Inspired by the wonderful Kim Chance and her How to Write Fight Scenes video, and I humbly disagree with just one point [BARK! BARK!]. Lots of great tips here.
I LOVE the idea of a battle or fight revealing something about character – fight scenes (probably) need a solid narrative purpose.
There are other solid tips among the ones she gives.
However, the one which I find a problem is Kim’s suggestion to use emotion rather than getting into the nitty-gritty of a fight scene – don’t do a play-by-play of each footfall of the combatant.
I take issue with Tolkien vs Peter Jackson. Yes, Jackson’s a different medium, but wouldn’t you want to have read Tolkien’s description of Legolas bringing down an oliphaunt? That’s action. Don’t you want to read Gimli say afterwards: “That only counts as one” (or whatever the line was relating to the gruesome body-count contest in which the two warriors are partaking against the orcs)?
Show don’t tell. Isn’t that what they always say? Show the tears streaming down the face at a fallen comrade. Don’t say “He was sad.” Again, broadly speaking, surely action vs emotion wins out here too.