I'm happy to say that in my many, many years of life I have been able to avoid taking part in violence for most of my life. I have been on the receiving end of a few hits, but being the pacifist that I am (call me a hippie, I don't care), I have never returned the blows.
And so, I find it very hard to write violence. I can read violence, and I can understand if it's well written or awkward, but being able to pinpoint and create the scenes for myself has proven impossible. So I went looking for some help.
And found it in the form of a great list of 25 ways to improve your violence writing skills posted by YA author Delilah S. Dawson.
Delilah's Basic Tips:
1. You’re not writing a manual.
2. You’re not writing a memoir.
3. You’re not writing a sex scene.
4. Except– wait. it’s almost like writing a sex scene.
5. You can learn a lot from reading great violence.
6. You can also learn from horribly done violence.
7. If you’ve never been in a fight before, go get in a fight.
8. Unless you’re writing superman, everyone has a weakness
9. Blood is constrained by physics.
10. Adrenaline is great, but it will only get you so far.
11. Healing takes time.
12. Like, a lot of time.
13. There is lasting emotional aftermath. trauma is traumatic.
14. When in doubt, do your research to avoid looking like a moron.
15. There is no substitute for (controlled!) experience.
16. Plant your Chekhov’s guns and tend the soil. with manure and blood.
17. Plenty of violence is accidental, and that’s okay
18. 90% of fights are over in the first 30 seconds.
19. Most fights get dirty. really dirty.
20. If your character isn’t accustomed to fighting, they’re going to freak out.
21. Mistakes will be made.
22. No matter how ugly the fight is, your language should be beautiful.
23. Readers crave revenge and justice.
24. If you’ve written it well, the reader might not notice.
25. For the love of all that’s holy, do not kill the dog.
Get her full advice, with examples and all, by checking out the original post here. And trust me, there's a lot to learn from a published author such as Delilah!