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Monday, May 2, 2011

Suggested Reading For Action Scenes

Action scenes can be tough. As a screenwriter you fortunately don’t have to do much. You just type in “They Fight.” It was good enough for Shakespeare, it’s good enough for you. But what if you want to give your fight scenes a little more flavor? Here’s some recommended reading.

Martial Arts Around the World Volume 1 and 2 by John Steven Soet. It’s out of print but you still might be able to find this in second hand bookstores. Very little text but a ton of pictures as various martial artists demonstrate defenses against a wide range of attacks. The great thing about these books is you get a sense of how the martial arts vary from country to country. If you want to see how Brazilian Capoeria differs from Indonesian Silat these books will show you.

The Complete Book of Combat Handgunning by Chuck Taylor. This book will teach you how to pistol shoot. This will give you the basics of a gunfight. It can give you a lot of insight into other genres as well. After reading this I could never look at the Star Trek Next Gen phasers the same again. What do they use to get a sight picture on those things? Their thumb?

Osprey Military Press. Just about anything this company puts out is worth it. They cover wars, battles, and fighting men and women from ancient Egypt all the way to the modern age. Their latest entry is called the Raid series and it covers light tactics. Obviously a lot of World War II operations but also campaigns from the Middle Ages and even one from feudal Japan. The research in these books is meticulous. They are a must have resource for anyone interested in historical adventure writing, sword and sorcery, or modern day thrillers.

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