1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

How do you write fight scenes involving wind magic?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by DassaultMirage, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. DassaultMirage

    DassaultMirage Minstrel

    Here is what I'm going through.

    The main character found out that his real father, who left him and his brother when he was nine, was, after twists and turns in the story, locked in battle against the man that adopted him and his brother. Hence, it was a fight between his two fathers. The main character is double-crossing the Holy Alliance that wanted to establish a New World Order, of which his real father is a proud part of.

    The real father was a general from the Kingdom of Royal Skies, and he was your usual stoic dad with a soft spot for his kids, that under the circumstances, would not show. His wind magic would be top notch. He would not rise to the ranks had it not been so. He was internally troubled of course, seeing his own offspring going against his lifelong desire of the new world order.

    The foster father was a cook who fought in the underground battles with his earth magic. He adopted the main character and his brother for no other reason than his innate kindness, and they lived a normal family life under a single parent for nine more years. The foster father's magic would be very informal and weak compared to that of the well-trained general. He was troubled as well, unsure if it was right to convince his adopted son to go against his real father.

    The main character is a Damocles, blessed by my version of angels to be one of those who would "check the power of kings". He wielded a plethora of water spells that were more than a match for his real father. During this battle however, his three unconscious friends and thirteen unconscious allied wolves were littered all over the battlefield. His strategic-level wide area of effect magic which he believed would do his friends further harm, and of course seeing his two fathers slugged it out in front of him, rendered him immobile, reduced to talking his real father to take him instead and let his foster father live.

    I want a short fight scene between the two fathers, and just as the foster father was at sword point, one of the MC's unconscious friends would be able to sneak behind the general and plant a sword in his gut, ending the fight. Of course the real father was aware that he would be stabbed, making sure the sword would miss any vital organs and that the only thing it would do was not have anymore participation in the war so as not to go against his son and not help him as well.

    My problems are:

    1) I have never written a fight scene involving wind magic. It's so fast paced compared to the other elements.
    2) Three characters with three brewing emotions inside of them were involved. I could not layer it effectively at the moment
    3) Is it even possible to get stabbed in the gut without hitting vital organs?
    4) Is it even right to choose the foster father over the real father? Won't it make the MC an ungrateful dick?
    5) I ain't a father. I don't know what a father would feel when he would fight his son's other father.

    I would appreciate any suggestions as to just how I would tackle this part in my story.
  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Hmmm...first off, just what is wind magic capable of? Localized tornado's? Toxic clouds?
  3. DassaultMirage

    DassaultMirage Minstrel

    Mainstream wind magic reminiscent of Aang's from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  4. Spider

    Spider Sage

    I think you should write about how the real Father manipulates the wind currents (or however else the wind magic works), keep the pace fast, and describe how the magic impacts his opponent during the fight. Is he mainly using the wind magic offensively or defensively? Is it used more to distract the foster father so he can strike with his sword, or is he using the wind magic as his primary weapon during the fight?

    I'd say yes. The real father did leave the boys when they were at a young age, and it was the foster father who took them in and showed them kindness. It seems to me like the foster father is more fatherly than than the real one.

    I'm not a father either, but I would guess that the real father may feel jealous that his son chose his foster father over him. This jealousy could fuel his desire to defeat the foster father, but later, he may feel remorse as he realizes that it pains his son to see both his fathers fighting.
    DassaultMirage likes this.
  5. Mara Edgerton

    Mara Edgerton Troubadour

    Who is the POV character for this scene? While it's good for you to know, as the writer, what's happening everywhere, the reader will only see the battle from this character's viewpoint--and will only know what this one character is thinking and feeling.

    This character won't see the whole battle and won't know (except by guessing or reading faces) what other characters are feeling. So if your MC is the viewpoint character, remember he won't know exactly what either of his fathers are thinking, which makes it easier for you to deal with #3 and #5.

    Narrowing your focus can be a good thing. Thinking about what this one character is seeing, doing and feeling--as opposed to what's happening with everyone on the whole battlefield--may make it easier to write this scene.

    Even if you are dividing this battle into scenes, each with a different viewpoint character (say three scenes: one for the MC and one for each father), you might still find it easier to approach if you just think through what the viewpoint character sees, does and feels in each given scene.

    As for #3--the question, I think, is can you make your readers believe that this man planned to be stabbed in the gut and knew he would survive? By all means, talk to a medical professional to get a handle on the real life odds, but perhaps he has something special up his sleeve.

    Regarding #4--I think you can sell the character choosing either of his fathers. I suspect most readers will root for him to choose the better man (which seems to be the foster father) but will understand either choice.

    Regarding #5--I think this comes back to the POV. How does the POV character for the scene see or feel the wind magic manifest? That's the important question.

    Hope this helps!
  6. Addison

    Addison Auror

    In my so far experience I have found it tricky to incorporate magic into battles. Writing any battle scene is tricky, whether it's with fists, dishes, knives or a gun. But magic is different because it's not really a part of our everyday world. We don't walk through the parking lot, see two guys in an arguement in time to see one guy pull out a wand and curse the other, and possibly the victim to retaliate with a fire ball.

    We can imagine and write regular battles because they happen and with an element the reader is familiar with so when they read it they don't have to strain or puzzle because, in the back of the head, a little voices says, "Oh a steak knife I know what those look like. This is gonna hurt."

