Last night, my family went to Medieval Times. It’s a role-play “dinner” “experience” in a “castle” with a king and knights and chivalry and plastic cups that are supposed to look like mead steins. The kids loved it. My husband and I… we… er… loved that the kids loved it. But despite the bad acting (truly, truly horrendous) and the horrible food (seriously, the worst I’ve ever had, and I lived in England, so that’s saying a lot), the saving grace of this thing were the fight scenes.
Sure, it was extremely careful choreography because they’re using actual swords and mace and whatnot. And sure they’re going pretty slowly to make sure that nobody gets hurt, but they were kind of exciting. And that was because of the reversals.
Reversals: the stand-by of the horror, the thriller, and every b-movie you’ve ever seen. You think a guy’s down and then he suddenly sees a way to claw back to the top. Is your knight done for? No! He tipped up his blade and caught the bad guy in the gut at the last second. Down goes bad guy face-first into horse poop.
The fighting knights reminded me that sometimes, even the worst story can be saved with a little of the unexpected. Some excitement by way of surprise. I know it’s the same ol’ the-axe-murderer-was-dead-but-comes-back-for-a-final-slash bit. But it works, right?
Just imagine if you do those reversals well in your book? It’d be pretty awesome!
Because everybody loves a comeback.