War and Peace and LOTR are definitely must reads for writing battles worth a crap I'd say.
Not only are the battle scenes in both of those well-written, but both Tolstoy and Tolkien actually saw combat which lends authenticity that they knew what the hell they were doing.
Keeping your sentences as short and sweet as possible is advice I've regularly seen given when it comes to writing combat, and I'd agree with it. Poor flow sticks out in battle scenes more than most stuff, and if your sentences are going on too long it could make the reader start thinking that you don't know what the fuck you're doing and you lack the ability to write a battle concisely.
>reading the Mahabharata >fight scenes are basically: >and then Bhishma showered them with hundreds of arrows and then the Pandus showered him with hundreds of arrows and then Bhishma cut off their arrows and fired back with hundreds of arrows, which the Pandus cut off, and then they fired back with >hundreds of arrows
My advice? Keep the physical descriptions concise and focus on the emotional and sensory aspects of the battle.
>>7681348 This might cop some flack, but write them like the fight scenes in a comic book. Don't try to describe everything in the fight, instead pick a few crystal clear images punctuated by emotion and describe them with a word or two of connective tissue.
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkein The Saga of the Volsungs The Iliad - Homer The Peloponnessian War - Thucydides Anabasis - Xenophanes The Bhagavad Gita Storm of Steel - Ernst Junger Dulce Et Decorum Est - Wilfred Owen
>>7681348 Have your protagonist - who is off on the sidelines and not involved - react to it. That way you save yourself having to write long descriptive graphs about the battle and merely have the battle concentrated through the lens of one subjective entity.
OP consider reading some primary source ancient history. Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon for Greece. Definitely Livy for Rome, and maybe Polybius if you want to go a little deeper.
>Danger there was none, but every man present was tense with anxiety. The stakes were high; upon the luck or valour of three men hung empire or slavery.
>Proudly he took his stand at the outer end of the bridge; conspicuous amongst the rout of fugitives, sword and shield ready for action, he prepared himself for close combat, one man against an army. The advancing enemy paused in sheer astonishment at such reckless courage… Horatius stood alone; with defiance in his eyes he confronted the Etruscan chivalry, challenging one after another to single combat, and mocking them all as tyrants’ slaves who, careless of their own liberty, were coming to destroy the liberty of others.
>The order for action was given; sword in hand, with hot blood and high hopes, they advanced to battle. “Now gibe and jeer if you dare!” was the thought in every heart; “here is my sword! Let me find that enemy whose only courage is in his tongue!”
>“What of your oath?” [Marcus Fabius] cried. “Was it as beaten men that you swore to leave the field? Are you more afraid of a cowardly enemy than of Mars and Jupiter by whose names you swore? I swore no oath; but I will either return victorious or die fighting here.
>Nowhere was there any sign of retreat, so determined were they to be conquered only by death.
>"God has given to man no sharper spur to victory than contempt of death.”
>It was sounds, not sights, they turned to face — the groans of wounded men, the thud or ring of blows on body or shield, the shout of onslaught, the cry of fear.
>So great was the fury of the struggle, so totally absorbed was every man in its grim immediacy.
>No one knew what to hope for or what to dread.
>At last Gracchus proclaimed that not a man of his could hope for freedom unless the enemy that day were utterly defeated. Those words were the torch which finally set them on fire: the battle-cry rang out afresh, they were different men, and attacked with such fury that the shock was irresistible. The Carthaginian van shivered and broke.
>Death grew familiar.
>Fanning the flames of their courage…they surged forward, regardless of missiles, careless of wounds.
>Not only freedom was at stake — freedom which whets the courage of brave men alone — but all had clear before their eyes the extreme penalty of a horrible death.
>They were completely surrounded, and falling in heaps one upon another obstinately met their death.
>So great was the power of present fear.
That's all from Livy. A lot of focus on the emotions at play rather than the logistics of the battles, although those are fairly important as well. The dialogue is far more intense and rousing, but I'm not sure if that's what you're interested in, so I didn't include much.
>>7681348 OP, if you haven't already read The Iliad, I suggest you do so. Aside from the repetitiveness of the various names of the soldiers involved, who their fathers are etc. etc. I'd say the battles in and around Troy are an excellent archetype to follow.
I found it pretty intense at least.
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