Is it not wise to write a 1,000 word fight scene for a novel?

Specifically, a serial. I'm planning on writing a stories for Tapas and they prefer each episode to be 1000 - 1500 words. My story takes place in a fantasy world based on our world's 19th century. A phenomenon known as the Private Army, militias owned by private groups and enterprises, has taken place. The MC is trying to make his own private army and that means there's going to be both war battles and individual fight scenes. This is pretty much the basis of the work, lots of action.

I was thinking that some of these battles will go on for a while so it may take up an entire episode, hence 1000 words. But I keep reading that they should just be short, that people find them boring. Is this true?

10 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    The ONLY thing that matters when writing is how well you can do whatever you're trying to do. If you do it well, people will lap it up at three times the length. If you do it badly, they'll be yawning before the first sword is out of its scabbard.

    It's ENTIRELY, 100%, up to you and your writing skills.

  • 4 weeks ago

    WHY NOT?! just don't drag the fighting along, like don't make it boring.

  • 1 month ago

    Episodes include more than all one scene.  

  • 1 month ago

    If you are planning every single chapter to be nothing but a battle, this could indeed soon get old for readers.  I recently completed a novel about a pair of scammers hitting a wide range of potential victims.  The trick was to make the victims diverse and the scams different for each set of victims.  So some places they make money (usually the victims themselves are somewhat dishonest), while other places they leave one step ahead of the sheriff.  So nothing but slugfests are possible, but try for enough diversity to keep readers intrigued.

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  • 1 month ago

    Here's the deal on extended battle scenes: If the author generates involvement and empathy for the point of view character, they can go on far more than a thousand words and remain engrossing, if it's well written.

    Consider George R.R. Martin's battle scene in which Tyrion Lannister is leading the backward hill tribes in the battle of Green Fork. (I had to look that up.) The reader cares about Tyrion and both empathizes and sympathizes with him. His survival is not a given, Martin being Martin, and the details of the battle seen through Tyrion's eyes are detailed and lengthy.

    But it might take a thousand words for readers to care about a character, so it's going to be devilishly difficult to keep it interesting because readers care whether this character survives if it's not someone they already know.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Not wise at all. It would bore the readers senseless and slow down the story. 

  • 1 month ago

    It really depends entirely on your writing skills. 1,000 words is not a lot, but a significant portion of the reading public relies on sound bytes and the shorthand of things like Twitter, rarely reads past the headline or first paragraph of the news.

    But even longer term, you can easily lose a reader in the first paragraph by poorly worded phrases or introductions.

    The fact that you have the courage to try speaks well for your intentions and one cannot gauge your skill from the few words in the question you ask, so in no way is this response intended as a critcism of you personally or a challenge.

    I'll add that I am not a fan of the genre and would be unlikely to choose a story written for it. Each to his own-but if that first paragraph attracts my attention it is more likely I will read the second and so on regardless of the genre.

  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    There's no hard and fast rule when it comes to the proper length of any type of scene, but considering that the average novel comes in somewhere around 40,000 to 50,000 words at the low end, a 1,000 word scene wouldn't be especially lengthy. How the scene is written will count for more than its length. Most people who go in for action novels are not particularly concerned with the plot, so my guess is that if the scene happened to be engaging it would be fine. 

    Stitching scenes together doesn't really constitute a novel in the truest sense to begin with. The work may be "novel length", but that doesn't make it a novel. I don't see why anybody over the age of fifteen might be keen to read thirty or forty fight scenes in succession, but hey, have at it. 

  • Blearg
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    Consider any Lord of the Rings, John Wick, or Avengers film. Is there fighting? Yes. Can it take up a lot of screentime? Yes. But pay attention to how they keep it interesting. How do they make each  moment matter and build momentum for the plot? You'll need some way to make battles or fight scenes unique and have their own stakes. The more times you plan to include a certain type of action in your plot, the more nuanced each iteration will need to be to stay relevant to a reader. It's  up to you if that sounds like the kind of work you want to lay out for yourself. I've known a few people who could pull it off. Not my cup of tea. 

  • 1 month ago

    1000 words is about a page and a half at 6 x 9.......Writing novels is nothing but a bunch of short stories tied together and each must have a start, a middle and a ending that will move into the next short story and and if one Character guy is One Punch Charley just make should he live s up to his name..... 

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