Final battle: instant action or slow buildup?

3 years ago | AdamBolander (Member)

I've been struggling to write the final battle in my book all day. I want it to FEEL like the final battle, with the characters making important decisions ("I won't run this time! I'll stand and fight!") and meaningful moments between them ("You're my granddaughter. No matter what you do, I'm proud of you.") instead of just pounding out another fight scene. Problem is, it involves a giant monster rampaging through the city, and it feels weird to me when the monster apparently waits for everyone to have their special character moments before going nuts. The buildup to the fight is about 1000 words long. Do you think that's okay, or should I just launch straight into the action?

Author of The Gray Ranger, The Slayer and The Sphinx, Juryokine, Amber Silverblood, and more! Read for free on

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  1. ubersoft (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Since it's a giant monster you can have situations where it moves faster than the people fighting it, causing characters to be temporarily left behind until it comes back/they find a way to catch up with it. These would produce "lulls" in the battle allowing you to intersperse conversations with battles.

    Or you could have the people fighting the monsters deliberately set up "fight zones" where different groups of people are chosen to engage the monster at different locations. This would allow you to have people waiting to fight (and able to engage in pre-fight dialog) without the monster having to wait--it could just be fighting another group.

    In both these situations, since it's rampaging through a city, you have space to work with. The people in Brooklyn can't necessarily instantly jump over to Manhattan (using New York as an example) so you can pace your fight however you need to.

    OR you could have people talking while they're fighting, though depending on what kind of mood you're going for you need to be careful how you handle that (I find it works better when the combat is a little more lighthearted and the conversation more tongue-in-cheek, but YMMV).

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