“Do you have
any advice on writing fight scenes? The type of scene I’m writing is mostly
hand to hand combat between two experts. I’m definitely not an expert so when I
try to write it, the scene ends up sounding repetitive and dull.”
Fore note: This post is coauthored by myself and one of my amazing critique partners, Barik S. Smith, who both writes fantastic fight scenes and teaches mixed martial arts, various artistic martial arts, and weapons classes.
I (Bryn) will tell you a secret: I trained MMA for
seven years, and when I write authentic hand to hand fight scenes, they sound
The problem with fight scenes in books is that
trying to describe each punch and kick and movement (especially if it’s the
only thing you’re describing) creates a fight that feels like it’s in slow
center of gravity, she held her right hand tight to her face and threw a jab
towards his chin. He shifted his weight, ducking under her punch. His hair
brushed against her fist, and he stepped forward, launching a shovel hook into
her exposed side.
But your brain can only read so fast. In real
life that series of events would take an instant, but I needed a full eight
seconds to read and comprehend it, which gave it an inherent lethargic feel.
So, we have two primary problems:
How do we describe this fight in a way the reader can understand
and keep track of?
How do we maintain a fast paced, interesting fight once we’ve
broken down the fight far enough for readers to understand it?
(We will get back to these, I promise.) But
for now, let’s look at…
Radioactivepeasant Presents: That one time I did something really stupid
Senior year of college, finals week.
I have been surviving on 4 hours of sleep a night, holding myself together with black tea and raw spinach and a handful of vitamins, so you’ll have to forgive me if my judgment was a little off.
I’m studying for a test while simultaneously packing up my room to get ready for Move Out Day, and it’s somewhere between 12:00 and 2:00 am. (Once the sun went down, time lost all meaning to me.)
Basically everyone else is in their rooms either asleep or otherwise observing Quiet Hours, and I’m here with a giant mug of tea and all the lights on, studying for an ethics exam. Just as I start to pack up my things and turn off the lights, the most incredible racket starts up.
Every car in the isolated back parking lot was setting off their alarms somehow. I lived in the part of the building facing that lot: I wouldn’t be sleeping until they turned off.
This was the third night in a row where it had happened, and I was already sleep-deprived. I did something stupid.
In my pajamas, I threw on a pair of boots and grabbed a thin bamboo staff I kept in my room as a walking stick. Then, keys in hand, I marched out to the parking lot at somewhere around midnight. I don’t know what I was planning on doing once I got there.
This was a stupid plan for 4 reasons.
1. I had no way of shutting off the alarms.
2. The campus was situated in a rough neighborhood, and nobody was allowed to go walking alone at night for that reason.
3. There was a rout of coyotes on campus that were crazy or desperate enough to attack a moving pickup truck.
4. The coyotes weren’t the only predatory animals spotted on campus. There is also a bobcat and at least two bears.
So here I am in my pajamas, wielding a bamboo stick like a staff, and walking around the parking lot. Most of the cars have stopped their alarms by now and I’m walking around and whacking the stick loudly on the ground. The thought was, anything there would know I was coming and I wouldn’t surprise anyone.
Well this absolutely terrified rabbit goes tearing past me as I’m looking under all the cars and that should’ve been my first clue that I needed to go inside Right Then.
Suddenly I hear this noise, and it was like nothing I’d ever heard before. I can only describe it as sounding like metal dragged across concrete, but it was an organic sound. All the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and for the first time it occurs to me that I’m doing something really stupid.
Deciding that discretion is the better part of valor, I retreat inside and, on a whim, look up the sounds big cats make.
Yeah. There’d been a bobcat less than ten yards away from me.
And that is how I met The Incredible Mr. Whiskers, our dorm’s terrifying unofficial mascot.
It was one of those days. You were used to cleaning and scrubbing the windows, shelves and floors but it was the fact that you were practically the only one doing it. Well, that was half true. All of your friends were ordered to clean as well, but you were the only one actually doing any of the work. You were stood by one of the windows in your cleaning uniform concentrating on the work you were asked to do. Your friends, however, were just stood chatting to each other.
