View Full Version : Good street fighting examples?

Michael Myers
03-06-2019, 06:05 AM
My heroine is threatened by a gang. Her hero is amply capable, but even he gets overwhelmed. She chooses to act. The only weapon she knows how to use with any facility is a cue ball on a chain.

But I can't seem to write the scene properly. It always comes out either tepid, clinical, or a boringly slow choreography.

Can anyone point me to good written examples of a street fight scene that I may study?

03-06-2019, 07:50 PM
You don't say how many gang members there are or where this takes place, but that single cue ball on a chain is a specialised weapon and from what you have briefly covered above I would guess at a very swift and short fight where perhaps she rapidly disables one or two gang members and the rest maybe flee. But as soon as she strikes one fellow, won't that take away the momentum of the weapon?

Try popping Street Fighting into the site specific Google Custom Search Box at the bottom left of the page. That will give a lot of links to old or current AW threads dealing with the topic. Higher the ref number the more recent the thread.

M.S. Wiggins
03-06-2019, 09:27 PM
Can't it be two balls (HA!)? Anyway. Like a cue ball on one end of the chain and an eight ball on the other end, then use the weapon like numchucks.

Michael Myers
03-06-2019, 09:38 PM
Could be, but I don't want to get overly complicated martial-artsy with the deal.

M.S. Wiggins
03-07-2019, 03:25 AM
Could be, but I don't want to get overly complicated martial-artsy with the deal.

Then uncomplicate it, trailblaze a neo-martial-artsy billiard-ball heroine street fighter (with balls!) ;).

Michael Myers
03-07-2019, 03:38 AM
Have a beer on me.

Norman Mjadwesch
03-07-2019, 07:02 AM
This is a complex issue. In fights there are so many simultaneously moving parts, and ordering them in a way that makes sense is really hard to do without losing control of the narrative.

Can I suggest looking online for some video footage and writing about the things that stand out for you? Then, when you’ve written about what you’ve witnessed, run it past someone who has experience in such things.

03-07-2019, 09:40 AM
Can't say much re: cue-ball-on-a-chain specifics (except to say I like the idea!) but for detailed fight-scene movement read Lee Child's "Jack Reacher" stuff.

For movies, might be worth watching Tarantino's "Kill Bill," esp. the bar fight in V1 (lots of Kill Bill fight-scene clips on YouTube), as well as the pool-room fight early in Terminator 2 Judgment Day.

Good luck!

Kenneth Keltarin
03-07-2019, 08:46 PM
Fight scenes, being far more visual than a lot of prose (in my experience) does make them hard to write, at least hard to write succinctly. (I tend to feel like I'm filling pages and chapters with action that takes a few seconds, I don't know how other people handle it).

There's a pretty good bar-fight scene in the new Alita: Battle Angel movie that came out last month (and in fact it's based on a scene from the original comic you can find without too much trouble) if you want a look at how someone small but very skilled can handle multiple, larger opponents--often with improvised weapons.

You could also try reading Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew or The Bruce Lee Story by Linda Lee-Caldwell, Bruce Lee's widow. I haven't read the first, only the second, but The Bruce Lee Story is a fascinating work that goes into not only why Bruce Lee fought, but why he used the style (and developed his own) that he did. It's probably a bit longer than the individual examples you're looking for but you might check it out when you have more time.

03-07-2019, 09:46 PM
I'd look at some of Louis L'Amour's works. Not only was a prolific writer, he'd been a boxer. He understood the science of fighting.

Jim Clark-Dawe