The Art of the Epic Battle

Writersdontcry“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”—Braveheart

Nothing sets fire to our hearts and minds like a good old-fashioned climatic battle. That epic clash where good stands against evil in the face of almost certain death, fearlessly protecting that which is most sacred to them--be it honor, freedom, or the world itself.Battle Few things are more inspiring than seeing those brave, proud few draw a line in the sand and throw down for what they believe in against almost impossible odds. Because these people believe in something greater than themselves, and believe it so strongly they have chosen it over their own lives.

Sacrifice has the power to lend tremendous credence to a cause—as well as an unbelievable amount of heart-wrenching drama to your book (I think I will always cry during Theoden’s speech in The Lord of the Rings). But writing a scene that takes every emotion you have built up and every thread you have set into motion throughout the entire story--and sets them on fire--is incredibly intimidating and difficult. With so much build up, you really don’t want to disappoint--or, heaven forefend, bore--your readers at this point. Here are a few tips to help you figure out what sets a climactic battle apart, and how to make it the epic conclusion to your epic fantasy you’ve always dreamed (epically) about.

What Are They Fighting For?

A climactic battle is at its heart a fight scene (read Master of the Fight Scene R.A. Salvatore’s advice on writing fight scenes here) with just a few differences:

 Epic Battle

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