The sound of angry, raised voices came from a pair of boys: Eren and Jean, nothing new. Mikasa watched them closely, she didn’t mind raised voices but if any contact was involved she would be there in the blink of an eye. Another sound distracted you from them, it was Sasha and Connie making karate noises again. They moved their limbs around slowly, occasionally swinging at the other. The feather dusters they had were used instead of real fighting equipment. They were your friends and you appreciated that they were having fun but you would rather they helped out a little. The only person that seemed to be doing work was Armin, though he had to stop once Jean and Eren started arguing.
You began to worry that you would all be punished for not doing the work so you decided to speak up, “um… Guys?” Your quiet voice only just managed to make it’s way through the other voices. Everyone except Sasha and Connie turned their attention to you. “Maybe we should get back to cleaning. Captain Levi won’t be pleased if it’s not up to his standard.”
“I suppose you’re right, [F/N]. But I want to finish dealing with this joker first.” Jean looked back at Eren with an angry expression. Eren immediately drew his attention to him, “Hey who are you calling a joker?” He took hold of Jean’s collar which made Jean do the same to him.
“Guys! You got to stop fighting.” Armin’s worried voice was almost drowned out by the squabbling.
This was the point at which Mikasa began to separate the two of them.
Something drew Armin’s attention to the door and a look of worry grew on his features, “Guys I can hear someone coming.”
“Huh?” The two males stopped speaking and tried to listen out, but Connie and Sasha were still making those karate noises.
“Quiet you two!” The noises stopped suddenly and everything was silent… Except for the tapping of footsteps becoming louder. “Damnit, Armin’s right!”
Everyone ran to the nearest area and attempted to make it look like they had been cleaning all this time. You had kept yourself by the window you had been cleaning before.
The door swung open, each one of you expected it to be Levi on the other side of the door so you braced yourselves for the worst… But instead of Levi entering, squad leader Mike strolled passed all of you. Once he was gone you could see and feel the tension in the room drop completely. “Thank Maria… I thought it was going to be Captain shortie.” Jean huffed.
Suddenly, the door swung open again, this time it was Levi. Speak of the devil and he shall appear. Everyone began cleaning again, knowing that if it looked like they hadn’t been doing so they would most likely be forced to do laps.
“Get back to work, brats.” Levi’s voice was as deep as always, it sent a chill up your spine. He began to examine the room; looking for any speck of dust he could find to make you all have a punishment. He started at Jean and Eren’s spots, making his way around the room. Running his finger over every surface and rubbing his forefinger and thumb together whenever he found something he wasn’t pleased with. He would say nothing apart from “Tch” and “Filthy”.
It didn’t take long for him to come across to the windows you were tasked with cleaning. You kept your head down as he walked passed you, feeling his eyes bury into your body. It didn’t really help that you were rather attracted to the short man. Well, who in the survey corps wasn’t?
He ran his finger over the window you had just been cleaning, but he didn’t feel the need to rub his finger and thumb together. You lifted your head to see what was going on but looked away again once you saw his silver eyes on you once again.
Levi shifted his body so he was facing everyone, “Are you all seriously expecting me to think that you cleaned this place?”
“30 laps, all of you, now. And don’t think you can get out of it, I have your uniforms in my office so you can’t change back.”
You and your friends began to make your way to the door, until Levi spoke again, “Except [F/N], it seems you were the only one who obeyed me and actually cleaned. You can change into your uniform.”
You felt a small wave of happiness, knowing that your hard work had paid off. But you still felt a little bad for your friends. You gave them a small smile before heading to your room to change.
You looked around for your uniform in every corner of you room, but they were still nowhere to be seen. Why now? Where the heck could they-
Levi had taken everyone’s uniforms into his office, yours obviously with them. Felling a little stupid, you started making your way to Levi’s office through the corridor. On the way you passed Mike again. You didn’t make eye-contact with him, it was like awkwardly passing teachers in the hallway when you were meant to be in class.
It wasn’t long before you found yourself just outside Levi’s office; feeling a little hezitant, you quietly knocked.
“Who is it?” Levi’s low voice echoed.
“It-it’s [F/N] [L/N], sir.”
Levi opened the door and saw that you were still in your cleaning clothes, “I thought I told you to change?”
“I know sir, but I can’t find my uniform… I-I think it was with everyone else’s uniforms. Would it be alright if I fetched them?
Levi was silent for a moment… "Tch. I gave them to someone to wash and they won’t be done for a while.”
