"A Great Place to Die" - Fight Scene Location Thread

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Aggie, Jun 3, 2008.

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  1. Aggie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2008
    In many ways, location can define a fight scene. I've always understood location to be an important aspect of any scene, but I think it's especially important in scenes that involve action. Painting a picture with words is important. In my upcoming novel, I have two dramatic lightsaber duels. The first takes place in the middle of city while a battle rages. The other takes place in an ancient Sith palace on Korriban.

    Do you have any particular location in which you believe a lightsaber duel would be amazing? Have any particularly good fight sequences that you crafted by using a good location? How do you go about selecting location?

    Please share any of your thoughts. I think location is something that is so often overlooked, but that will not be the case in this thread.
  2. dianethx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    I also like picking my locations carefully. I like to choose ones that have a good deal of material that could be useful in a fight. For example, someone who can use the Force might use litter or dirt or rocks to use as projectiles in a fight. I've used dirt to create a Force storm against another Force user and it was quite effective in putting the second fighter at a disadvantage.

    As for lightsaber fights, swinging a saber around can be more difficult if there are obstacles. A small space, lots of bystanders, a ship in outer space - all of these things can make for great fights.

    So I use location in very specific ways to create a more interesting fight.
  3. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Any place is a good place for a fight. What matters is what the characters make of it. You could have satisfyingly dramatic fights in bus stops and basements and schoolrooms. Dramatic, landmark sites are good, too, but not necessary for a good fight scene.
  4. Aggie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2008
    As good as many of the duels in the Saga were, none of them were really reliant upon their location. They just fell where the characters were at the time.

    In my novel, I think location is a far more important factor. For instance, I think picking a good spot helped me as a young writer doing this for the firs time, because I then had the ability to be creative instead of having to focus entirely on the technical aspects of the duel.

    No doubt location can add something. What are some of your favorite uses of setting in your work or in the work of others? This could make for a pretty interesting discussion if people take interest.

  5. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    I agree with the 'any place is a good place' theory. But for me personally, I've written fights in wide-open spaces and cramped ones and find it easier to detail the actual fight when imagining a space where the characters can move around.
  6. 1Yodimus_Prime Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2004
    star 4
    A down side of the written word - when compared to film - is that you don't have the benefit of a brilliant choreographer to dazzle your audience with flashy moves, thus distracting them from the fact that, when it all comes down to it, unless someone turns out to be related to someone else, sword fights just frankly don't have much, erm...story...in them. But, being the enterprising individuals that we are, we can easily get around this little setback in a multitude of ways.

    One of the ways within the multitude is the concept of relying on the written word's natural bias toward description to aide, either directly or indirectly, in furthering the struggle in a positive, negative, or neutral narrative direction.

    In other words: Find a neat place to set it


    Some of the things one should keep in mind when looking for a 'neat' place to set your fight scene are as follows:


    • A dynamic environment is a fun environment to write about. It can aide the reader in understanding how much time has passed if the environment alters state. It can also change the tide of the battle, end the battle entirely, change or who is fighting (or at least how they are fighting - being as that Twi'lek just lost an arm to that out-of-control razorblade), or change why the battle is even being fought in the first place.

    • Obstacles should be logical, but unexpected. The lack of obstacles, on the other hand, is expected, and therefore boring. :p

    • Prose-wise, an environment that helps define the style, demeanor, or personality of one or both of the participants could be a good idea.

    • Regardless of the vastness or crampedness of the environ, the availablity of some form of cover should be automatically assumed to exist, unless you specifically don't want there to be any.

    • Light, for most beings, is a gravely important asset, especially when in a fight. Keep in mind your lightsource, or lack thereof. Even the Sun doesn't stay up all day (well...technically it does, but..oh, you know what I mean)

    • Know how well the characters know the place. Homefield advantage is after all, first and foremost, an advantage. On the same note, keep in mind that some people just fight better in certain kinds of places. And worse in others, to flip the coin.

    • Random open pits of dangerous fluids, while dramatic, aren't the most common things in the universe, unless your universe is a cliche. Anyhow, there is no excuse, under any circumstances, to miss an opportunity for a good old fashioned Railing Kill. :D



    There are other things to keep in mind as well, but I like the number seven.
  7. Idrelle_Miocovani Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2005
    star 6
    Well said. And I like number seven too. :D Random vats of dangerous chemicals are always good. :p

    I've always been of the opinion that there's much more to a fight scene than just the actual physical fight. The fun thing about locations is that it can either give the characters obstacles or gives them advantages -- or both. It's fun to incorporate a location's elements (such as a desk if you're indoors, or a nasty cliff if you're outdoors :p ) into the fight and have them come back to haunt you. [face_devil] I just finished a fight scene that takes place in an office and a character smashes a window with his lightsaber. The floor is covered with glass, which the character later slips on by accident, putting him in a very tight spot which he needs help from his ally to get out of; their opponent later escapes by jumping out the broken window. Twas a fun scene. :p
  8. dianethx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Yes, I love to have things get in the way of a fight. I've also used a desk to advantage and a sewage tank below the Temple. [face_laugh]
  9. Aggie Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2008
    Ouch...:D

    I hope it was Anakin that fell...

    I never thought of sewage before...as strange as that sounds...
  10. dianethx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Well, it was a comedy but the blaster bolt was deflected with a lightsaber blade and got zinged off onto the sewage tank which broke apart. Qui-Gon got hit with stuff full blast. [face_sick] [face_laugh]

    There are opportunities everywhere! :p
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