A while back the Gumbees on Amazon were discussing what makes a good fight scene.
There was a long discussion, gritty realism versus James Bond adornment. What was interesting is that every single one of us had a different approach. However, the impression I had, at any rate, was that everyone’s different approaches worked. So first up here is Davie (Silent Blade) Graham to tell us how he does it. Davie, over to you.
Although I have several small fight scenes I will be only too glad to post on here, this is not quite a proper fight scene. However it is the first example of a magical killing in my books, and I would like to share it with you all.
Quatho strode off towards a small stand of trees, with Gig following slowly behind her. Once they reached the trees he looked round to make sure no-one could see them, and started to scrape a circle on the ground with her foot. Once she was finished she beckoned Gig to stand inside the circle and she began reciting the spell to transport them to the castle.
They landed in one of the outer courtyards, and Quatho did not waste any time in finding a doorway into the castle. She had never been in Garramor castle before, but she could sense the power emanating from the Deathbane trapped below it, and it was that which drew her to them. Moving as fast as her thin old legs could carry her she made her way quickly down a spiralling stair till she found herself in a large room. They were far below the castle now and the only light came from a few torches burning in their wall sconces. To Quatho’s surprise a fat little man in a grubby uniform was sitting at a battered old table. He rose when Quatho burst into the room, and was about to speak, when she raised a hand towards him.
The middle-aged soldier never knew what hit him. Without breaking her stride, Quatho said two quick words in her arcane language, and a bolt of fire shot from her hand. The fire hit the man full in the middle of his chest, slamming him against the wall with enough force to split his head open on the stonework. He slid to the floor in a pool of blood and smoking innards.
‘You sure is good at that,’ Gig sniggered.
‘Shut up, Gig,’ she growled back
They moved towards another door and Quatho was about to put her hand on the iron ring to open it when the door swung open to reveal a young sorceress standing on the other side.
‘Who are you…’ she began then saw the body of the guard lying on the floor and gasped.
The young sorceress’s hesitance was all Quatho needed. Lifting her hand again she uttered the two words and again a ball of flame shot out, this time hitting the young girl full in the face. She fell, dead before she even hit the floor, with more than half of her head burned away by Quatho’s fire.
‘This be more like it,’ Gig said excitedly. ‘Now we show thems!’
‘Will you shut up, Gig. I need to concentrate.’
‘Sorry boss,’ Gig replied and disappeared.
As you can see this is not exactly a fight scene, although I was going to write it as such to begin with. However I decided that as the castle was more or less deserted by humans at that time, Quatho’s journey there to free her Deathbane should be quick and hassle-free. She is a powerful magic user, and provided she is allowed to keep her concentration she can bring the fire element to bear very quickly… And so she simply storms into the dungeon, dealing with two very surprised opponents without hesitation. This compressed version of what I originally had in mind actually works much better, and holds much more impact… showing just how powerful, evil, and determined the old witch can really be.