Re: Physical Martial Arts with Techniques

#1
Greetings,

I have nothing against magic, Qi and special skills, but in most novels with those, fights quickly (d)evolve into projecting sword lights at each other and martial arts are just a type of fighting magic. I like those novels too, but I need more novels in my life that have martial arts with discernable movements and fights with actual dodges, parries, counters, where a technique is more than a spell with an effect. I realize those may be rare, as they require the author to have a basic understanding of how martial arts work, but I hope we have some authors here who practice themselves.

I don't mind supernatural aspects and I also don't insist on real world martial arts, what I want is a novel with a feeling of physicality to its fight scenes and an appreciation for martial arts as a system of actually moving the body. Anything to recommend?

Re: Physical Martial Arts with Techniques

#2
I'm not too sure if my fiction counts right now (since it's mostly a comedic slice of life with some cheesy romance and only about two fights so far), but, even though my fiction does have magic, I've tried to focus more on the physical aspect of the fight scenes and convey a sense of spatial awareness of where the characters are. My MC has only really (kind of) been in one fight as of now, but in the next chapter or two, I'm planning on having some more action, and he'll be primarily relying on physical attacks with his sword/throwing knives along with martial arts (if you count punches and kicks) for the fight. Sorry for the shameless self-promoting, but it would make my day if you could check my fiction out and maybe even give me some thoughts about how the current fights are because I do want to include a lot more action soon, and some feedback on my current fight scenes would help me out a lot for writing the ones coming up!

Here's the link: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/20027/the-death-gods-daily-troubles

Re: Physical Martial Arts with Techniques

#4
MagicalDucky Wrote: I'm not too sure if my fiction counts right now (since it's mostly a comedic slice of life with some cheesy romance and only about two fights so far), but, even though my fiction does have magic, I've tried to focus more on the physical aspect of the fight scenes and convey a sense of spatial awareness of where the characters are. My MC has only really (kind of) been in one fight as of now, but in the next chapter or two, I'm planning on having some more action, and he'll be primarily relying on physical attacks with his sword/throwing knives along with martial arts (if you count punches and kicks) for the fight. Sorry for the shameless self-promoting, but it would make my day if you could check my fiction out and maybe even give me some thoughts about how the current fights are because I do want to include a lot more action soon, and some feedback on my current fight scenes would help me out a lot for writing the ones coming up!

Here's the link: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/20027/the-death-gods-daily-troubles

So, I tried this and I'll say this much:
1. I really dislike the whole "physical abuse is funny if its a woman abusing a man" trope. Ky at least complaining about it makes it a little less bad, but he is strong enough to stop it and it's still annoying, even more so since nobody seems to find these constant violent outbursts noteworthy.
2. It is to your credit then, that I still read all the chapters currently online. Mostly because apart from that point, your Tsundere are really cute. Ky being dense most of the time is... let's call it axpected, but it doesn't mesh well whith him acknowledging he knows about Aria's feelings and then going back to assuming she's just having anxiety attacks. Still, it's all rather ador- and enjoyable.
3. As for the fighting, there really was just one fight scene in there up until now and it was against a dragon. The part about Aria freezing its leg to the ground was well done though, it improved the mental image and feeling of physicality dramatically. If you want to improve your fight scenes in general, try to imagine how they look in movie form, then describe them, then trim the detail down to a text that works to create the right feeling without sounding too mechanical. To improve your mental images, research appropriate fighting arts - for western fantasy I recommend some HEMA display videos, such as those by Gladiatores or maybe Adorea Olomouc, and combine those with your obvious anime inspirations. Having a good idea of what the fight looks like makes it easier to avoid fight scenes that don't make sense in a physical space.

I'll follow this for now and see how it develops.

Ghostman Wrote: You can look at The Knockout (Level Up Side Story). There's a system but the fights are more grounded as the story is about a guy aiming to be a MMA star.
 https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/21868/the-knockout-level-up-side-story

That's not bad. The MC's weaknesses are exaggerated in a way that feels mean-spirited instead of comedic and the whole tone is very... American, but the fights overall as well as the MMC's development are decent. As of now the fights are a bit primitive - no wonder considering the "technique" is limited to something like "lvl 17 Punch", but I'll keep watching this.

Re: Physical Martial Arts with Techniques

#5
Partysan Wrote:
MagicalDucky Wrote: I'm not too sure if my fiction counts right now (since it's mostly a comedic slice of life with some cheesy romance and only about two fights so far), but, even though my fiction does have magic, I've tried to focus more on the physical aspect of the fight scenes and convey a sense of spatial awareness of where the characters are. My MC has only really (kind of) been in one fight as of now, but in the next chapter or two, I'm planning on having some more action, and he'll be primarily relying on physical attacks with his sword/throwing knives along with martial arts (if you count punches and kicks) for the fight. Sorry for the shameless self-promoting, but it would make my day if you could check my fiction out and maybe even give me some thoughts about how the current fights are because I do want to include a lot more action soon, and some feedback on my current fight scenes would help me out a lot for writing the ones coming up!

