Writing Battle Scenes

While description is a good thing, too much description in any scene can cause the reader to become bored. Battle scenes should have even less description. Here’s an example of a battle scene:

Edmund faced off against his opponent. With a cry, they charged towards each other over the rough, dusty ground. Edmund drew his sharp, well-cared-for knife from its delicately tooled leather sheath at his hip, and the opponent took his battered knife from its’ own sheath of similar appearance to Edmund’s, but with black leather. The two reached each-other and began to duel. Edmund’s knife glanced off his opponent’s knife, causing a clinking sound, and the opponent retaliated. Their knives glinted and glittered reflectively in the bright sunlight.

See how much the description takes away from the action? Battle scenes are best written with short, staccato sentences, to convey the frenzied pace. Here’s the same event, but without unnecessary description.

Edmund charged his opponent. Drawing their blades, the two entered into a frenzied snickersnee. Knives flashed in the sun.

Much better!