Reviewed by author and freelance writer, Donna Sundblad
Them’s Fightin’ Words is a must have for novelists wanting to add fight scene drama and action to their manuscripts. Author Teel James Glenn pulls his vast fighting experience into this book. Readers benefit from his combat experience, including eastern martial arts, the physiology and kinetics of weight training, and the dramatic story telling from film and stage acting. For me, his expertise with edged weapons presents not only techniques but also the attitude behind the fighting mindset. It’s a perfect resource for writers who don’t have a clue how to fight, but want to add fight scene excitement to their fiction.
Privileged to study under a number of great teachers, including Errol Flynn’s last stunt double, Glenn became a fight choreographer versed in the dynamics of action acting. He takes that, plus his experience as a stunt double, fencing master, and affiliate in The Society of American Fight Directors, and he breaks fight scenes down into elemental, easy-to-understand techniques for writers to follow.
The author teaches visual and physical aspects of actions and offers writers ways to connect them. Glenn takes writers from a verbal camera sweep to the literary equivalent of a camera slowly tracking in to a close-up over the course of a battle. He provides writing exercises at the close of each chapter that challenge his readers to capture fighting moves onto paper.