Here's the link: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/20027/the-death-gods-daily-troubles

So, I tried this and I'll say this much:
1. I really dislike the whole "physical abuse is funny if its a woman abusing a man" trope. Ky at least complaining about it makes it a little less bad, but he is strong enough to stop it and it's still annoying, even more so since nobody seems to find these constant violent outbursts noteworthy.
2. It is to your credit then, that I still read all the chapters currently online. Mostly because apart from that point, your Tsundere are really cute. Ky being dense most of the time is... let's call it axpected, but it doesn't mesh well whith him acknowledging he knows about Aria's feelings and then going back to assuming she's just having anxiety attacks. Still, it's all rather ador- and enjoyable.
3. As for the fighting, there really was just one fight scene in there up until now and it was against a dragon. The part about Aria freezing its leg to the ground was well done though, it improved the mental image and feeling of physicality dramatically. If you want to improve your fight scenes in general, try to imagine how they look in movie form, then describe them, then trim the detail down to a text that works to create the right feeling without sounding too mechanical. To improve your mental images, research appropriate fighting arts - for western fantasy I recommend some HEMA display videos, such as those by Gladiatores or maybe Adorea Olomouc, and combine those with your obvious anime inspirations. Having a good idea of what the fight looks like makes it easier to avoid fight scenes that don't make sense in a physical space.

I'll follow this for now and see how it develops.

Ghostman Wrote: You can look at The Knockout (Level Up Side Story). There's a system but the fights are more grounded as the story is about a guy aiming to be a MMA star.
 https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/21868/the-knockout-level-up-side-story

That's not bad. The MC's weaknesses are exaggerated in a way that feels mean-spirited instead of comedic and the whole tone is very... American, but the fights overall as well as the MMC's development are decent. As of now the fights are a bit primitive - no wonder considering the "technique" is limited to something like "lvl 17 Punch", but I'll keep watching this.


Hey, thanks for the feedback! I can see where you're coming from with the whole abuse thing. I initially put it in because it sorta fit in with Aria's character as someone who snaps back at everyone, but I'll be completely honest with you, after the first few times with Aria, Ky's constant physical abuse was always just kind of my easy out to a comedic situation whenever I wrote myself into a corner, and it's definitely something I need to work on.
Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the tsunderes. As for Ky realizing Aria's feelings, the truth is that it's actually a part from chapter 19 that I decided to cut out at the last second because of tone issues in that chapter. The original unedited version of chapter 9 didn't contain that part, and he was just dense without any explanation because my initial plan was to slowly reveal his thoughts about Aria's feelings later on, along with a more in-depth backstory reveal. But since it was quite an emotional scene, after re-reading my earlier chapters to edit in dialogue tags, I decided that the section I cut would fit in better and give Ky's character and actions a bit more depth if it was right after Aria got over Max because it would make sense for him to be thinking about love after witnessing Aria's struggle, so I adjusted it a bit to fit into chapter 9. My intention was to convey that Ky's mindset concerning love is driven by his guilt. The idea is that he believes he doesn't deserve love after what he's done, so his density is due to him normally repressing his feelings and memory as a coping mechanism for the guilt because it's the same way he coped with it before (as evidenced by his previously dull emotions as The Tyrant of Eternal Calamity), which is my new explanation for why he goes right back to being dense and believing Aria is having anxiety attacks later on. However, I don't think I conveyed that very well, so thanks for pointing out your confusion and bringing that to my attention! I'll probably go back and rewrite a bit of that section later to try and get the idea across better.
Lastly, I'm glad you enjoyed the fight scene too. The movie form method you described is basically what I've been doing so far for my fights, and normally I can spatially plan out a whole fight in my head pretty easily, however, the real issue for me is describing it in words since, as you can probably tell by now, I'm not exactly the best descriptive writer... I will definitely be taking your suggestion to do some research on HEMA though, so thanks for that too. I've done a bit of martial arts myself in real life, so I kind of get what's going on in a fight in terms of arms and legs, but as for swords, I probably need some more experience in that regard. Thanks for the feedback and giving my story a try! I'm glad you at least enjoyed some of it and I hope you stick around for a bit! (Sorry about the wall of text btw)

Re: Physical Martial Arts with Techniques

#6
Partysan Wrote: Greetings,

I have nothing against magic, Qi and special skills, but in most novels with those, fights quickly (d)evolve into projecting sword lights at each other and martial arts are just a type of fighting magic. I like those novels too, but I need more novels in my life that have martial arts with discernable movements and fights with actual dodges, parries, counters, where a technique is more than a spell with an effect. I realize those may be rare, as they require the author to have a basic understanding of how martial arts work, but I hope we have some authors here who practice themselves.

