Hi there! I’ve been out of writing for a hot minute and was hoping someone that finds themselves writing action a lot might be able to help me review and smooth out the action scene I have in the first chapter of my book. I’m looking for a different perspective because I can find it difficult to explain why things sound off, and I am not as experience with action as a whole anyway. If you are willing to lend me a hand, I would greatly appreciate it! (do understand that some terms are understandable in context as it’s a fantasy, but if you need explanation of names or circumstances I am happy to answer!)
“You will now complete a combative assessment,” The middle one said. “You have two minutes.” Mar could barely process what he said. A combative assessment? What the hell was that?
She didn’t have to wait long to find out. While she had been staring at the judging panel, the second attendant had come back into the room. He now had on pads and a helmet, and in is hand was a large ax. He lunged at her. Mar just barely processed what was happening in time to side step the man. He turned quickly and grabbed her arm. She tried to pull away but his grasp was firm.
Self defense lessons began to flood back to her. She rotated her wrist and pulled her arm as hard as she could. His grip loosened and Mar began running as fast she could. Despite his size, the man was light on his feet and that combined with his longer legs meant that Mar was only just out of his reach. The room wasn’t very big. Mar could see that she would have to change directions soon to avoid getting cornered. So just before her feet could reach the tape of the marked track, she spun on her heels and ran directly towards the man.
He was much closer then she thought. His arm reached out to stop her but she ducked. The man’s arms swept over her head as he continued moving forward. Mar used her crouch to leap forward, buying herself a few precious feet of distance while the man turned around. Her breath came out in sharp gasps and her chest was seized up in fear. The exhaustion from completing the other tests was hindering her performance. The fear of being pursued was hindering her breathing. Her legs ached and burned, but she couldn’t stop them if she tried. Margret glanced over her shoulder. The attendant was already gaining on her one step at at time. But just to her left were the water buckets. They were there for the manips taking the physical, but if she could use one as a distraction…
Once more, Mar took a sharp turn to the left. The man had trouble banking. She raced over to the buckets of water and when she looked back, the man was already at her heels, with his ax in position. Mar reached the barrels. Just one of them was almost five feet tall. She pressed her shoulder up against one and pushed with all her strength. It began to tip. The farther it leaned the easier it was to push. With one last bit of effort, it fell onto the marble floor with a solid thunk, sloshing water everywhere. The man stopped not that the barrel was in between them. It was too big to easily jump. They stood there and face each other for a split second, not sure what move would be made next. Mar feinted to the right before running left, leading the man all the way around the barrel in an attempt to follow her. But the left side of the barrel was the side with the opening. She tried to sprint away, but her feet skidded on the galleons of water that had been spilled. She lost traction and slipped.
Her hands met the ground first. The rest of her body crumpled to the floor. Her palms pulsed from the pain. Mar tried to get back on her feet but when she flipped herself over it was too late. She made a feeble attempt to scoot away, but the man loomed over her, the ax brandished raised above his head. The fear in her chest leaped into her throat. She couldn’t swallow. She raised her hands above her face and squeezed her eyes shut as if could somehow lessen the blow.
But that blow never came. Only a gasp from the judges table.