- Who is fighting?
- Where are they? What is the terrain?
- What is the desired outcome?
- What is the reason for the fight?
- 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.