Texas has treated us to a classic thunderstorm today with lightning, thunder, and sheets of rain, so I am waiting another half an hour before braving the office, because I don’t know where the umbrella is and I don’t want to get soaked. So some answers to the questions.
First things first: for those of you on iPad, are you seeing the weird menu issue in the sideways view. If so please comment, so I know it’s not an isolated occurrence.
Industry question. How do you get inspiration for a fight scene?
Fight scene mechanics are similar to sex scene mechanics: unless you add emotion, both will be flat. The most important part is getting the emotional undercurrent correctly. The reader should feel in danger. They should hold their breath and hope to dodge a fatal strike. That’s why Richard Mar was such a pain to write. The character was written as extremely precise and during most of his fights, he would be cool as a cucumber.
To infuse the fight with emotion, you really have to pull the character apart and show exactly what they are thinking. If you look at Maud’s fight, she is progressively getting more and more ruthless because things keep getting more and more desperate, to the point of kicking a pitcher at a woman whom she desperately hoped to impress. The shattered pitcher is kind of a high point there, because things are so bad, we’re expecting something to break.
That said, this is analysis post-writing. During the writing, there is no conscious process of “Put this in, it’s important.” We kind of put ourselves into Maud’s shoes or Hugh’s shoes or whoever’s shoes and try to survive. I do have to say, the arm breaking move took a while. It’s an escrima move called pangilog and at some point Gordon and I did it to each other a few times, because it wasn’t clear how much pressure it would put on the shoulder and would a shoulder pop before hyperextending the elbow.
Are y’all still considering going to DragonCon?
We are, but it is a long process. You have to fill out an application and then you may or may not get approved.
If not already asked: what are the optimal dimensions for a moat? Respectfully, member BDH
Hugh is building a big ass moat and lining it with Roman concrete. It is costing a ton of money, but supposedly it will all be worth it. 😉
Industry-ish question: I’m writing my book, but I struggle with conversation and witty banter. It all comes out super flat and fake sounding. Nothing feels realistic and I just feel like I’m missing something. How do you make your character interactions and conversations in your books seem so entertaining and yet real at the same time. I’m sure practice is involved, so I don’t expect an easy fix, but any insight you have would help. I’m thinking of taking a creative writing class at my local cc to help me improve, but until I can gather those funds, I’m still staring at my seemingly unnecessary conversations in absolute disgust.
Sherre, you are thinking too much. Crack yourself up with the dialogue. Seriously, write to amuse yourself. Don’t worry about being clever or not, just write until you snicker. Sometimes a good joke takes awhile, so if you are stuck, walk away and do the dishes. Your mind will come up with a witty comeback.
For us, we’ve had a lot of practice and both of us are naturally caustic. Also, if you put either one of us on the spot, we will absolutely fold. I just asked Gordon how does he write witty dialogue, and he said, “I don’t know.”
Well, I am going to go and check to see if the rain let up. We have battling to write.