Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Sooner or later, most authors are faced with the necessity of having a character throw a few punches. A streetwise cop taking on thugs or a hunky gentleman saving his damsel—whatever your cuppa, the nature of conflict demanded by good fiction means characters often end up getting physical with each other. This is a good thing, since no conflict means no story. But what isn’t so good is the fact that many of us are uninitiated in the cold hard facts of fighting. We take our cues from Hollywood’s overblown, highly unrealistic action—and, as a result, we fail to present the necessary telling details to convince our readers that our fight scenes are the real deal.
Fortunately, we have Alan Baxter on our side. In this fast read (12,000 words) professional fighter and author Baxter shares his expertise in the friendly manner of two friends taking a morning coffee break. His down-to-earth voice and self-effacing wisdom is so darn likable, you might almost forget this guy is lethal—except for the fact that he’s packed this book with an insane amount of useful details about how to recognize, initiate, survive, and win a fight.
He explains up front that no book, especially one of this size, is capable of teaching you how to fight or even how to nail all the details of your characters’ fights. But this is the perfect place to start. He explains the basics of physical confrontations, the psychology behind the action, and the all-important “what not to dos.” When I started the book, I wasn’t sure what kind of information I was going to find; I was half-expecting a relatively un-useful list of kicks and punches. But Baxter goes far beyond that. Not only will your characters be better fighters by the time you’ve finished reading this book, but you’ll have picked up a few good self-defense tips for yourself. In short, I highly recommend this book. Five out of five stars.