Your heart sank. This cleaning uniform was already uncomfortable and now you had to wear it even longer. “Oh… I see, thank you anywa-”
“Come inside. I’ll get a spare set of my own uniform, you can wear that.” He lead you in before going through another door at the other side of the room.
You felt very strange. You didn’t really want to wear his clothing but you thought it would be rude to refuse the offer. The door behind you was shut and Levi had left you in his office alone so you weren’t quite sure what to do with yourself. In front of you was Levi’s desk, as always it was the cleanest desk you had seen, but something caught your eye. Whatever Levi had been writing before you had knocked seemed to have your name on it. Leaning over his desk, you tried to get a loser look. However, he had placed a blank piece of paper over it, as if trying to hide it and the more you leaned over you could see scrunched up pieces of paper scattered by his chair.
This was odd behaviour for Levi and you knew that perfectly well. A noise drew your attention to the side, seeing a clearly unimpressed Levi standing with his arms locked over his chest. Immediately, you returned back to a normal standing position with a light shade of pink on your cheeks.
“Tch. Go and get changed, brat, and wear everything I put out for you.”
You did as he said and entered the room he just came from. What did he mean by everything? What you didn’t realise was that this room was actually Levi’s bedroom, and as expected it was the cleanest bedroom in the whole place. On his bed was a very neatly folded set of uniform.
It didn’t take too long to put the uniform on but his shirt was very tight, specifically around the chest area. You tugged and pulled on the shirt, trying your best to cover yourself up but you knew it was no use. When you looked back at the bed you saw one last piece of clothing: a cravat.
“So that’s what he meant.” you said with a hint of relief in your tone.
The only problem was that you had no idea how to tie it… You tried and tried but every time it just turned out to be a mess. Though you didn’t want to, you knew that all you could do was go out as the way you were.
When you exited Levi’s bedroom you were still desperately trying to tie the cravat, or at least make it presentable. He turned his head to face you, but what you didn’t see was the look he gave you in that uniform. He didn’t expect the shirt to be that tight.
You had been struggling with the cravat for a while and it was still a complete mess.
Levi stood from his chair and carefully came to aid you. He removed your hands from the white material before tying it correctly. As he did this you were looking straight into his deep, concentrating eyes. But what you didn’t realise is that he was holding his breath.
Your cheeks suddenly turned red once he caught you staring and you looked away to try and hide it.
“Done.” was all he decided to say before returning to his desk.
“Th-thank you sir…” you quickly made your way to the door with your hands still covering your chest, you were about to leave until you heard Levi’s voice again.
“[F/N], it’s not a good idea to walk around like that. Just stay here until your uniform has dried.”
You gave a sheepish nod before taking a seat on the sofa by the door. You kept your head down and stared at your feet.
“You are allowed to talk you know,” Levi said without removing his eyes from his work, “you never seem to speak when I’m around.”
“Oh… well, I suppose I never really know what to say.” you felt a little guilty, maybe he thought you didn’t like him?
“Then write it down.” you lifted your head to see him looking straight at you, “If you can’t say or show it then write it.” you weren’t really sure what he meant so you gave him a little look of confusion.
A sigh escaped his lips. “I’ll give you an example…” he picked up a folded piece of paper and began to stand. “Let’s say that someone looks stoic, emotionless and cold. They may even act that way towards someone that they’ve known for a while now. But this person feels differently about that someone compared to everyone else.” His feet slowly began to guide him towards you. “That person desperately wants to tell that ‘someone’ how they feel but they don’t know how to say it or how they are going to react.” he stopped directly in front of you. You looked up at him and saw a strange softness in his gaze, it gave you a strange feeling in your stomach.
“Maybe the only way they can tell them is by writing it down.” he held out the folded paper to you and you nervously took it from his hands, your cheeks were now red and you could feel your heart racing.
Levi took a seat next to you as you began to unfold the paper. There were only four words written on it but that one sentence left your whole face red and heart beating furiously inside your chest.
“I never knew how to tell you but I guess I can say it now.” you turned your attention to him so he could finish. “[F/N], I love you.”
You covered your mouth with your hands and the small piece of paper, unable to say anything. Levi wrapped his arms around you and pulled you into a tight hug, you wasted no time in doing the same to him..
