Writer's Block

My Words, Your Escape

Richie Billing

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I often see people asking about writing fight scenes, so this week, with axes in hand, I thought we’d battle our way through a quick guide.


There seem to be a few general rules of thumb for writing fight scenes. They are:

  • Blow by blow is boring;

  • Clarity is king;

  • Show v tell.

Let’s look at each in detail.

Blow by blow is boring

blow by blow

“He swung left, then right, dodged a lunging blow from behind, rolled to the right, raised his sword…

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To say I’m hungry and in desperate need of a nap is an understatement.

Day 2 has been off to a sleepy start. I’ve gone to one keynote speaker and one panel, with another keynote and a panel to go. I nearly fell asleep during both- NOT because of the content- so now I’m wandering and chilling just to keep awake. I hope there’s cookies at lunch.

Speaking of lunch.

I am once again sent out into the hallway to the allergy table. I’m creating a sign this year so people don’t look at me funny.

One of the things I love about this is that I sat down to relax, and people just joined in and we’re chatting in our own awkward way. One just got a bite on a pitch, so it was fun getting to celebrate with her.

More later!

After a bit of a rough start with the uncertainty if I was getting a sub for my classes; I am here at the SDSU Writers Conference 2019! It’s thundering and raining, but I love it!

I ADORE this conference, and I feel at home with everyone and learning so much about the industry. It’s entertaining having the extroverted writers encouraging the-mostly- introverted writer to network and mingle.

After a hectic and stressful morning, I’m taking a mental break to just get my bearings and check out this incredible hotel. It’s a Double Tree just minutes from home, so that means I’m on the hunt for cookies.

More to report later- with a reappearance of The Allergy Table- but until then: No Fear!

I was going to start this on New Year’s Day, but that didn’t happen. Everyday I will share with you a favorite film/tv/book/lyric quote and discuss it. Should be fun! This is already hard picking the first one…

Timon: Hey, what’s going on here? Who’s the monkey?!
Nala: (excited) Simba’s gone back to challenge Scar.
Timon: Who?
Nala: Scar.
Pumbaa: Who’s got a scar?
Nala: (shaking head) No no no, it’s his Uncle.
Timon: (suspicious) The monkey’s, his Uncle?
Nala: (losing temper) No! Simba’s gone back to challenge his Uncle to take his place as King…”
(Beat)
Timon/Pumbaa: (realization slowly dawning) Ooooooh…
-The Lion King (1994)

This is my favorite Disney movie, so you’ll see quotes show up here a lot.
This is a favorite quote of mine because of the rapid dialogue and it’s a nice little bit of comedy right after such an emotional scene. It’s also a great interaction between the character types of the Hero’s Journey (love interest, comedic relief/friend, and guide). While I love the rapid bantering, my favorite part is that this is a complete set up for the twist on the saying “A monkey’s Uncle,” that was said by Scar earlier in the film. If anyone is studying how to write comedy for film/tv, this is a perfect example to study on not only how to set up a joke with a fantastic kick at the end, and also at the running joke. Many comedy shows/films today overuse the running joke, but this film perfectly balances it while giving each use its own identity. This joke has a perfect sparkle at the end with a touch of reaction from the comedic relief that acts as a release to help with the transition between scenes. It’s a brilliant little scene that many people overlook, but it’s a fantastic scene to study for detail and a simple yet perfect joke setup.