Monday, July 18, 2011

notes from Readercon talk/demo: Walking Through Mayhem, led by Madeleine Robins

Two lists of questions:

  1. Who is fighting?
  2. Where are they? What is the terrain?
  3. What is the desired outcome?
  1. What is the reason for the fight?
  2. How serious is it? (e.g. Laertes & Hamlet vs Catherine & Petruchio)
In stage combat, the fight is divided into phases (x hits y on left shoulder, y parries,..), and there are 5 basic targets, numbered (left hip, right hip, left shoulder, right shoulder, head..)

  • Balance the panic factor ("I could die!!") with pain ("Ow!")
  • Think about where someone winds up--reels back, turns.
  • If your character is afraid of dying, he will fight dirty
  • Write out all the actions, then edit it down, replacing actions with sensory observations (e.g. bad breath, sweat, pain, cold..) and interior monologue.
  • Be realistic about effects of violence
    • concussion->vomiting, then can't think straight for days
    • after a muscle bruise, fencer won't be able to lift sword
    • it's hard to pull a knife out of a muscle
    • Only the young have the energy and stupidity to not notice how uncomfortable they are.


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