“I’ve always loved you and I will continue to, [F/N]”
You pulled away slightly so you could look into his eyes again. Suddenly, you felt yourself move your face towards his and before you knew it your lips were touching.
When you pulled away you saw slight surprise in his eyes which made you giggle, “I didn’t know what to say and there wasn’t a pen nearby.”
So, what if aliens are under the reasonable belief that combat in space is impractical and that no one but desperate idiots would even bother. But humans carry more fuel than they need and insist on having at least basic weaponry on board with mandatory combat training, all under the guise of “just in case.” The galactic community thinks the humans are just wasting their resources, but don’t bother stopping them if they are so insistent on dooming their race to extinction. Then one day human pirates, either trying to prove a point or are the “desperate idiots,” attack an unprotected alien ship and most of the alien crew is lost, with the rest being successfully held ransom. Word of this event spreads and a surge of piracy by multiple species occurs. This causes a galactic incident when the ambassadors of 3 different species are killed during a raid. After this event, all of the aliens start requiring human countermeasures. The rate of piracy decreases, but it never truly goes away.
I’d like to open this up for what might end up being a very delicate discussion, so if you join in, I’m going to ask you to do so with respect, but I have very mixed emotions about the direction they went with Ressler last night.
For quite a while now I’ve thought that the Hitchin story line was going to boil to a dangerous place. There’ve been various theories about how far it’d go, and let me be clear, I’m really not distressed over the fact that Ress killed her. What has me tilting my head and pondering right now was how it happened.
She has taunted him from the get-go, flaunting with gusto that she not
only can but will use her power to do whatever the hell she pleases. I believe there are many reasons why this weighs on Ressler. A lot of it has to do with his father. Laurel was Reven’s Tommy Markin. They were friends and Hitchin killed her in cold blood and got away with it. Not only that, but Ressler put his trust in Hitchin (in the system) and it just about got Liz killed. For a man that believes so strongly in doing what’s right, that complicates his worldview tremendously.
When Red and Ress walked into her office to make their deal and Hitchin said that she wanted Ressler’s word, because “Boy Scouts don’t give up their Merritt Badges easily” I was hoping he’d lie. I joked about him inching into the grey in that fashion, but then he backhanded her and I just sat there staring at my TV screen.
Once again, I really don’t have a problem with Ressler killing Laurel Hitchin. She was a terrible woman with her claws so deep into power that getting her out in a legal fashion was going to be next to impossible, especially after Ressler made the sacrifice that he did by giving over the slug that killed Reven to help save his team (which is huge on his part, in my opinion). I find the way that she died to be an… interesting choice, especially given the fact that Ressler has canonically stated his feelings about a man “laying a hand” on a women (and for those that might, please do not start that debate on this thread. I’m just referencing it because it’s relevant here).
He didn’t intend to kill her. Out of anger he turned around, backhanded her, and she hit her head on her way down. I almost would have preferred if he had simply pulled his gun and shot her.
I don’t know what this means for Ress. The fact that it was him and not anyone else that this happened to sets him further into the grey than I expected him to go that quickly. I’d love to know how others feel about it, because I love Ress, and while I’m all for the character growth taking him where it needs to take him (because, let’s face it, no one survives in the Blacklist world if they hold onto their black and white worldview too long), this move by the writing team seems very intentional and I’m trying to wrap my mind around it. They’re good. They’re better than good, so I imagine that there’s going to be some deep soul searching for Ressler next season, but I’d love to know your thoughts.
Keith was busy cleaning out the fire place when his dad grabbed him by the hair and shoved his face into the piles of ash causing the boy’s already damaged lungs to get a gasp full of ash.
He coughed and spluttered praying desperately a asthma attack wouldn’t be triggered.
“What to know what I hear at the pub?” Jonathan hissed pulling Keith’s face close to his own. “Some do gooder teacher decided to try and tell me how to be a parent. Said I should keep a better eye on you” he pulled upwards so the boy had to stand on his tip toes to lessen the pain of his hair being pulled. “What you been saying Runt!”
“N-nothing dad I swear!” Keith didn’t try to struggle.
“Ya swear do ya! You ungrateful little lying twerp! I’ll teach you a lesson! Wash your sins away!” Jonathan screamed pulling his son by the hair outside.
