Author Topic: Anyone else skip battle scenes?  (Read 12833 times)  

Offline Patrick Skelton

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Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
« Reply #75 on: November 18, 2018, 04:49:28 am »
I don't like action scenes in general.  They just translate as well in novels as they do in movies.  Even in movies, I find action scenes pretty boring most of the time (ironically).  But then again, I'm not into action movies. I like suspense and drama over cheap thrills.

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    Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #76 on: November 20, 2018, 10:29:23 am »
     I have been known to skip battle scenes in books and movies, particularly in movies.  I watched the latest Jason Bourne movie a week or two ago, and fast-forwarded through all of the fight scenes and car chases. That cut the time in half.  :)

    Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #77 on: December 02, 2018, 09:12:23 am »
    I have been known to skip battle scenes in books and movies, particularly in movies.  I watched the latest Jason Bourne movie a week or two ago, and fast-forwarded through all of the fight scenes and car chases. That cut the time in half.  :)

    #MeToo. I even fast forward the chases (car or on foot) in the latest Bond movies. You know he's going to get away so might as well see it in double-quick time.

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    Offline davart

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #78 on: December 04, 2018, 01:50:11 pm »
    I don't skip battle scenes but try to keep them short and filled with action when using them. I pen science fiction. Some say fantasy. Myself, I'm not a stickler when it comes to categorization. I tend to call myself a word weaver. 

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #79 on: December 05, 2018, 05:19:37 am »
    I don't skip battle scenes but try to keep them short and filled with action when using them. I pen science fiction. Some say fantasy. Myself, I'm not a stickler when it comes to categorization. I tend to call myself a word weaver. 

    Fair enough -- though, I note that this discussion is about READERS and how they feel about battle scenes. :)

    It probably depends on the book, but I do find, in almost all cases, that big fight scenes -- whether just individuals or larger battles -- are not at all interesting to me and I skim until they're finished. Whether that's a few paragraphs or several pages. I don't care about the 'action' or how well they're written; I don't like to read 'em. (As I think I've said before. :) )
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    Offline davart

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #80 on: December 05, 2018, 11:16:07 am »
    Fair enough -- though, I note that this discussion is about READERS and how they feel about battle scenes. :)

    It probably depends on the book, but I do find, in almost all cases, that big fight scenes -- whether just individuals or larger battles -- are not at all interesting to me and I skim until they're finished. Whether that's a few paragraphs or several pages. I don't care about the 'action' or how well they're written; I don't like to read 'em. (As I think I've said before. :) )


    Excuse me for not being a READER.

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #81 on: December 05, 2018, 06:18:23 pm »

    Excuse me for not being a READER.

    I didn't say you weren't a reader ... my apologies if that's what you thought I was implying. I definitely did NOT mean that.

    BUT you clearly answered from the point of view of a writer. Writing battle scenes is a worthy topic for the Writer's Cafe. But this topic is about whether and why readers do or do not skip battle scenes in books.

    So, when you read battle scenes -- do you read them closely, or do you skip them? What inclines you to one thing or the other? Because, I completely appreciate your inclination to skip or not may inform your own writing when you have to do such a scene. And also: that what folks have said here about their reactions to battle scenes may be helpful to you. :)
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    Offline davart

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #82 on: December 05, 2018, 06:32:48 pm »
    I humbly apologize, Ann. I will add this. I can read both as a writer or strictly as a reader in which case I read faster and as a speed writer. I merely paint a large letter X over each page and voila! Instant input! So cool! Reading as a writer comes slower because I'm looking closer at the word weaving, etc.

    Offline NogDog

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #83 on: December 06, 2018, 12:15:48 pm »
    Well...one could broaden this to essentially any type of scene. There are people who will skip love scenes and those who will read them closely. Part of it can just be personal interest in that type of scene. In the bigger picture, I might ask of any author: did you write the scene for a purpose (character and/or plot development), or just for sensationalism or because it's expected? Lots of gory details (of either type of scene ;) ) with no underlying purpose deserves any skipping that goes on. Then again, in certain genres, there is probably a general expectation that there will be certain types of scenes; so the challenge I pose to authors is to not just write them because they're expected, but so that they actually contribute something to the whole book.

