With a title like that, you probably think I’m talking about a big boss in a video game. I’m actually thinking about fight scenes. This is something I’m known for in my work. I’ve done a LOT of research about fighting styles, martial arts, fencing, physics, etc.–for PEOPLE. I’m currently struggling my way through a fight scene with a critter. This is my third creature battle in DOTH, and every one has been like pulling teeth because I can’t use my fall back knowledge of person on person fighting. There’s a whole other aspect of sorting out how the fight will go.
- How does it move? A creature with wings will obviously move very differently from a creature on four feet. A monster with tentacles (imagine the thing outside the Mines of Moria) fights very differently from a creature of tooth and claw. You have to give some thought to how it moves, how it attacks before you can even START to envision the conversation that is a proper fight scene.
- What is its weakness? Every creature has a weakness. Some more than others. You need to know what they are and how your hero can exploit them to win the fight. The unanimous answer to how my heroes are going to beat the current creature has been “lop off its head”, which is all well and good but it’s not like the thing is going to just stand STILL for that. Knowing what the weakness is is only the first part–you have to know how you can get TO it.
- What are its defensive capabilities? Every creature fights differently. A porcupine has quills. A tiger has teeth and claws. An eagle has talons and a razor sharp beak made for tearing. You have to sort out how a creature attacks, how it would wound, what those wounds would look and feel like to your hero.
- Who started it? A creature that’s aggressive and on the offensive who attacks your hero is going to be very different from a creature that is attacking defensively because either hero has attacked it or at the very least stumbled upon its den. This is the kind of thing that will affect the tenor of the fight and how it might end (since you don’t always want or need to kill it–sometimes the goal is simply survival).
Just some food for thought in case you find yourself needing to write a battle royale between your hero and something of a less than humanoid nature.