“No dad please! I didn’t say anything I didn’t say anything! Please no!“Keith screamed in vain.
The boy couldn’t do anything to stop his dad dragging him outside to the little pond covered in a thin layer of ice thanks to the cold winter night.
He couldn’t do anything as his head was smashed through the ice and held under as he frantically scrambled to try and get up.
"Repent! REPENT FOR YOUR SINS YOU LYING MONSTER! ADMIT YOU LIED TO YOUR TEACHER! ADMIT YOU LIED TO ME!” He screamed only letting Keith breath once the fighting stopped.
He repeated this process over and over again. Eventually getting bored and leaving Keith curled up alone in the snow for the rest of the night.
“Keith come here” Jonathan called from the attic.
Keith flinched at the use of his name but did as he was told climbing the rungs of the ladder until he was roughly grabbed by the scruff of his neck and pulled the rest of the way. He had no time to react as he was chained down on a table with his dad smiling down madly at him.
“I can bring her back. Get my wife back” he mumbled over and over again.
“D-dad?” Keith asked eyes wide at the sight of the large knife in his dad’s hand, he didn’t even notice the werid amulate in his other hand.
“Shhh, It will be over soon.” He stroked Keith’s hair.
The kindest gesture he had ever shown the boy since the death of his mother. “I forgive you, now that I’ll get my wife back. You being born, your mistake will be fixed”
Keith didn’t understand his words but he didn’t need to.
Next thing he knew was pain as the knife was driven through his heart and he died.
Everything was quiet and peaceful. He drifted between the veil of life and death when he heard the voice.
“My Vessal.” It was like millions of voices spoke at once “what do you seek? Power? Revenge? Immortality?”
Keith could see a small purple fire burning in front of him. Compelling him to take the offered power.
“N-no!” Keith cried drawing away from the temptation “I just want to be safe for once in my life!”
The voice made a sound of alarm “impossible!”
The purple fire grew turning a dark blood red, becoming part of Keith.
The last thing he heard was the voice cursing the son of a demon before fading away.
When Keith woke up he was alone and standing in a pit of ash covered in blood only a few feet away from the charred remains of his dad.
@secretfurrdragon asked: Was Jensen their for the birth and Was it an easy birth or dramatic?
@percywinchester27 asked: The second baby’s birth!! Yes!! That’s my third request… I wanna know whether Jensen was there or not! Please?
@atc74 asked: OMG Kari! Can you please tell us ALL about the birth of baby #2? Thank you so much!
Pairing: Jensen x Reader
Warnings: pregnancy, birth of a child (not super graphic), a very stubborn pregnant woman, shifting povs
Word Count: 1628 (yeah yeah not a drabble but does that surprise you anymore :P)
A/N: So this is me trying to get over my writer’s block by writing what I enjoy the most. I love these characters and this universe and I am very grateful to all who has stuck with me from the LWR series and who are still reading the drabbles. I love you all!
This couldn’t be happening. Not today of all days. You had two almost three weeks left left of your pregnancy, so you hadn’t even thought twice about Jensen being away on set for a few days. Not just on set, in the middle of the woods to film one of the most intense episodes of the season.
The day had started out normal, granted you had felt a few braxton hicks contractions this morning getting Becca ready for school, but that was not irregular. Jensen always worried about them, but you had been through this before so you knew that was just what the third trimester was like. For you at least.
Now you were in the bathroom, trying to clean yourself up, desperately fighting a panic attack after your water had broken whilst you were rearranging things in the nursery. You had tried calling Jensen right away but the call didn’t even go through. Misha had been your next try, knowing he had stayed in Vancouver, more or less on Jensen’s orders. Misha being near by in case you needed anything was the only way Jensen had been willing leave you and Becca alone for three days. You had made fun of him then but right now you were more than grateful for his overprotectiveness. Tears were streaming down your cheeks, praying that Misha would pick up as you listened to the dial tone.
Stunning. Beautiful. Dazzling. All these things are Olivia to a tee. So imagine that but with the extra razzle dazzle of a special costume and you get Performer Olivia. Performer Olivia is currently the only colourless dancer in the game, both a blessing and a curse. She can’t fulfil the role of a colour tank like most other dancers, but she can fulfil a bunch of niches and is arguably the best dagger unit in the game, just for dance alone. Still the other dancers on the banner have the advantage of not being in colourless hell so there’s that….
