Writing Epic Battle Scenes

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I’ve been a professional screenwriter and screenwriting instructor for quite a while now and have seen many vexing creative issues over the years.

None raises its thorny head more frequently than writing great battle sequences – whether they appear in scenes of actual war or gun fights on the streets.

Why is this? It really comes down to one tendency most screenwriters suffer from: wanting to lay out each blow, every gunshot or artillery barrage in detail.

This is fine for a first draft because you as a screenwriter need to visualize the battle first before you can create it for others.

But when you want to submit your script, you don’t want the reader to get bogged down with unnecessary details. You want the reader’s experience to be as thrilling as possible – so he or she can actually see a movie as they’re reading your pages – smell the gun smoke, feel the earth shake as the bombs drop.

Join my on-demand webinar and learn the tricks of the trade from great writers and directors like Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk). Get specific tools to make your battle sequences as exciting as the real thing.

We will analyze famous battle sequences from movies like Dunkirk, deconstruct the techniques these screenwriters are using to make their battle sequences as realistic as possible, and analyze an early draft of a war scene and see how it was rewritten to make it even better. What you will learn will translate directly to your scenes to make them come alive on the page.

I hope you can join me!

Glenn M. Benest is an award-winning writing producer with seven produced screenplays, including two that were directed by Wes Craven. His independent film, HUNGRY HEARTS, was nominated for numerous awards at film festivals throughout the country and is being distributed internationally by Shoreline Entertainment. Mr. Benest is a celebrated lecturer and instructor and his professional screenwriting workshops have launched six feature films, including SCREAM and EVENT HORIZON. Follow Glenn on Twitter: @GlennBenest

Get tips from Glenn’s webinar on Writing Epic Battle Scenes


At a Glance:

  • During this live webinar you will learn the unique craft of orchestrating exciting action scenes taking place on the battlefield.
  • Get specific examples from recent screenplays like Dunkirk of what to focus on, giving visceral visual details during the mayhem of combat.
  • See how you can make those military set pieces come to life on the page, putting your reader in the middle of the action.