Top Five Elements of a Great Action Scene with Amanda Bonilla

Posted August 12, 2015 by Jennifer in Stomp vs Romp 2015 | | 3 Comments


Top Five Elements of a Great Action Scene

Thanks so much for hosting me today! As an urban fantasy junkie, the best part of reading and writing one are the fight scenes. Give me a death-defying, edge of your seat action scene and I’m a happy camper. There are lots of things that make a fight scene great and I do my best to deliver. Here are my top five most important elements for a kick-ass fight scene:

5 Arrogance

Confidence is important in any great fight scene. If the heroine goes into a fight doubting her ability to come out of it in one piece, the scene loses its momentum for me. When I think of an urban fantasy heroine, I think of Tiny Fey on SNL: “Bitches get stuff done.” There are no shrinking violets allowed in urban fantasy. I like heroines who go balls-out and know they’re going to win.

4 Supernatural Abilities

This is sort of a no-brainer. Especially in UF/PNR. Though it’s certainly not a requirement, there’s nothing better than having that supernatural edge whether it’s the ability to become a shadow, or the magical skill necessary to produce a ball of energy that you can lob at your opponent. Those superhuman abilities up the ante and there’s nothing like a good fight scene when the stakes are high.

3 Kick-Ass Weaponry

Again, a no-brainer. Though if you have the above mentioned supernatural power boost, weapons aren’t quite as important. You are the weapon. Still, a fight scene that involves swords or knifes, daggers, or spears, anything with a pointy end really, is worth reading. Especially when your hero or heroine knows how to use the weapon in their hand.

2 Fallibility

I know this seems like a contradiction to kick-ass character but without fallibility, a fight scene becomes an instant snooze-fest. Who wants to read about a character who has no chance of losing? No weaknesses whatsoever? Or the character who instantly adapts to any and all danger thrown her way. I can’t root for a character if I know there’s no way she’s going to lose. Readers need to see that weakness so they can cheer when the heroine bounces back to kick ass and take names!

1 Attention to detail

The number one most important element to a good fight scene—in my opinion—is the attention to details. I don’t simply want to know the heroine threw a punch. I want to know how she swung out, how her fist caught on her opponent’s jaw. I want to hear the crack of the connection, feel the ache of her knuckles and visualize every kick, turn, stab, or blow. I’ve watched countless hours of fight footage in order to nail down the details. A well-crafted fight scene makes you feel as though you’re right there in the action and it doesn’t get any better than that!

What’s your favorite part of a fight scene? Are there elements that you don’t like?

Shadows at Midnight by Amanda Bonilla
Shaede Assassin #5
September 24th 2015 by NYLA

Amazon | Goodreads

Has Darian’s past finally caught up with her?

The Rakshasa queen, Padma, has a score to settle—she wants those responsible for her son’s death to pay and to pay dearly. Darian, Tyler and Xander are all at risk—and Padma’s powers could force them to live the rest of their lives in the madness of the Realm of Illusions…

While Darian is taken and is the first to suffer, she’s soon rescued by Tyler, the one man to never disappoint. But what Darian doesn’t know is that her freedom comes at a steep price—Xander’s the King of Shaedes, imprisonment. Darian knows what horrors await in Padma’s dungeon. A rescue mission won’t be easy and she can’t do it alone.

Deep in the bowels of Goblin Valley, Darian, Tyler, and her small band of Shaede warriors fight their way through a dark labyrinth. In a realm where illusions rule, with danger at every turn, the odds are stacked against them. Time isn’t on their side, every second spent in Padma’s custody will be another step Xander takes toward madness. A kingdom can’t be ruled without its king and the wolves are at the door, waiting. If Darian can’t get to Xander before he succumbs to the illusions, an entire kingdom’s future is at stake…

About Amanda Bonilla

Amanda Bonilla lives in rural Idaho with her husband and two kids. She’s a part-time pet wrangler, a full-time sun worshipper, and only goes out into the cold when coerced. She loves the outdoors, black clothes, pink appliances and thinks junk food should be a recognized food group. In the summer, she can be found sitting by the lake, enjoying the view from her dock.

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Owner/Blogger at The Book Nympho
I coexist with my husband of 15 years, our 11-year-old son and two chilled cats in the Deep South.

After 17 years I've finally finished my BA in English (no I do not want to be a teacher). Before majoring in English I would not have touched anything labeled "classic", but I have enjoyed a few along the way in my college career.

While I hated to read growing up, I am now an avid book reader and audiobook listener. I love rejecting reality one book at a time. I only read fiction within my favorite (at least to date) genres which include: most romance (paranormal, contemporary, D/s, BDSM, M/M)Urban Fantasy, and a few YA (mostly PNR or UF from favorite adult authors, but I'm slowly stepping out of my comfort zone after enjoying a few contemporary YA novels in adolescent literature class I took).
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3 responses to “Top Five Elements of a Great Action Scene with Amanda Bonilla

  1. Barbara Elness

    I loved the post and I think my favorite part in a fight scene is where it looks like the hero/heroine just might lose and then pulls out hidden strength, power, etc. from way down deep to tip the scales. 😀

  2. I love the elements you mentioned. I want to see all the kick-assery so detail is important and heck yes throw in a little magic or paranormal ability and I am all smiles.