Writing Battle Scenes

Hi guys!  Things have been totally crazy lately, so I find writing blog posts on the backburner.  That, and that I have been out of ideas about what to post about.  But, here are some tips on writing battle scenes (just a warning, I am not an expert in any way)!

1. Read fantasy books that have battles in them.
Yes, I know that this is pretty unoriginal, but its true.  Us writers learn our craft from reading!  I am in no way saying to copy what the author of the book says in battle, but study the wording he or she uses.  Look at the literary devices used.  Think about the "battle moves" the warriors use, reactions to pain, and things like that.

2. Do research.
Research the time period your book is based in.  Even if it is fantasy, it is still based on a time period.  Research about weapons and what medicine was like.  Remember, you want your battle scenes to be realistic!  Also, if your book is set in a medieval time period, you might want to learn how to fence and shoot a bow and arrow, even if it is just through YouTube.  :)

3. Write.
Yes, this is straightforward, but the scene won't just appear on the page.  :) Closing out of Pinterest does indeed help.

4. Rewrite.
Battle scenes can be hard to write.  I mean, there is bloodshed and that emotion of loss of human life should be carried through in some way.  Battle must not be taken lightly.  Take the time to heavily edit your battle scenes.

5. Know your POV character.
To artfully convey emotion in the heat of the battle, knowing your POV character thoroughly is key.  How does he react to killing other creatures or humans, even if it is to defend his cause?  Does he have high pain tolerance?  A weak stomach?  Make sure to not only describe the battle, but also the emotions of your character.

6. Describe.
This can be a touchy thing to do, depending on your target audience.  But, the fact is, you may have an exact image, or movie, in your mind of what your battle looks like, but your reader doesn't.  You must tell them exactly what it looks like!

Resources that Have Helped Me:
Courage by Molly Evangeline - this has some great battle scenes that made me go back and rewrite mine after I finished reading it.  Whew, it is intense, but such an amazing book!

Lord of the Rings movies - there are A LOT of battles in this movie and give some great examples.  Beware, it is violent.

I hope this helps you!

God Bless!
Alea Harper   :)


The Elvish Pen - Episode 7

Hi!  Sorry this post was posted a little late.  To be honest, I forgot.  Things have been extremely crazy lately.  Without further ado, may I present Episode 7!

Episode 7

Before Rox could answer, the doors burst open, and a man literally ran to the king.  He stopped just before he would have run the royal elf over.
     "Your...Majesty..." the elf stopped to catch a breath, "...we have just received word that goblins have attacked near the Eastern Edge.  They are close to earth."  The king looked alarmed, but not surprised.
     "Bring in my son," was the king's reply.
     "The Eastern Edge?  Close to earth?" Rox asked, utterly lost at these strange problems.  However, she didn't expect an answer from her father or this messenger person.
     "The Eastern Edge is where your grandmother's house lies.  Yes, you are no longer on earth," her father hastily replied.
     "I was there when they attacked that area, or rather, attacked me," Rox was beginning to put the pieces together.
     "You requested my presence?" Aiwin waltzed through the gaping doorway.  He was tall and muscular, with chin length hair and ears that came to a fine point, yet not as dramatically as his father's.  He looked astonishingly like Rox.
     "Yes, son.  The goblins have attacked the Eastern Edge, near your grandmother's house.  They are becoming more and more gold.  I fear they have their sights set on earth.  Our promise must be kept.  Prepare our men for war."
     "What?  Can you please explain just what is going on hear?" Rox, the odd one out, spoke up.
Did you enjoy the episode?  This week, I am not going to put the poll up, just because I know what direction I want the next episode to go in.  In the meantime, I have set up a Pinterest page for The Elvish Pen, so why don't you go check it out?


The Elvish Pen - Episode 6

      Today, Alea Harper has given me, Mickayla Jansen from Pencils Can Change the World, permission to write Episode 6 of the Elvish Pen.  Also, since the revote was once again a tie, I am the deciding factor.  Well, I know everyone is on the edge of their seats, and I must admit I am too, so here is the next episode.


Episode 6

       "Well, yes.  Don't you understand?  You are the rightful princess of this magnificent city.  We need you in these troubled times." The king announced. 
       "Troubled times?  What do you mean?  I am royalty?"  Rox gave a questioning look.  Great...  She didn't understand and no one was explaining anything.
       "Yes, but I cannot explain out here.  Follow me to my office."  He turned and Rox followed, with the woman elf behind.  They passed through many large and exquisitely decorated rooms full of elvish architecture.   Finally, they reached the office where they could discuss matters privately.  Another elf, who actually looked quite human as well stood behind the desk.  He looked not three years older than Roxie. 
       "Rox, may I present to you, your older brother and the rightful heir to the throne, Aiwin.  He too, is half - elf."  Rox gasped.  This is my older brother; I didn't even know I had a brother.  Mom always told me I was a single child.  Aiwin and Rox exchanged glances and then turned their attention back to the king.
       "Now, my princess, we are at war.  The goblins demand for more territory, and falsely accuse us of stealing from their side of the Elvish forest.  We have already received news from spies that they are gathering together an army of great numbers.  We need you, as a princess to be a leader, and Aiwin will stand beside you.  What do you say?" He gave her an encouraging smile.  "The Elvish forest needs you."
Ok, did you all like it?
Path 1: Rox refuses to become princess and runs away from the palace searching for home.
Path 2: Rox agrees to be princess and then asks what is required of her.
Path 3: Before she can answer, an advisor barges in asking for the king, because there is an emergency.
- - - - - - - -
Mickayla Jansen is a homeschool writer who is just starting on her amazing adventure of writing. She is most interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, but is open to mostly anything. She has been very interested and excited about learning ever since she was little and very much enjoys sharing the love of her personal Savior, our Lord Almighty. Other things she enjoys doing are drawing, working with horses and dogs, and reading. Her first novel, "Galaxy Connectors", is a work in progress and she is excited to see what becomes of it!


