As I have allowed people to read pieces of Atolovus over the years, I’ve heard many comments about the descriptions of my fight scenes. Some think I’m too descriptive. I’ve studied martial arts off and on through the course of my life, never worrying much about belts or the like because I feel it to be a western tradition.
I believe a person’s skill speaks for them more honestly than any belt, and a good teacher need see only a practitioner’s skill to determine it. I have seen teachers who favor some students over others, who promote one student with less skill before another standing beside him or her with more skill. It also keeps teachers honest.
This is a philosophy I try to include in my battle scenes. One reason for this is to allow the reader to come to their own conclusions about the characters in question without revealing with explanation in some cases attributes of the character. I use many of my own experiences with the arts to physically play out the fight sequence as I write them in. It is more time consuming to be sure, but I think it also makes the scene more vivid and helps the reader follow it through to its conclusion. I like my fight scenes to be believable—even if we are talking about larger than life characters.
I believe people who read or watch Fantasy, Science Fiction, or action, do so at least in part for the action scenes, and most of those I’ve spoken to feel gypped when the scene is unbelievable.