How I revise a story–fight scene

alley at night
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

You can check out this story on Wattpad here!

This week, I’ll be looking at a fight scene I wrote at the end of chapter 2. First draft vs. most recent draft.

***

“Stay back,” red-orange light illuminated the alley, revealing Dante had set aside his bundle of waters and sodas and chips bags, leaving his arms free. “I’m telling you,” his eyes narrowed, “if you don’t leave me alone…”

Victor shook his head. “I can’t. You’re my primary target, and if I don’t come back with you I’ll be punished.”

“Oh, you’re really convincing me to join you now!” Dante’s hands curled into fists.

***

“Stay back,” red-orange light illuminated the alley. Dante flickered amidst the jagged shadows, his bundle of waters and sodas and chip bags now against the wall. His bare hands blazed red. “I’m telling you,” his eyes narrowed, “if you don’t leave me alone…”

Victor shook his head. “I can’t. You’re my primary target, and if I don’t come back with you, I’ll be punished.”

“Oh, you’re really convincing me to join you now!” Dante’s glowing hands curled into fists and he danced sideways.

***

“I won’t regret this,” Victor formed a glittering black sword from the shadow to his right, the brick wall blurring briefly violet. “You’re coming with me, either way.”

“No I’m not!” Jets of fire erupted from Dante’s fists, pounding against Victor’s shield.

Victor crouched, bracing himself against the force of the blast. He swung the tip of his sword into the fire. Shadowblade met orange fire and the light disintegrated, flames puffing to nothing. So, unfortunately, did Victor’s sword, but he formed a new one from the night-dark alley floor. Roaring, he ran forward, slicing fire pulses blasting from Dante’s hands, forming new blades from the shadows as they weakened. Dante’s eyes darted wildly toward the swinging rush of Victor’s shield, his hands moving to sprout flames. Too slow, since Victor’s shield took Dante in the temple, flinging him into the brick wall.

***

“I won’t regret this,” Victor formed a glittering black sword from the shadow to his right, the brick wall blurring briefly violet. “You’re coming with me, either way.”

“No, I’m not!” Jets of fire erupted from Dante’s fists.

Victor ducked behind his shield, bracing himself against the force of the blast. From the night-dark alley floor he formed a wide disc, and kicked it toward Dante. It collided with his shins and Dante gasped in pain, flames puffing out.

Victor charged forward, raising his shadowblade in the dark. Roaring, he cut through fire that pulsed out of Dante’s hands, the light eating away at the weapon, gradually eroded to nothing. But for each sword that vanished, Victor formed a new blade from the shadows, pressing closer and closer to Dante, cutting through the unyielding assault of flames.

Dante’s heel kicked the alley wall and he faltered. Victor swept in, swinging his shield at Dante’s side. Eyes darted toward the movement and Dante lifted his hands to sprout flames–but too slow; Victor’s shield hammered Dante in the temple, flinging him into the brick wall.

***

Dante slumped to the ground. A can of soda tipped against his skidding boot and rolled tinnily toward the sidewalk.

Grimacing, Victor dispersed his weapons. He crouched to the pavement, prodding the bruise forming on Dante’s temple. Victor winced. “The spaceship’s got good healing tech,” he told the unconscious Dante. “They’ll fix that up no problem.” He rose to his feet, slowly summoning the void. “You’ll like the alien army, trust me. Maybe one day you’ll even end up my equal.”

***

Dante slumped to the ground, eyelids fluttering. His skidding boot tipped a can of soda,crolling it tinnily toward the sidewalk.

Victor dispersed his weapons, panting for air. Crouching, he carefully touching the bruise forming on Dante’s temple.

He winced, lifting his hand from the oversized lump. “The spaceship’s got good healing tech,” he told the unconscious Dante. “They’ll fix that up no problem,” he rose to his feet, slowly summoning the void. “You’ll like the alien army, trust me. Maybe one day you’ll even end up my equal.”

***end of scene***

You may notice two things here: 1) the dialogue didn’t change much, 2) the main fight sequence changed a lot.

For the dialogue, I don’t know if that means I got it right first try, or if I’m still unaware of how I can improve it. Any tips?

For the fight sequence, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I like that I made it longer than one paragraph, for starters. It also makes more sense to kick something at your opponent than to awkwardly swing a sword around your shield, somehow disintegrating the flames and the sword at the same time…

Though I did keep the general idea of the fire eating away at the shadow sword. That seemed fitting; light destroys shadows in real life, too.

Unfortunately for Dante, this fight happens in an alley at night, so there’s plenty of dark shadows to make swords out of. Dante never really had a chance.

I tried to make the ending of this scene hit like a gut-punch: Victor has captured Dante, after mercilessly hammering him into a wall with his shield (ouch). Then they portal off to conscript Dante into the alien army–perfect cliffhanger for the next chapter:)

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