Revote is Needed

Hi!  Well, if you look over at the poll I took for The Elvish Pen, you can see that there is a tie between Paths 1 and 3.  This calls for a revote folks!

Also, have you checked out my The Elvish Pen page?  It has a whole bunch of information on it as well as a link to all of the episodes, the dates they were posted, and the dates of future episodes!


Go Teen Writers 100 for 100 Challenge!

Are you doing the Go Teen Writer's 100 for 100 Challenge?  I am, and am super excited to start!  (I have yet to write my words for today!)  You don't have to be a teen to do it, but you do have to sign up today if you haven't already!  Here is the link and it will explain the challenge!


The Elvish Pen - Episode 5

Hi!  Sorry I didn't get to post last week, some things happened that prevented me from it.  So...without further ado, I give you Episode 5!

Episode 5

     "Daddy," Rox's voice wavered.  She almost smiled, but he remained serious, almost cold.  "What are you doing here?"
     "I'm sorry, but I have to ask the same thing," he words were like ice.  Rox set her jaw.  Of course, he doesn't want to see me.  Well all right, Mr. Elf-King, you can have your way.  Sudden realization set in.  I'm half-elf.
     "I am here because I walked into the woods around Mimi's house and got attacked by some goblin thing and then this woman here saved me and almost literally dragged me here," she blurt out, almost all in one breath.
     "I was hoping for a little bit better reason."  Rox's jaw dropped open, literally.
     "You mean that you don't even care that your daughter, whom you abandoned, is standing in your kingdom, right in front of you, was almost killed by a goblin, and now you're asking for a better reason for me to set foot in your palace?"  Rox's hot temper kicked in.  Some father...

Which path do you want The Elvish Pen to take?

Path 1: Rox's father throws her out, further breaking her broken heart.

Path 2: Her father apologizes for hurting her feelings and welcomes her into his kingdom.

Path 3: He explains that he was hoping she had come to take her rightful place as the princess.


Making Characters Flawed

Who loves a story where the main character is perfect?  They never get mad and hit something, they are always kind and loving, they have the perfect hair and smile, they are never sad, they always win.  Wouldn't that story get kind of boring?  They easily defeat the dark lord and never do anything wrong.  The end.  My point is that your story will be like this if your characters are not flawed.  Let's look at the definition of flawed according to http://dictionary.reference.com/.

1. characterized by flaws; having imperfections"
Can you think of some imperfections that a character might have?  Maybe a girl is told that she is ugly so she is very insecure about how she looks.  Or, maybe a boy gets scared easily.  Maybe a MC has anger management issues.  Another word that can be used with flawed is weaknesses.  Weaknesses are flaws.
Characters are boring if they do not have any weaknesses.  They have no depth, therefore the story that they are in has no depth.  Do you have a character who is perfect?  How can you make them imperfect?  I have to admit, before I became serious about writing, I was terrified about making anyone but the villain imperfect, to have never done anything bad.  Sure, things went wrong for them, but they had never done anything bad.  Yeah, those stories aren't great.
So, how can you make characters flawed?  Well, first, I would brainstorm a bunch of weaknesses someone could have, maybe write down some weaknesses you have.  Second, read over the outline/plot/any planning you have done.  Ask yourself what weakness would affect the story the most.  What would make the story the most unique and interesting.  For example, your story is a medieval fantasy about a duke who wants to take over the kingdom.  While developing your idea, your character is perfect, or close to it.  What would affect the story the most?  Maybe your main character has to live with the shame that the duke is his/her brother and because the brother was abusive, your character is afraid of people.  What does he have to overcome to accomplish what needs to be done in the story?  These kind of questions will help you develop your MC. 
Remember, stories should be character driven, so don't hesitate to spend some time creating them!


The Elvish Pen - Episode 4

Episode 4

     "I said, take your hands off me!" Rox insisted more forcefully.  She stumbled, but kept her footing and moved on.  The elven woman made no reply, but brought her to a horse.  The horse was jet black with a long mane.  It pawed the ground.  Before Rox even knew what was happening, she was sitting behind the woman, who was riding bareback, and they were galloping away.  Rox's hair blew back and she smiled.  I rather like this... Occasionally, a tree branch scraped against her skin.  Finally, they ended up in a large clearing.  In the clearing were strangely shaped trees.  The were enormous in diameter and seemed to intertwine.  Rox gasped.  It was a city.  They continued to ride until they got to the gate and dismounted.
     "What is this place?"
     "Roxie, welcome to the city of The Elvish Pen," the elven woman announced.  Once more, Rox gasped.
     "H-how did you know my name?"
     "I have my connections.  Come."  The gate opened and they entered the bustling streets.  They made their way through the crowd until they came to the biggest tree.  They walked inside the huge wooden doors.  A person glided down the stairs.
     "H-how d-did you get here?" Rox breathed.
Which path do you want The Elvish Pen to take?
Path 1: The person who came down the stairs is Rox's father.
Path 2: The person who came down the stairs is Rox's grandmother.
Path 3: The person who came down the stairs is Rox's mother.