Let’s face it: While the average adult has probably had sex at least once in their life, very few have taken part in actual battles. This means that authors who write excellent fight scenes have to be a little more creative in their research. Plus, they’re far more dangerous to know—more on that in a minute.
I will never forget the day my mother called me after reading one of my first published novels. The convo went like this:
Mom: How in the world did you write all those fight scenes?
Me: What do you mean?
Mom: No offense, honey, but you’re not exactly a bruiser.
Me: Hey! I had a slap fight once in fourth grade!
Luckily she did not call to ask how I knew about writing sex scenes. That conversation might have been a lot more awkward.
Mom: Honey, you wrote some really great sex! How did you do it?
Me: Well, I had a lot of fun in college …
Anyway, the point is that in order to write edge-of-your-seat action scenes, most authors have to do research. The fun part is that as an author you’re willing to do all sorts of things in the name of research that you might not do otherwise. That’s how I ended up taking self-defense and kick boxing. It’s also why I attend every martial arts and fight scene workshop I can find—I’m always adding new things to my bag of tricks. I’ve also attended the Writer’s Police Academy, which offers classes on firearms and police restraint tactics.
But when I need to research a fight scene on the fly, I often rewatch great fight scenes from movies or go to Youtube for videos. I’ve also learned that using the scene’s setting to help with choreography helps a lot. A fight scene in an abandoned warehouse will play out a lot differently than one in a park or an alley, for example.
Authors are pretty weird in general. We know lots of weird things because we actively go out looking for information on a wide range of topics. But for the writer of crime fiction or other action-packed fiction, the knowledge base tends to be pretty dangerous.
What I’m basically saying to you is this: I can kill you with my mind. Over the years, I’ve gathered a lot of trivia about fighting. Like, did you know it only takes about 20 lbs of pressure to blow out someone’s knee? A good sidekick to that joint and your opponent will drop like a co-ed’s panties at a frat party. Or that when you strangle someone, you should tuck your thumbs so your victim can’t break them? I also have extensive knowledge on poisons and how to use everyday household items to kill people. I’ve shot guns, driven cop cars at high speeds, learned how to cuff perps, and know all sorts of things about SWAT team shock and awe tactics.
Mind you, I’ve never actually had to use any of these facts in real life. But if a squad of ninjas ever comes after me, I’m prepared—at least in theory.
The bottom line is this: I like a good sex scene as much as the next person, but writing believable action scenes is an art form that requires extensive research and a really devious mind.
Long live the STOMP!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://rabidreads.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/JayeWells.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]
Jaye Wells is a USA Today-bestselling author of urban fantasy and speculative crime fiction. Raised by booksellers, she loved reading books from a very young age. That gateway drug eventually led to a full-blown writing addiction. When she’s not chasing the word dragon, she loves to travel, drink good bourbon and do things that scare her so she can put them in her books. Jaye lives in Texas.
MAGIC IS A DRUG. IT’LL COST MORE THAN YOU CAN PAY. . .
When a rare Blue Moon upsets the magical balance in the city, Detective Kate Prospero and her Magic Enforcement colleagues pitch in to help Babylon PD keep the peace. Between potions going haywire and emotions running high, every cop in the city is on edge. But the moon’s impact is especially strong for Kate, who’s wrestling with guilt over her use of illegal magic.
When a rogue wizard steals dangerous potions from a local coven, Kate’s team must find the thief’s hideout before the vengeful coven catches him. But the investigation uncovers the rogue’s dangerous plot to unleash chaotic magic on the city. Once the Blue Moon rises no-one’s secrets will be safe. Not even Kate’s.
Visit The Book Nympho to read today’s ROMP post by Elisabeth Staab, then VOTE for your fav!
i do love when paranorùal sound realistic and i’m amlaways amazed to see all teh research the authors have to do.
really thank you for offering us all these adventures
miki recently posted…Angels’ Dance ( Guild Hunter 0.4) by Nalini Singh
Agreed! I like a lot of para in my reads, but the story still has to be believable.
I haven’t started this new series by Jaye Wells yet, but I really enjoyed the Sabina Kane series.
Melanie Simmons recently posted…Those Who Wish Me Dead Audiobook Review
Book 1 in Wells’ Sabina Kane series has been on my Kobo f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Blogger FAIL! Jessica really liked Dirty Magic, but the jury is still out on Cursed Moon.
You liked those, did you?? Me too! 🙂
“Luckily she did not call to ask how I knew about writing sex scenes. That conversation might have been a lot more awkward.”
*snort* Yes, that would have been a far more uncomfortable situation:) It’s amazing to me the amount of research authors put in to things like fight scenes to make them believable and realistic, but all that hard work pays off because great action scenes never fail to have me flipping the pages with record speed:)
Great action scenes do have a way of keeping us readers hooked. I guess that’s why authors continue to write ’em. Hehe DUH Way to state the obvious Carmel…
LOL Mom’s, you got to love ’em right?
No really though, I love that this author got so hands on for her fight scenes, I think that is awesome and just makes me want to read her books even more now.
kindlemom1 recently posted…Blog Tour; Review, Giveaway and Guest Post: A Cursed Awakened by Cecy Robson
At least you’re guaranteed that Wells really knows what she’s talking about in her books, right? Very cool!
I haven’t read this series yet but I enjoyed Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane vampire/mage series 🙂 Full of fun action!
