Top 10 Songs to help you write that brutal fight scene - Why Words Work

Top 10 Songs to Help You Write That Brutal Fight Scene

This article has been written by the lovely Chloe Page. For more details about her services, drop her a message on Twitter or People Per Hour!

There comes a time in many writers’ lives where they come across a difficult scene. Maybe the climactic romance scene is not living up to the hype you created. Maybe you’re writing outside of your own experience and getting stuck on how to handle a certain scene. For me, however, I have trouble writing fight scenes. I can see it in my head, but getting it down on paper is a problem, no matter how much research I put into combat techniques. Luckily, my younger self was really into edgy hard rock tunes and cool soundtracks.

Monster – Skillet

Yeah, we’re going in hard right away. This one is a hardcore rock tune that can really help you get into a character going on a murder spree. There’s just the right amount of angst in the lyrics to get into the character’s head to let us feel their torment over being unable to control themselves or the ‘monster’ within. If that’s not to your taste, then the gritty guitar and banging drum beat should carry you forward in a relentless bloody writing session.

Blow Me Away – Breaking Benjamin

This track has a bit of a slow start before exploding onto the scene with punchy guitar and low drums. I see this as the thoughts of two characters, a leader and a renegade perhaps. One is entering a vicious battle for good against their enemies while the other is resigned to their fate and the dark past that they cannot escape. This goes through lower periods to hear the thoughts of the characters before ramping up the intensity for the chorus and the main fight.

Broken Crown – Mumford and Sons

Broken Crown is a great tune to dramatically act out when you get drunk alone in your apartment (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…). While I don’t see this as a battle sequence song, I see it more as a character’s thoughts leading up to them snapping. They’ve been let down by this special person and the hatred and betrayal gradually boils into a crescendo of anger and defiance. They go from desperately wanting this person to save them from darkness before ultimately succumbing to it, revelling in emotion. Then, in the aftermath of violence, they accept the disaster they have wrought.

Dance With The Devil- Breaking Benjamin

If your villain and protagonist were once close but now must battle each other, then this bad boy is for you. The lyrics tell us of a protagonist who does not want to fight, but instead reach out to their opponent. They believe in them and know there’s more behind those ‘empty lies’, but also feel that this battle is where the protagonist will meet their end. The battle will be fatal, but the protagonist is still rooting for their enemy to ‘hold on’ before the dust finally settles. Like with Blow Me Away, the intensity rises and falls, which can be interesting to play around with when writing.

Battle Scherzo – Akira Senju

Sometimes songs with lyrics just don’t cut through the writer’s block, no matter how cool they are; soundtracks are great at helping with this. If you want to know how to write an engaging series with awesome characters and a deep plot, go watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. So many epic scenes occurred with this track in the background and it just makes me feel tough on the inside.

Escape Artist – Zoe Keating

So far, we have had some pretty intense and pacey tracks to get you pumped, but there is a lot to say for the persistent and prolonged battle. Maybe it’s a sword fight and someone keeps getting injured but simply won’t back down. Often seeing a character in pain for a long time can really get under a reader’s skin. This track speaks to me of stubbornness, hope, but also a refusal to back down, even if the character is losing.

This Is War – Thirty Seconds To Mars

Another build-up and battle track, this time you get the sense of a group fighting for a ‘brave new world’. We even get to see the moment where hope shines through the clouds and they succeed. If you have a large cast, it is fun figuring out which character would apply to ‘the leader’, the pariah’, ‘the victor’ and ‘the messiah’ in your story. The moment at 4:02 where the song peaks feels like dropping down a rolling coaster of emotion as hope rises in your chest. If you’re looking to write a brutal battle that ultimately ends in victory, then this is perfect for you.

Legions (War) – Zoe Keating

Checking out the title, it feels appropriate to have this beauty in here. There is a prolonged sense of dread in this piece that just keeps going. This is not the obvious pick, but something about it just speaks to my soul and makes me want to wage a long hard war with no end on the horizon. Do you ever get that feeling? Just me? Okay.

Time Is Running Out – Muse

Now, let’s look at something a little bit more sensual. Building up sexual tension in combat between two characters is something I find engaging depending on the characters’ dynamic. In my experience, this is something I don’t see as much in mainstream fiction and this is explored more in darker fanfictions. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with this track.

To Be King – Akira Senju

My weeb is showing with both Akira Senju tracks and I l freaking love this one. It makes me feel like waging war to claim a kingdom. Many epic scenes in FMA took place with this track lifting the scene up in the background. Multiple key fights happened while this track played which totally turned up the intensity of the entire plot. I absolutely recommend this track, as well as the others, to get you into the battle scene mindset.

So, there you have it folks. Let me and Emma know in the comments or on Twitter what you think of them – I can’t wait to see what you create after this. Please don’t flame and shame me for my music choices; most of you had an emo or weeb phase too!

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