Fight Write by Carla Hoch: a Review

Do you plan on writing fight scenes? *raises hand*

Do you plan on writing a LOT of fight scenes? *raises both*

So if you raised your hand (or other such limbs) in answer to either of those questions then read. this. book.

This book covers pretty much everything about writing fight scenes, and I think I need a copy for reference (I rented mine from the library).

Fight Write by Carla Hoch covers styles of fighting, punches, kicks, guns, swords, knives, poison, and a lengthy list of household object that can be used as weapons also known as WOOs (weapons of opportunity). (Jason Bourne anyone?)

death by literature


Here are some of my take aways:

  • Yeah punches hurt.
  • Apparently women are more likely to become a serial killer than men are (though there are less women serial killers). I’m not sure what to do with this information.
  • You know fight, flight, and freeze? Well there’s two more: submit and posture.
  • You can wrap a magazine or towel around your arm to shield it from a knife.
  • If you bite it and you die, it’s poison. If it bites you and you die, it’s venom.
  • The smaller you are the more quickly you bleed out (my condolences to all the Hobbits out there).
  • Better to be less technical of what is happening in the fight and describe more of what the character is feeling and thinking.

There’s a LOT in this book, and I highly recommend it as a resource. It also got my brain kicking (kicking? Get it?) and here are two things I have learned about writing fight scenes:

My one big tip for fight scenes/battles/war

Everything depends one who your character is.

How they react to killing, getting injured, or just fighting in general will depend on your character’s personality and their life experience. That’s why some people willingly sign up for war and some run away on the battlefield. Some people may freak out if their thumb is blown off, and some may try and keep firing as their hand is dangling by tendons (these both happened).

Bonus Tip

In the thick of the fight, (due to adrenaline) people don’t always realize they are injured. That’s anything from a stab wound to getting shot. Sometimes the first thing they notice is the feeling of being wet (blood).


UM, who said it gets to be the last day of July???

Summer is racing by and soon the season with the ballet company will start and life will get more hectic than it already is.

I’m almost done with my draft of OWWTSF, and once that’s done I’ll start editing Silver again (which needs a freaking better title. I’m also calling it They Called Her Silver, but I don’t like that either. Please send novel naming tips my way at 300 Every-Name-I-Come-Up-With-Sounds-Stupid Lane.)

I’m also getting my wisdom teeth out next week and consoling myself with two things: the opportunity to eat rice pudding and the fact that I’ll know what being put under feels like because I’m a writer and these things are useful sometimes.

All right, enough of that. Peace out.

AND….what about you? How do you feel about writing fight scenes? Any tips that you live by?

One response to “Fight Write by Carla Hoch: a Review”

  1. […] a lot of good stuff on her website. I also wrote a review about it some time ago, you can read it here. I have feeling I may have just repeated everything I said there but […]


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