Write The Fight Right

Rated 4.60/5 based on 5 reviews
A fiction writer's resource for creating realistic, convincing fight scenes from author and martial arts instructor, Alan Baxter. More
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About Alan Baxter

Alan is an author living on the south coast of NSW, Australia. He writes dark fantasy, sci fi and horror, rides a motorcycle and loves his dog. He also teaches Kung Fu. Read extracts from his novels, a novella and short stories at his website – www.alanbaxteronline.com – and feel free to tell him what you think. About anything.

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Reviews of Write The Fight Right by Alan Baxter

Dave Versace reviewed on April 3, 2013

Alan Baxter is a writer and a kung fu instructor, and if that sounds like a handy combination, it is. Write the Fight Right (WtFR) draws on his experiences in the dojo and the odd real-life street confrontation to help writers bring a touch of reality to their fight scenes.

Baxter helpfully breaks the book into several sections, broadly starting with how fights actually unfold in real life, and in particular showing which factors are the most important in determining the outcome (footwork, reach, training, size and – crucially – the ability to not be where the other guy is throwing a punch). The second set of chapters describe the physiological elements of a chaotic punchup – adrenaline rushes, the effects of pain, getting knocked out – and the mental side of things - how fear and anger matter, what a fighter might see and hear, the psychological benefits of training and so on. The final part deals briefly with weapons, with the take-home message that pulling a knife or a club or a sword out is an orders-of-magnitude escalation of a violent situation, to be avoided at all costs by anyone with a shred of sanity. The book is rounded out with a helpful checklist, summarising the things a writer could consider in putting together a fight scene.

Throughout the book Baxter keeps his eyes firmly on bringing these elements out in tight, well-focused writing. There’s a lot to consider but his advice is not to overegg an action scene: “Don’t try to use everything , but pick and choose things that suit the kind of fight you’re writing or the kind of environment you’re setting the fight in. Also think hard about your characters and what kind of experience they have and what sort of personality they have, which will affect their reactions and perceptions of fighting.”

Baxter has a good nose for the sorts of clichés used by writers with little to no experience of physical altercations (me included) and exhorts the reader to get rid of them. It’s all good, sound advice written in a practical and no-nonsense style. Baxter comes across as a natural teacher; his explanations are clear and his conversational language gives the whole piece the air of a convivial bar conversation. WtFR isn’t a long book – more like a longish essay – but it is a readable and useful reference work for writers whose genre fiction includes a good splash of biffo.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)
ianmchugh reviewed on May 3, 2011

This is a very well considered, credible writing tool, packed with details that writers who aren't themselves experienced fighters would be likely to miss. Clearly presented and well constructed for easy digestion and reference.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
Cat Sheely reviewed on May 1, 2011

Short, concise and very informative. Written from a background that gives the content solid credibility it is something all writers who need to write or understand a fight scene (or more for that matter) needs to know.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)
Phillip Berrie reviewed on April 28, 2011

Recommended reading for all writers who don't have black belts of their own.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Ross Hamilton reviewed on April 27, 2011
(no rating)
Well worth the small monetary investment - very useful material for any writer who incorporates action like this into their work.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Sue Raines reviewed on April 27, 2011

Excellent, i found it factual and informative. The author knows his techniques and on all levels gives good advice to fellow writers.
I have already recommended this book to others.

Sue Raines
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
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