Julie S. recently posted…Sharing the Bookish Love – August 15, 2014
Good to know! It’s already on my pile… somewhere… Thanks for voting!
*snickering* I guess it depends on the mom how those convos would go but yeeeeah that would probably be a bit less awkward on the stomp side. 😉
Rhianna recently posted…99¢ Sale: BEG ME TO SLAY by Lisa Kessler
Yeah, I’d imagine that it’s WAY easier talking to your mother about STOMP scenes as opposed to ROMP ones. LMAO
I downloaded Cursed Moon on audio on Tuesday can’t wait to get to it. Gotta love moms they ask the best questions 🙂
Felicia the Geeky Blogger recently posted…Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in Over at That Is What I’m Talking About
Nice! I look forward to reading your review. 🙂
HAHA! To the mom and sex scenes talk that conveniently didn’t happen. Can’t imagine writing something like that and my mother reading it. How strange!!!
Even if you aren’t a bruiser you can totally pretend you are. I can’t wait to dive into Dirty Magic!
Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Shadows by E.C. Blake
I would have such a hard time not constantly thinking about my mom reading certain scenes while writing ’em. Too funny!
I’ve never been in a real fight even though I have been in fights with my sister.
I’m tiny but I think my rage would go a long way 😉
I love a good fight scene in books!
Nereyda recently posted…Review: Blue By You by Rachel Gibson!
I’ve never been in a fist fight either, well aside from pulling my sister’s hair when we were kids, but that doesn’t really count…
It’s amazing to me how much research goes into a fight scene, but then of course, it really does make it more realistic.
My vote is Stomp. The dire situations and fight scenes make the HEA even more sweeter when it does arrive.
Thanks for voting! GO STOMP!
I do want to try this series 🙂
blodeuedd recently posted…Romance Friday: The Viscount who loved me / Romancing the Countess
Then, what are you waiting for!? Ooh yes, you’re massive TBR pile, that. 😉
This is a series I want to try! I also loved this post. I bet mom didn’t want to ask the smex question. LOL
Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Mini Review: In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Having a sex talk with mom is going to be awkward, regardless of whether it’s fictional or real. LOL
LOL I love that he mom lovingly said that Jaye wasn’t a ‘bruiser’. And it’s fantastic that she can kill with her mind! Quite a talent. 😛 Yep, writers do keep lots of interesting and dangerous things stored in their brains. How could I NOT vote for Team STOMP?!? Go STOMP!
I’m glad that you finally saw the light, Brandee! Now, if we could just convince all of those other peeps on The Book Nympho’s side…
I do love a good action scene. I loved what I’ve read from Dirty Magic but I have yet to read Cursed Moon. I have the audio waiting for me to get to. =)
angela carr recently posted…UTC Interviews Kate Prospero from Jaye Well’s CURSED MOON
I’ll be sure to keep it on the DL that you switched sides, Angela. 😉
“it only takes about 20 lbs of pressure to blow out someone’s knee.” *stores this bit of trivia just in case of bar fight*
Mary recently posted…Hot Cover Alert, Mini-Review and Giveaway: Nalini Singh’s Rock Addiction
My knees hurt just thinking about it!
There’s so many ways to get my adrenaline pumping, and good fighting scene will do just that 🙂
I have the first audiobook in this series, I just haven’t got to it yet, but I know I will soon.
Lupdilup recently posted…Those Who Wish Me Dead Audiobook Review
As long as the book is available in audio, I know you’re good. LOL
LOL I’m dying. I haven’t read these books but if there are some steamy sex scenes I’m sure that that conversation would be really funny. But yeah it’s really interesting how authors manage to write a really good kick-ass scenes, when in reality you haven’t experienced them. Great post 🙂
Tanja recently posted…Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
Just think about all of the logistics that go into one single fight scene—it’s crazy! Authors have to think of EVERYTHING!
I love a good action scene but can’t breathe until it’s over… I’ve not read any of your books, but now I need to check them out!
I’ve been known to hold my breath too during intense sequences. I guess it just means that the author is doing something right!
Yes! AND those are the authors I love to read! By the way, I love the covers to these books!!!!!!
That is one hilarious conversation with her mother, but even more hilarious was the imaginary one about the question about the sex scene 😉 That definitely would be weird! Reminds me of wondering what it must be like for actors whose family and friends watch movies in which they have a nude scene…awkwaaaaard.
Anyway, thanks for the giveaway! Book’s been on my reading list forever.
Mogsy recently posted…Lootz: Mogsy’s Book Haul
I was so grateful for sex-ed in school, because having the birds and the bees talk with my mom was downright terrifying. LOL Poor authors, having to relive that awkward teenage stage over and over again.
How did you write those sex scenes is a conversation no one wants to have with their mother..LOL I do love action and a good sex scene!
kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Caffeinated’s 3rd Blogoversary “Scavenger Hunt” Giveaway
No one wants to have the ‘talk’, let alone have their mother read about it in vivid detail in their writing. I guess every profession has its weird challenges. Hehe
Awesome post! I just finished writing a rough draft of an UF and the action scenes were the hardest for this very reason. I spent lots of time on YouTube and NetFlix, but these are some great tips for learning about action (although I realize that wasn’t the point of the post lol). Y’all are making the STOMP vs ROMP very hard lately…
Berls recently posted…Should you re-read childhood favorites? | Fun Questions
I didn’t realize that you were taking a crack at writing, Kimberly. Best of luck! 🙂