    To me, at least, this extract from a "battle scene" (if we can call a confrontation between two men a battle?) added something to my understanding of the main character. YMMV

    "It was almost a mystical experience. I do not know how else to put it. My mind outran time as he neared, and it was as though I had an eternity to ponder the approach of this man who was my brother. His garments were filthy, his face blackened, the stump of his right arm raised, gesturing anywhere. The great beast that he rode was striped, black and red, with a wild red mane and tail. But it really was a horse, and its eyes rolled and there was foam at its mouth and its breathing was painful to hear. I saw then that he wore his blade slung across his back, for its haft protruded high above his right shoulder. Still slowing, eyes fixed upon me, he departed the road, bearing slightly toward my left, jerked the reins once and released them, keeping control of the horse with his knees. His left hand went up in a salute-like movement that passed above his head and seized the hilt of his weapon. It came free without a sound, describing a beautiful arc above him and coming to rest in a lethal position out from his left shoulder and slanting back, like a single wing of dull steel with a minuscule line of edge that gleamed like a filament of mirror. The picture he presented was burned into my mind with a kind of magnificence, a certain splendor that was strangely moving. The blade was a long, scythe like affair that I had seen him use before. Only then we had stood as allies against a mutual foe I had begun to believe unbeatable. Benedict had proved otherwise that night. Now that I saw it raised against me I was overwhelmed with a sense of my own mortality, which I had never experienced before in this fashion. It was as though a layer had been stripped from the world and I had a sudden, full understanding of death itself."

    ~ The Guns of Avalon, by Roger Zelazny.

    Offline MatthewE

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #84 on: December 13, 2018, 09:29:10 am »
    It hurts my brain to skipover any part of a book. Its easier for me to just put the book down than to skip around.


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    Offline davart

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #85 on: December 13, 2018, 10:23:03 am »
    Battle scenes, not long ram ones, bring action and adventure into a story. I use them in my science fiction but implement them in a brief, succinct way.

    Offline bkd-wa

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #86 on: January 01, 2019, 07:17:14 pm »
    I like reading them, and don't skip if they are well researched, action-packed, intense and short. I do not like long drawn multi-page detailed description of battles though, I lose concentration.

    Offline GFXJames

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #87 on: January 02, 2019, 04:58:46 am »
    As a reader who never writes (other than eventual comic stories).....I used to read a lot more as a teen than now, no less than two books per week (in Spanish, my first language. Today is 50/50 with English)....And that was too long ago, lol. But usually, I don't skip battle scenes. I read philosophy books today more than novels. And I find that some of those books I read them not only skipping parts, but even doing my own set of random jump backwards and forward. A bit weird, I know ( I never do that with other type of books). Battles in fiction, no I don't skip them, but neither any other chunk. If I feel the need to skip something it's all going to the drain already for me with that book. I try never to leave a book in the middle, even if finding it slightly boring, telling myself "it will get better" (if it's horrid I leave the challenge...). I loved how Tolkien used to narrate battles.

    In movies, never skip them (unless is too gore and am having a delicious dinner, lol).  Also, have worked doing 3D and some video editing, so, I have special interest in watching some details of those scenes.

    I remember skipping though some too long, full page landscape descriptions of Zane Gray's western novels. As a teen reader, I was more into pure action....
    « Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 05:20:32 am by GFXJames »

    Offline GFXJames

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #88 on: January 02, 2019, 05:11:26 am »
    Oh, was forgetting... A particular case of skipping... Not long ago, I was offered to draw a full comic album, quite long, and while reading the script, I decided not only to stop reading, but realizing I wouldn't want to draw any of that. The story was solid, quite good in keeping the reader engaged, but after a third quite brutal (not just even usual gore) scene of torture ( with sick level of detail) and sadistic long parts, together with the fact that cruelty was clearly a predominant obsession there, even shadowing the actual story, and well, while that's as real as it can get in this world, and denying that would be stupid, decided not to draw that whole script, even being a good occasion for promotion and getting some very nice paycheck. Some friends told me that for that money, should have gone for it, but they have never drawn during hours sth that you completely hate/dislike...

    In general today I'm way more picky with what I read than when I was as a teen.

    The difficult part was how to say no to that project after we had exchanged a few mails, though I had not agreed, and wouldn't till reading the whole script. He understood,  but seems has had his hopes high. It was a pretty hard thing to do, even with the most polite and delicate use of my words, so, since then, I always read fully first the entire script. If is provided.
    « Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 05:17:53 am by GFXJames »

    Offline JohnAndrewKarr

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #89 on: February 21, 2019, 06:12:03 pm »
    Battle scenes and smaller scale violence are powerful devices in writing and reading. I wouldn't skip them unless they were really poorly done. Where else can you safely engage in such scenes? They have to be tempered, and have purpose in furthering the plot, but I'll definitely read them. 

