That old writing adage "show, don't tell"? Hoyeah, loads. In order to get the reader to feel like they're in the action, going through the motions of the fight, flinching with the characters as though they were the ones who got hit...well, that isn't going to be happening if the fight scenes are being *told* to the audience.
Carver glared menacingly at the humanoid machina. He wanted so badly to just ram his fist into that hunk of metal, not caring if the impact broke his hand. He wondered if his anger would be enough to make him forget about the physical pain.
Uhh...my thoughts reading this? zzZZzz...
Know why? It's telling.
Carver didn't stop to think. Before he realized what he was doing, his fist made contact with the flesh-like shell of the machina. The machina's head snapped back without skipping a beat and Carver's fist pounded into the tin giant's face over and over again, his fingers nothing more than a mangled mess of skin and bones.
See the difference? Don't hate on the scenarios - I just came up with those off the top of my head. LOL But you get the point, right? Why would he be thinking about all of these things? Where was the adrenaline? The anger that Carver's telling the audience he has? Now in the second example, Carver showed that machina who was boss. You can see the anger and feel the adrenaline. Or at least I can. LOL
You know...kinda like this...
I recently just finished reading Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton and it had some of the best fight scenes I've seen in a while. I was fist pumping for the MC and wanted the Guardian to rip the vir to shreds. I felt like I was in the scene with them.
And who can forget the final scene between Harry Potter and Voldemort? You couldn't help but catch your breath as the anticipation grew and when the first spell was cast, your stomach jumped up and did a samba dance with your furiously beating heart. Just me? LOL Anyway...
What are some of your favorite literary fight scenes and what elements about them made you feel like they were worthy of being called favorite?