Olivia comes with the dancers fan, a weapon which has the same might as silver daggers and the same debuff but also heals adjacent allies for 7hp. Its fairly decent if you don’t want to replace it, and helps her do her support role, though you’ll have to choose between the debuff/heal or the dance and normally the dance is the better option. Dance of course is op as anything in this game ALWAYS KEEP THIS SKILL. Distant defence is actually incredible for her. With base 28 resistance she goes up to 34 with this which is enough to live a +atk death blow Reinhardt without horse buffs. Plus it also patches her defence somewhat. Finally there’s blaze dance. This skill is very mixed in terms of how useful it is. On one hand giving danced unit +4 attack is great and makes dancers better, but the fact dancer almost always want wings of mercy makes it hard to argue especially when you could use it as a hone, and have it for both turns. It’s still usable though.
To round of her base kit, moonbow or Luna are her best specials as they are quick and do extra damage which is all she wants. In her C slot anything will do but ideally a hone is great. Hone speed with Blaze dance gives +4atk and +4 speed to a unit potentially so it is worth considering.
Dancers fan +, Dance, Moonbow/Luna
Slot A = Darting/death blow3 / Swift sparrow 2/Fury 3/Distant defence 3
Slot B = Wings of mercy 3, Blaze dance 3, wind/water sweep 3
Slot C = Breath of life 3, any c skill
A set designed to optimise Olivia’s healing capabilities. With the breath of life sacred seal she can heal her audience for 17 hp, Essentially letting her be a healer and a dancer, and a dagger user is a great combo. Her A slot is the most open slot as what you run depends on you. Ideally upgrading her attack and speed further are the best options, so the blow skills are good options, while fury 3 provides a overall boost of 3 to every stat helping her defences as well, and does allow for iceberg to be used if her res is untouched or increased by ivs. Distant defence is a cheap but very viable option as well. In her B slot Wings of mercy is the premium dancer skill, but blaze dance is an option though if use you may want to give up breath of life for a hone skill. Finally Wind or water sweep is a interesting choice if +speed as with darting blow you can reach 42 speed enough to ensure no counters against most of the cast and can let you safely heal, though you give up wings of mercy for this option.
Assassin of the opera
Poison dagger +, Dance, Moonbow/Luna
Slot A = Life and death 3
Slot B = Wings of mercy 3, Desperation 3
Slot C = Hone attack or speed, or any c skill
So if you don’t fancy healing support, Olivia can become a infantry destroyer with Poison dagger. While her base attack sits at 28 and will only be 33 with the weapon, that goes to 38 with life and death, while her speed goes to 39. While not as good as what Kagero can achieve dance means she fills these two roles in one, and allows her to gain a large amount of Kos on infantry units. Mind you, you’ve still got ivs to take in and those make her better. While she loses her amazing res, her speed increase saves her from doubles she’d normally face. Wings of mercy again is the optimal skill for support but desperation could be used if you want pure offence. Finally ideally a hone is great for her but any C skill will do.
TN – This is the part that was released on the Bleach/Jump+ app a few weeks ago, it’s very long over 9000 words. Also be warned - Liltotto’s potty mouth, if that kind of thing bothers you…
6 months since the Protection of the Soul King Great War.
Even in Hueco Mundo, the world of the Hollows headed by the Arrancar, a gradual change is occurring.
After the Arrancar hunt by the Quincy of the Wandenreich came to an end, powerful Arrancar such as Harribel and Grimmjow had disappeared, a new period of civil unrest was about to be ushered in.
However, as Nelliel, whose whereabouts had been unknown thus far, suddenly returned accompanied by Harribel, the ambitions of the Arrancar and Vasto Lorde class Menos Grande were instantly met with disappointment, and they retreated back to their respective colonies as a result.
Several Arrancar launched surprise attacks on Nelliel and Harribel thinking “surely they’re exhausted now”, however most of them were beaten at their own game, and even those who had managed to escape were sent sinking to the ground unlucky enough to bump into Grimmjow who was in a foul mood.
In a corner of Hueco Mundo which was in the gradual process of restoring its peace from such a ‘return of the leader’, a man wearing a mask resembling a bull’s skull released a sigh.