Getting into Fights

So, I’m working on my novel.  I know who’s going to be in it.  I have lengthy files documenting their life stories and psychological profiles, their wants and needs and hates.  They are as real to me as any of my neighbors I might wave at when going out to check my mail.

Unfortunately for my characters, it’s taking a little longer than expected to put them in place.  I could set them down in the streets of my story town and they would be right at home.  What I forgot, though, was how these characters would interact.

Two characters in particular hate each other, loathe one another, despise the very idea of the other.  But, that does my novel no good unless I can get these two fellows into a fight.  I’m good at getting them into conversations, or contemplations, or even a lively contretemps.  I’m having a hard time doing a fight.

My son, a martial artist, studied stage fighting, in which two or more actors appear to be having a real swashbuckler while in reality it’s all a choreographed dance.  Maybe if I see my characters’ fight as a dance, I can infuse my story with the dramatic tension it needs.  Look at the success of the movie The Black Swan.  Dance can be quite dramatic.  Ooh, I think I’m on to something!