I don't mind supernatural aspects and I also don't insist on real world martial arts, what I want is a novel with a feeling of physicality to its fight scenes and an appreciation for martial arts as a system of actually moving the body. Anything to recommend?


I wonder if my novel would fit your requirements. It's set in the real world in a dystopian future, so most fights are done in melee range and no real magic. I also do muay thai, so that's been a huge inspiration in some of the fights too. Though the fights are not as numerous as other novels might be, I hope they're what you're looking for.

Re: Physical Martial Arts with Techniques

#7
@reluctant writer
For some reason your answer isn't displayed in the thread for me, even though I have the notification and it's on your profile, so I'll just answer without a quote: As you've said yourself there isn't much fighting on your story yet. The scene closest to what I asked for was the combat assessment, which I thought was rather well done. It gave a strong impression of the way the combatants fought as well as their attitudes towards fighting, it went into specifics on their manoeuvres where they drove the fight's narrative but didn't lose itself in extraneous detail. The fight scene during the escape in the beginning wasn't quite as focused, but it gave a decent sequence of pictures. Your novel obviously isn't truly martial arts focused (at most one of the recommendations I got truly is), but its fight scenes have so far been of high quality.

As to the novel itself, I appreciate the more serious tone you take with the trope of a person out of time and the amount of research you seem to put into an all-myths-are-true scenario. It seems almost a waste to have given Gaius a modern world's commons sense, considering you would probably have the skill to portray his acclimatisation quite well, but I understand that this isn't something you wanted to focus on and it would likely be quite exhausting to write at a realistic pace.
You're setting up your characters quite well, although the ratio of characters to facts is a bit skewed - like many people who put effort into worldbuilding you have a tendency to infodump. As someone who likes both world and game design and thus enjoys analysing such systems I don't mind as much, but it will diminish your general readership. It would help if you let us spend a bit more time with a few of the characters, by which I mean specifically longer scenes instead of snippets, even if those snippets are well done. Short scenes make it difficult to let characters develop depth and readers develop familiarity. It's a problem I've just recently seen harm eFate, which I had some hopes for.
You might also do well to introduce motivations for your main characters at a point in the near future. Right now, having just been freed and being somewhat directionless in this new world it's perfectly fine for him to be taught and teach, get to know new people and environments, but this will only work for so long. You're still fine, but try to plan out when to introduce new momentum.
I've enjoyed what you've written so far and added your novel to my list of Follows. I'll have to see how well I deal with a religious protagonist in the long run (I have hangups about religion) but so far he's been quite reasonable and the way all religions are kinda-sorta-true in your world makes it much easier to accept. I'm looking forward to more.

Wait, one last thing: Reign in your run-on sentences. Please. You can write long sentences, you can write complex sentences, I don't mind at all. However, sentences, where there's ample opportunity to set a full stop, but it never comes for some reason and there's just main clause upon main clause connected by commas with nary a conjunction in sight make the text harder to read with no upside at all. It's fine if a particular character talks in run-on sentences, but they're unsuited for long narration.


georgebakerson123 Wrote: I wonder if my novel would fit your requirements. It's set in the real world in a dystopian future, so most fights are done in melee range and no real magic. I also do muay thai, so that's been a huge inspiration in some of the fights too. Though the fights are not as numerous as other novels might be, I hope they're what you're looking for.

Sorry for the late answer. I read 10 chapters of your novel and for some reason didn't really feel like going on, and I didn't want to answer until I found out why, because there's nothing ostensibly wrong with your writing. Your fights are actually really good, your world and characters have a high weirdness level but that makes them rather colourful and you have good command of the language. It was when I analysed reluctant writer's novel that I came upon the answer: I think it's a lack of motivation. I have a world in which apparently almost everyone is somehow powerful and not quite human and this guy from the allegedly extinct human race using some kind of high technology joining a weird mage military, going around, training and feeling the atmosphere. At the same time, mysterious people are committing assassinations and impersonations of people I don't know for reasons I'm not privy to. Gin, who I assume is the main character, apparently really wanted to join this organisation, but after 10 chapters I still don't know (or at least can't remember) why. Mystery is all fine and dandy, but I need a reason to care about the answers and I don't really feel it. Maybe I'll come back at some point and read some more, maybe it's just a slow start and gets really good, but it didn't grab me. Sorry.
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