Welcome to the monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day! This month we will be blog hopping to find out about everyone’s favourite writing craft book. But first, why we do this:
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!Alex J Cavanaugh
What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?
I’m excited to hype this one up, because I believe anybody who writes any conflict should get this book:
Fight Like A Girl – Writing Fight Scenes For Female Characters by Aiki Flinthart.
Women are not men with mammaries. They don’t approach, handle, or react to violence in the same way.
Aiki Flinthart is a long-time martial artist, archer, knife-thrower, assault-survivor, and author of 11+ novels — all with kick-ass heroines and heroes.
In Fight Like A Girl, she brings her own experience, plus the results of extensive research and interviews, to the table for fellow authors.
You should come away with an excellent understanding of the differences between males and females, how they fight, react, and think. What weapons and techniques work well for smaller physiques. How it feels to be involved in a fight.
You’ll also get a deep understanding of how to apply that knowledge to an actual fight scene. A step by step guide to how to write and pace your fight scene, word choices, foreshadowing, character arcs, and how to pack an emotional punch.
Make sure your readers devour your fight scenes. Pick up a copy of Fight Like A Girl.– Back copy of Fight Like A Girl (2019), published by Computing Advantages & Training P/L, QLD, Australia
Everything the blurb above says, is true.
This writing craft book is thoughtful, well-written, believable, thorough, and practical. I gain something every time I revisit its explanations and prompts about the differences between males and females (Aiki takes the time to point out that she was unable to find any studies about how transgender and nonbinary people react to violence, therefore did not include these identities—but was willing to update the book in the future if possible).
I found the author’s insights illuminating and so helpful for characterisation, not only in how one participates in a fight, but everything from the lead-up, the character’s awareness, hormones, emotions, likelihood of violence, and the aftermath. The exercises were enlightening, and the section on how to block a fight scene is expertly annotated.
This is one I will recommend over and over again. And not just because the author is Australian.
Sadly, we lost Aiki on Feb 1, 2021. She was a much-loved member of the Australian speculative fiction community. I recommend you check out her other works too, including the phenomenal Relics, Wrecks and Ruins, an anthology she put together with some of the world’s best SFF authors when she learned of her terminal cancer diagnosis. Proceeds help fund a mentorship for emerging authors.
Keen to find out more writing craft book recommendations? Check out the IWSG blog hop to see what our other contributors wrote this month!