, and sometimes still make when I don't think.

One of the documents that you will need can be found at this link here. It is a collection of “how to” articles for self defense and fighting. It is a compilation of a lot of basic fighting techniques, as well as things related to fighting. In short, you don't need any previous knowledge of any fighting technique, martial art, or even the basics of street fighting for this workshop. I will, however, recommend right now that you check out the link, and at least give each article mentioned a passing glance. They will be used over the course of the workshop.

References for certain techniques:
References for guns:
References for army technology:

Recommended reading:
Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series (for fight scenes on both small and large scale)
Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels (for hand to hand combat)
David Weber's Honor Harrington series (for navel warfare)
John Ringo's Posleen War, Ghost and Princess of Wands series (mostly for hand-to-hand, infantry, and special warfare)

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