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Review of Them's Fightin' Words

by Clem Daems

A must read for any author or aspiring author whether its a short story, novella or novel. Them's Fightin' Words by Teel James Glenn, provides a comprehensive way to look at action. And although the book's emphasis is on fighting scenes, the insights are equally applicable to any kind of action--rescuing a drowning man, a fireman searching a burning building, a person confronting a vicious dog, etc.

Glenn takes the reader through an insightful look at what can only be described as the craft of writing a fighting sequence. Through excerpts of past masters, he looks at how to plan the scene, consider its purpose in the context of the overall story, and how the emotions of the characters provide an insight into their motives and personalities.

He also considers issues easily overlooked, such as the level of the technology, cultural restrictions, political and religious structures, clothes (yes clothes), and the physical skills and personal prejudices of the characters. Together they integrate the action with the character and the environment into an inseparable gestalt.

And if that weren't enough, the book is complete with exercises, and suggested books to read, movies to see, and websites to visit.

After reading Them's Fightin' Words, you will never look at an action scene the same again.

Clem Daems
Sifu, Praying Mantis Kung Fu
Author of the soon to be released Talons of the Raptor Clan


November 2015

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