ABOUT CARL ALVES
Carl went to Boston University majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Carl graduated with a BS degree, and has since worked in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. He later graduated from Lehigh University with an MBA degree.
His debut novel “Two For Eternity” was released in 2011 by Weaving Dreams Publishing. His novel “Blood Street” will be published by True Grit Publishing in November, 2012. His short fiction has appeared in various publications such as Sinister City, Alien Skin and Glassfire Anthology. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and has attended the Penn Writers Conference.
You can visit his website at www.carlalves.com.
One of the most enjoyable types of scenes for me to write is a nice well-crafted fight scene, something I don’t find too often in fiction. I think this stems from writers taking their cues from movies, which forever have had dreadful, unrealistic fight scenes. It’s so rare to watch a believable fight in a movie that the few good ones really stand out.
So if you can’t use movies as a guideline, and you don’t have any interest in risking your life by getting into a street fight or going to your local bar or pub and mixing it up with the locals, what is a writer to do? The best thing is to use one of the most valuable tools a writer has, and that is to observe. By observing real life fights, certain things become readily apparent. One is that a typical street fight will not last very long. That’s not to say that you might not want to have a flair for the dramatic and make it go a bit longer, but a street fight that lasts for more than a few minutes is a rare event. It’s not a boxing match, after all.
Another thing a writer needs to do is get the terms correct. I cringe every time I see someone write a fight scene and have one of the combatants use a karate chop. That’s not a technique that has any relevance in a real fight and is a sign that the writer doesn’t actually know what they’re writing about. If the combatant is throwing a kick, is it a front kick, a roundhouse kick, a hook kick, etc.? These various kicks are used for different purposes, and have different effects on the opponent receiving a kick. Same thing with punches. Not all punches are created equal. A straight jab is used a range finder that lands quickly, but won’t necessarily do much damage. An uppercut is effective in close. A hook takes a long time to land, and it wouldn’t make sense for the combatant to use that type of punch right away, or if they do, their opponent will have an opportunity to easily avoid the punch.
The next thing to focus on is the reaction to offensive maneuvers. If a person is getting punched and the next thing that happens is that they are flying across the room, you can be reasonably certain the writer has no clue what they’re writing about. If a combatant had enough force to punch someone and have them fly across the room, then they would kill their opponent with a single punch. Having said that, if your fight involves individuals with supernatural qualities, then that gives the writer some more latitude. But even in these cases, I would strongly suggest coming up with rules governing these abilities and stick to them in a realistic manner when writing these fight scenes.
So where does the aspiring writer go to if they need to observe fights and they don’t hang around rough neighborhoods? Well, Youtube is a great source for seeing street fights. Conversely, professional mixed martial arts bouts are the way to go if your using more skilled fighters, since this is the closest thing to a street fight that occurs in a regulated environment with trained athletes.
ABOUT TWO FOR ETERNITY
From ancient Egypt and Babylon, through the time of Christ in Judea, spanning the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and through World War II, Raiken and Vrag engage in inhuman battles of will. Vrag pulls the strings of malevolent leaders, and causes endless destruction and chaos. His immortal counterpart and enemy, Raiken, defends humanity and opposes him at every turn.
The stakes have never been higher, as Vrag sets his sights on the destruction of society. The twin brothers battle one last time to settle their score for eternity.