    On a lesser scale, writing itself can be a type of violence, as per my favorite book on writing, If You Want To Write by Brenda Ueland https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Want-Write-Independence/dp/1627556214/
    « Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 06:13:41 pm by JohnAndrewKarr »
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    Offline ChamomileHasANovel

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #90 on: March 05, 2019, 06:54:40 pm »
    If I find myself skipping scenes, it's a very good indication that the book is circling the drain for me. I'm always worried about missing something important if I skip a few paragraphs, and if I'm doing it anyway, that means one of two things: The book has consistently proven that these scenes are a waste of time, or else I'm so bored with a book that confusion as to what's going on would be a step up from the malaise.

    Offline "Serious" ... but not really

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #91 on: March 07, 2019, 01:54:52 am »
    Funny, a book is a battle, it has to hold my attention.  So by 600 words in, there better be something going on to hold my attention - otherwise it IS a battle to read the book, usually I drop it. Me 1  Book 0 - time saved - I win the battle.  See, I do skip battle scenes by skipping out early ...  8)

    Too, maybe the battle scene is all fluff to blow out word count, it does not feel like a real epiphany going on and adds nothing to the story. Yeah skip it.  - fake and fluffy word count just adds to the books loss of a reader ...  :(
    « Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 04:47:18 am by Writes for fun »

    Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #92 on: March 09, 2019, 02:02:44 am »
    I definitely skip lengthy battle scenes as it's usually obvious who is going to win in the end, and that's all I need to know. I also skipped the detailed boxing match in The Power of One as I knew who had to win. I fast-forward car chases in films and even fast-forward the James Bond chases. I guess it boils down to the fact that I like to read/watch character interactions rather than action (or bloated descriptions of the scenery). ::)

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    Offline P.A. Woodburn

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #93 on: March 09, 2019, 12:38:13 pm »
    I don't usually read books with battle scenes. There may be small fights but not huge battle scenes. I may skim such scenes, but I think they are very important to the story and many readers. Sometimes I skim and pick out the bits I think are important.

    If I'm writing such a scene I'll do a lot of research for it because I know nothing about fighting and want to get the moves as realistic as I can. I go overboard with this research. I have one or two books with Krav Maga in the house because I'm thinking of adding such a scene. I can't get a library book because I may forget the moves. To go through my bookcase you'd find books on fighting, killing, poisoning, bomb making and other delicacies.  I was even honored with an in home interview from the FBI for my trouble. Someone reading an e-mail question on this very forum asked the FBI to interview me. I actually enjoyed my FBI interview (more research) and the interviewer tried to answer my question. I could tell she'd done a bit of research about me from the questions and she told me about a police course that I could take. I did take the eleven week police course and totally enjoyed it even had a go at shooting and tasering. Don't anyone else report me I'm 76  on Monday and I think the FBI has plenty of more genuine criminals to chase.

    Offline Ryan W. Mueller

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #94 on: March 14, 2019, 10:09:19 pm »
    I love battle scenes. The key for me as a reader is that the author has variety in their battle scenes. If it's the same type of battle over and over, it can grow repetitive and boring.

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    Offline n.f.g.jr

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #95 on: April 19, 2019, 09:52:48 am »
    Battle scenes should have a purpose, IMO, they should move character development and relationships along.
    I find long detailed battles difficult to write as I become bored, so I keep mine short.
    Also I hate to skim a book but I will for sex scenes. Rarely are they interesting or realistic. However I do like a good romance scene, the flirting etc.
    Well that's my 3 cents. 
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    Offline Allen Rivers

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #96 on: July 02, 2019, 05:53:05 am »
    I don't love action scenes but I think that's because I find that they're often not done well. I think of King in particular. I'm a huge fan of his writing but there are plenty of let downs (particularly in the Dark Tower Series) when it's time for action. When an action scene is done well I enjoy it even though they aren't my favorite parts. In my own writing, I try to take my time and do a good job - I feel like poorly done action scenes just take me out of the book.
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    Offline melsurani

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #97 on: July 20, 2019, 04:28:04 am »
    I tend not to read many books that would have a battle scene in it, but sometimes I get a fantasy book (Lord of the Rings was one), and I skim the battles. I just want the summary at the end of who died and where we go from here.
    I also skip song lyrics.

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    Offline NogDog

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    Re: Anyone else skip battle scenes?
    « Reply #98 on: July 22, 2019, 08:02:00 am »
    ...
    I also skip song lyrics.

    I tend to skip lyrics and poems inserted into the text of novels if they're more than a few lines long...and feel vaguely guilty for doing so. :)

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