In one of the novels I’m working on, the protagonist and his buddies get into a vicious fight with the bad guy. The fight reveals some important plot points, so I don’t want to gloss over it with a few well-placed “pows” and “whams” and then move on to other things. I want to sink the reader into the pain, power and gore and get their heart beating faster.
The first time I wrote the scene, I screwed up my close 3rd POV and went almost cinematic. In the midst of all the action of the fight, I focused on ONLY the action of the fight, and not what was really important. Let me give you a quick example of what I mean:
Matt pulled his fist back, grabbing at the collar of the man who stood leering in front of him. He swung and connected, feeling his knuckles mash open the man’s lips and crunch against his teeth. The man would have staggered if Matt had not been holding on to him, but instead Matt pulled him back for another sharp blow to the jaw.
This paragraph shows what is happening in the action scene. Any reader can get an image in their mind of what is going on. It’s a scene you’ve seen in action movies a hundred times before. But books aren’t action movies. The reader can’t see what you don’t describe.
Fight scenes, or any action scenes, are not really about what is going on, anyway. They are about what the characters think and feel about what is going on, how they react and what changes them when the action occurs. Action scenes should be told in deep POV for maximum effect. Instead of pointing out every single punch, kick and hair-pull, narrow down the view to a few key things.
Have you ever been in a fight, car accident or other high-action event? Do you see the guy pulling back his fist then hammering it into your jaw? Or do you just feel the flash of pain and anger as the guy lands a punch? Do you see the shred of tires on the pavement and feel the tip and roll of the car, which makes your groceries in the back spill out and smash open? Or do you register the impact and then the sickening fear that you might actually die at any second?