Home » Creativity » Taking the Magic to the Mat

Taking the Magic to the Mat

It would appear I have survived Snowmaggedon II:  Electric Boogaloo, here in The Burg.  We got eight inches of snow and I was sent home early because it was pretty nasty out there.  Though not as bad as the last snow we had–at least this time there were plows about and about.  At the moment the cold is what I need to worry about, as it’s about five degrees outside, and the wind chill as I walk to work will be about fifteen below.

Perfect weather for flying back from Manitoba.  But that’s not gonna get written for a few more years.

After feeling down and low the night before, I threw on some old music–like early 1970’s stuff–and examined what I’d written the night before.  I saw where it was lacking, so I did a little editing and a bit of adding, and when I was finished I was far more satisfied with the final outcome.

But that was the stuff I’d already worked on.  I needed to finish out the scene.

The class is Self Defense for Beginners.  The instructor is Madam Ramona Chai, straight outta Hong Kong, who is never going to come out and say, “I know kung fu,” but rather, “Besides t’ai chi ch’uan, wing chun, and southern style praying mantis, I know pencak silat, yaw-yan, eskrima, and krav maga.”  She also knows how to use the weapons that several of those disciplines use, so you have an instructor who could probably kill anyone with one hand and not a lot of thought.

Oh, and she knows magic.

What better way to scare the hell–I mean, demonstrate how she is looking out for their safety when they get on the sparing mat and face off against one another?  Oh, yeah.  They will.  She pretty much tells them without telling them, which is a very kung fu movies way of doing things, if you think about it.  But back to the basic question:  how does she show them?

Nurse Coraline comes in, and the two face off.

Up to this point most students know red haired Nurse Coraline as pretty and curvy and ready with a quip.  They didn’t know she can fight like a demoness, too.  Both she and Madam Chai go at each other with super speed–Kerry is reminded of the Martian Commandos in The Stars My Destination, who are able to accelerate their bodies to ten times normal speed–start landing blows, and when all else fails, they began throwing magic at each other.  Madam Chai does something that looks like a wall of compressed air, and Coraline jumps up in the air and does a slow back flip like an anime girl before tossing a fireball at the instructor.

This is how you do it without the fan service, kids.

This is how you do it without the fan service, kids.

By the time the demonstration was over, the kids were able to see that they might get a few bruises here and there, but they weren’t going to die from an electrical attack, and students outside the mat didn’t have to worry about being consumed by magical hell fire, as there was an invisible barrier that went up when the competition starts.

I’ll say this much:  I had fun writing the scene.  I’d been thinking about it for a while, and when it was time to get it down, I went right at it and didn’t stop until it was finished.  I signed off for the night happy and even pleased with what I’d done.

I’d had my own fight–and I think I came out on top.

15 thoughts on “Taking the Magic to the Mat

    • I am a big prog rock fan, having hit my teen years in 1970 through 1977. What I listened to was “Nursery Cryme”, “Foxtrot”, and “Selling England by the Pound”, all by Genesis. It’s unfortunate that I never had the chance to see them in concert; I had tickets for one show and then had to drop out at the last moment, which didn’t make me very happy. But I was able to see a lot of acts from that time, so I do consider myself lucky.

        • I saw Pink Floyd once and loved them. I’ve been a fan of Roxy for a while, as they used to get a lot of airplay in Chicago. Blondie has had their moments, though I must says while I’m a fan of Debbie’s, I haven’t listened to their music as much through the years.

          • Off the top of my head, I’ve seen Billy Joel, The Eagles, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, Yes, Queen, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Bob Seger, Pat Benatar, R.E.M, U2, Thin Lizzy, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabrial (Secret World Tour), Bad Company. I know there are more in there, but that’s just what’s coming to mind at the moment.

          • It was during their “Game Tour”, and they were fantastic. All the stories about Freddie playing to the audience and being a fantastic showman–true, true, all true. One of the highlights for me was Brian doing his solo from “Brighton Rock”, because they were employing one of the most incredible light systems I’ve seen, period, and the way they used the lighting in sync with his playing was wonderfully surreal. Freddie only swore once, which was disappointing. 😉

  1. Hey there! Sorry I’ve been away for a few days. Also pushing out the word spew to paper. I just have a few more chapters left before I get to the editing process! I completed 20,000 words over the weekend and another 3,000 last night. Exhausting!

    These fight scenes are so difficult to master. I like the description that you portrayed in yours. Looking forward to the next addition.

    • I’ve had to write a couple of fight scenes, and one thing I’d discovered is to keep the action minimal. In another novels I wrote up a fight between a couple of powerful magic users, and thought, “There won’t be any finesse here–at least one’s going for the kill shot right away.” So I started with a sucker punch, and that did nothing but piss the other person off. With that they just brought the pain and took their opponent down in like a minute.

      With the things my characters were doing last night–particularly moving at ten times normal speed–everything would seem a blur. I think the whole fight was maybe a thousand words.

      Now, on the other hand, the preceding novel into this one had a battle that went on for 25,000 words, though there were a lot of points of view in that story.

      • Yes, I mix action with transition, and attempt to leave much to the readers imagination unless it helps the storyline progress. I have been told by those that have proofread my work that my action scenes are a strongpoint of my writing, but I don’t want to have as much detail as R.A. Salvatore.

        And thank you! I cannot believe it, but I literally written 58,000 words in about 3 weeks. I will be finishing another 15,000 by the end of Saturday to wrap up the book (if I stick to the outline)!

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