7 Tips to Fighting with Speed

One of the best ways to handle strength is speed, which is what we’re going to look at this time.  Luke Callindor and Sari are the big speed fighters.  Their styles are familiar similar, but Sari uses more magic and stealth.  One would call her a cautious warrior while Luke is aggressive, using his speed to charge in and dodge while delivering blows.

  1. We’ll start with body type again.  Speed requires strong legs and not as much as weight as a strength fighter.  This is why you tend to see shorter and skinnier characters using these styles.  Unable or unwilling to develop large muscles, they focus on their reflexes and foot speed.  Reaction time is very important when one is fast in battle because you need your eyes and body to respond at the same time at whatever pace you’re going.
  2. Heavy weapons and armor are a hindrance to these characters.  They need to remain light and flexible, which is why leather tends to be the strongest material that they are found in.  Daggers and lightweight swords are fairly common as well as less common weapons that can be hidden or strapped to an arm.  For example, a claw on one hand won’t weigh a speed hero down.
  3. Injuries and exhaustion take a big toll on them.  While a strength fighter can stand their ground to recover some energy, a speed fighter needs to keep moving.  This is why many will try to end a fight quickly or depend on stealth at the beginning.  They are a lot more cautious in this way even if they are the type to charge in.  Note that Luke tends to get hurt a lot more than Sari.  Another tactic, which is one Luke uses, is to slow down enough to ease the muscles and dodge to recover energy.  Seeing an opening means a burst of speed, which can catch an enemy by surprise if they think you’ve been going full tilt the whole time.
  4. I mentioned reflexes here because speed fighters aren’t always about the legs.  The arms are where most attacks will come from if the character doesn’t use a kick-based style.  Think of Bruce Lee punching and you’ll get the idea.  You can also show this through how quickly a character blocks and parries.  You can’t always get out of the way, so this can be a lifesaver for a hero.
  5. As weird as it sounds, think about the clothing of a character who has to move around a lot.  For example, laces are something to consider even though they never get untied unless it’s important to the plot.  Still, a character who is cautious and needs to depend on mobility will think about their outfit.  You don’t want anything that will trip you up like long cloaks and capes.  Too many objects hanging off you can increase the risk of snagging on something.  This is one reason why I think about fighting style very early in character creation.
  6. Just like with strength characters, there should be some mention of training and maintenance.  Some speed fighters end up having big appetites because they use more energy, but this tends to happen for comedic effect.  It’s fairly easy for this to be done if there’s traveling in a story.  At least if they do it by foot.  Stationary heroes can do morning runs and training, which you show by having them return from such an activity during a scene.
  7. Quick of body doesn’t always mean hyper.  Seriously, why are so many speed fighters fast-talking, always moving, and kind of annoying?  It’s almost like people don’t want you to forget that they’re fast.  The only aspect of this that I can understand is the insults and teasing during a fight.  If done correctly, it acts as a way to make a stronger opponent drop their own style and work off rage.  Then the speed fighter can take advantage and reduce their own chance of getting hit.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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18 Responses to 7 Tips to Fighting with Speed

  1. Never knew there were so many pitfalls for being fast. Next time I decide to move quickly I’ll check the list first. 😀


  2. Sorry I’m late today; exhausted. Sounds pretty well thought out. I always wondered why the Flash never wore a cape.


    • Thanks. I’ve barely been around myself since I’m finishing the edits for tomorrow’s release. I do remember the show ‘Supergirl’ giving a reason for the cape. It wasn’t from Earth materials and it helped her make turns or something.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. L. Marie says:

    Great tips! So true about having to take into account the heaviness of weapons and arm strength. In movies, you see people fighting for hours without ever once seeing them train. With number 5, I can’t help thinking of The Incredibles and the diatribe against capes. 🙂


    • The Incredibles did come to mind. It’s funny in movies with the training. At the very least, there should be a mention of why they know how to fight. Not necessarily a scene, but saying they have the background.


  4. Great points, I had never given it much thought, but everything you say makes sense… now I’m going to be studying the books I read closer.


  5. I think it’s important to match your weapons, to help create a sense of where and what your world is. Like, it isn’t the Three Musketeers if characters are using broadswords. Pirates might have matchlock pistols and cutlasses, but they wouldn’t use a two-handed axe.


  6. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Charles Yallowitz with some tips for fantasy writers on how to create authentic speed fighting scenes.


  7. paulandruss says:

    An excellent summary Charles and something all of us writers need to keep in mind when Writing action scenes. Thanks


  8. Pingback: The Thinking Hero: Brains Over Guts | Legends of Windemere

  9. Pingback: Designing a Fighting Style for Your Character | Legends of Windemere

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