Post-NaNo Update: Map-to-Map Battle

Has nothing to do with Ham To Ham Combat. Hopefully.

Ahem. I find that combat scenes are, wordcount wise, relatively short.

Writing wise, they can be hellaciously long, because the planning. Oh man, the planning….

There are three things, minimum, I need to have before I can successfully write a fight. First – who’s involved? Good guys, bad guys, innocent bystanders, that one tourist who gets lost off the highway and wanders into the line of fireballs.

Second – where is the fight? Physical terrain, time of day, weather conditions. All of these matter in determining who has the advantage, and under what circumstances they can change something up to get the upper hand.

Third – how long can the fight go on? In a Masquerade setting, you only have so long before the cops show up to the “suspicious noise” reports. Intrepid is a Broken Masquerade setting, so the cops are definitely showing up; their deadline is more “how long can the good guys keep fighting, when demons don’t get tired very easily?” Not to mention, Demongate….

Number two is often the hardest to pin down. And nothing will really work until I get the right spot. I can write around it, I can lead up to it and rough stuff after the fight, but writing the fight itself… for that, I need a map.

If you just guessed what I spent the afternoon at the library researching, bingo!

The map itself isn’t enough to pick the “where” of a fight, but it is a big help. Without a map I’m guessing in the dark. With one, I can poke various spots for pros and cons, especially if it’s the Bad Guy picking the ultimate battlefield. Does he want tactical advantage? Numbers? A spot he’s guaranteed to get media attention and show off?

…And never underestimate the bunny-fuel of looking at a map and saying, “Gee, I’ve always wanted to set somewhere like that on fire….”  😉

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12 thoughts on “Post-NaNo Update: Map-to-Map Battle

  1. Has nothing to do with Ham To Ham Combat. Hopefully.
    Infinitely easier in universes without a Sinbad of Sindria. Or Simon Cavins.

    Through he and rest of them are also fond of Snark to Snark Combat . . .

    Planing

    On the plus side, planning out said battle with blocking, etc, tends to lessen the re-write time for that particular bit . . . or if you decide that doesn’t work for some reason (Like: “Wait, this isn’t the right spot for this battle – the villain is a total showman and wants people to see him/her/it totally triumph over the fools who stand before them . . .”), at least you already have the map and such ready to go while you move things, people, and explosions around until the bunnies are satisfied . . .

    …And never underestimate the bunny-fuel of looking at a map and saying, “Gee, I’ve always wanted to set somewhere like that on fire….”

    Never underestimate a plot bunny’s desire for wanton destruction. Why? Because it would be awesome, of course! And look, that fire is so pretty! All the colors. 😉

    Not to mention their undying affection for big booms. They will go for small kabooms but those ones will need a certain something-something to compete with their bigger cousins in the bunny’s hearts.

    Like

    1. Fire pretty! Yes, indeed.

      …You had to mention Simon. He keeps poking me, when I’m still trying to get Seeds done. And I still haven’t been to a convention to get Ideas yet. There’s supposed to be one locally in 2 months, I’m just jittery about trying to figure out where I am in the city (con is apparently spread over several buildings, gah) and find parking, which won’t be cheap….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry but in my defense, he spoke up and The King of the Seven Seas – regardless of which life you are talking about – is difficult to ignore. Especially when I have another voice (which sounds a lot like Ja’far) warning me that is always better to pay attention to him so you have some idea of what the Idiot of the Seven Seas is up to now. Sometimes it makes the critical difference between escaping whatever chaos he dumps you into this time with everything you brought with you and barely escaping with the bare essentials (pun intended).

        I’ve heard parking isn’t cheap at these things. Sometimes because the parking space owners know that you can only park so far away from the convention site . . .

        Of course, I’ve heard that a lot of the basic stuff like parking and food is over-priced at conventions.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. >>…And never underestimate the bunny-fuel of looking at a map and saying, “Gee, I’ve always wanted to set somewhere like that on fire….” 😉

    Y’know, if I hadn’t already known you were a Dresden Files fan, then this statement would have erased any possible shred of doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *Crooked halo* You know, there are times the building is on fire and it’s not Harry’s fault.

      And isn’t it better to get destructive tendencies out of the way in fiction, rather than say, actually commit arson? 😉

      Besides. Bad Guys must be squishied. And sometimes Kill It With Fire is the only option! *G*

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You know, there are times the building is on fire and it’s not Harry’s fault.

        It really isn’t. Some of the time.

        His problem is that sometimes he really did set the building on fire. And that sometimes he just happens to be in or nearby buildings when they catch on fire. And he has seldom been shy about using fire spells when the situation called for them.

        And since police are generally trained not to believe in concidence, that does make him look guilty as sin.

        Liked by 2 people

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