    But as tricky as it may be it's still fun. A great chance for you and your imagination to go nuts! Whether the battle is with wands, ring-powered-fists, magic lymerics or even long distance as the two throw spells together in their cauldrons while still receiving spells from their enemy. I think the thing is to find an element in the battle, under the magic, that connects with reality. A wand could be a substitute for a knife or a stick (think like a six year old) or a sword. Fists are just fists. Incantations are flowery magical decorations at two people bad mouthing the other. Cauldrons, if you use it, could be one person mixing noxious fumes in the kitchen while the other and turning up the volume and base in their music.

    So to go over the questions:
    1) All battle scenes should be fast paced. Otherwise no one would be interested in a fight. If you think it's going too fast then either make the paragraphs a little longer and/or combine two sentences. As for the wind magic itself it depends on how it's called. By wand, music, words, dance what? Maybe, as the son is watching and is also magic, you could have him feel the power building with each move as his father calls the next attack.

    2.) So is it three characters have three brewing emotions each? Or each one has a different one? Either way I'd go for one of two, or both, of these. First they banter, they fight, fight and banter mix, then they screw the banter and really lay it out. Or there's "Actions speak louder than words". Think about it, which would piss of the loyal father who really raised and loved your hero? The other father attacking him or attacking one of the friends? This would not only piss off the first father it would have him call forth his more powerful spells.

    3.)I believe it is. It depends on the size (width) of the blade, where it stabs exactly and at what angle.

    4.) There is no right or wrong with this. It depends on the hero and who he really loves the most. Blood doesn't make a family, it's heart, feelings.

    5.) I'm not a father either. But I am a big sister and the victim of parents with a rather bumpy divorce. If you're referring to how the blood father would feel about fighting the foster father, he'd feel a little bad as the man has raised and taken care of the children, but then he won't feel that bad as the other is not blood related and he feels that his children don't care for the guy at all. Which could make your hero's stopping his final blow a better shock.

    I hope this helped. Good luck with your story, it sounds exciting.
  7. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    I'll concentrate on the magic (I've written a couple of wind-magic battles myself):

    I always think of air, water, and earth as basically similar substances, set on a continuum from the most dispersing to the most focused. Air is always trying to spread out, so air magic is best for hitting large numbers but often called "weak" because it's hard to focus much power on a single target (I'm not a fan of "wind slashes" and things, it should be hard to concentrate air like that). Earth is the reverse, slow but tough and good at crushing one thing at a time; water's the happy medium between speed and focused strength. And fire is just different, because the others mostly push but it mostly destroys.

    So I'd expect air magic to buffet and batter its foes, and be just impossible to dodge because its waves of power are too wide; you can only get behind or raise shelters, or throw yourself flat. And a wind-mage with enough power to drag a foe into the air would have almost a guaranteed kill (but so would an earth-spell that swallows people, or a water spell that drowns you on dry land). But mostly, a wind-mage would try to disable foes before they could react, and either batter them senseless with ongoing power or keep them off-balance until he could close in and cut them apart.

    (All things Aang never got to follow through with much. But then, the only one who thought a twelve-year-old boy had really mastered Air yet was Katara, who'd barely even met benders of her own kind yet.)
  8. Addison

    Addison Auror

    But if done right then a wind spell could suffocate a person, or suck the air out of an area, or increase the pressure in a contained area. It could also blow sand or bits of glass or a poison into the enemies.
  9. psychotick

    psychotick Auror


    Knowing nothing of this last airbender guy, my thought about the magic is what can you use it to do? My thought would be that depending how powerful and focussed it is it could do a lot.

    At the extreme end think tornadoes simply hurling you enemies into the air. Also if you can spin someone fast enough you could probably tear their arms and legs off (Saw it in a movie once - really cool!) At a less violent end just spinning someone enough will leave them too dizzy to stand so you can probably just kill them easily. (This could also explain why the sword strike was ineffective - the stabbing guy was too dizzy to strike straight.) You could also use wind to blow someone back a few steps (Think gales in Wellington). To drive dirt into eyes (or a sand storm). Maybe to lift someone off the ground like those people in wind tunnels who fly based on the up drafts. If you really focussed the air into something spinning very tightly like a stick you could wound someone say with an arrow made of air. Or you could focus it into a small fist sized gust that knocks people about like a boxer.

    It's really up to you.

    Cheers, Greg.
  10. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

    How do you write a fight scene involving wind? With great gusto!

    Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week ;)

    To address your numbered points:

    1) I have never written a fight scene involving wind magic. It's so fast paced compared to the other elements.

    Yes, but that's a good thing for action, yes? You get to have fast things occurring.

    2) Three characters with three brewing emotions inside of them were involved. I could not layer it effectively at the moment

    You don't have to layer it in the first presentation of the scene. You have your POV character or even a detached POV, and then you can reveal additional layers in recollections or in how the scene affects future actions/scenes.

    3) Is it even possible to get stabbed in the gut without hitting vital organs?

    Sure, although unlikely. The smaller the blade, the more likely you'll be fine.

    4) Is it even right to choose the foster father over the real father? Won't it make the MC an ungrateful dick?

    Define "right". It is believable, and it can be argued as right over any number of ethical and morality systems, although others will define it as wrong or sinful (such as Confucianism and Christianity for instance). Unless you have a reader bringing their own baggage to the scene or you are soapboxing in it, the MC will appear as a child caught between the parent he knows and the parent he was born of and choosing the one he knows.

    5) I ain't a father. I don't know what a father would feel when he would fight his son's other father.

    You also don't have wind magick or any other magick (at least not that I'm aware of). Use your imagination. If you need to, read some testimonials about fatherhood, do your research. Find the characters' motivation for fighting and acting the way they are and write from there.

Share This Page