Do we want a tag for [combat] or [battle]?

Some questions that could use the tag (in no particular order):

There are some unique challenges to writing about combat.

Or would such a tag be too specific?

3 Answers 3


My personal list for the usefulness of new tags from I'd like some guidance on creating tags:

  1. Ask yourself how many questions you have about this topic: is this probably the only one or is this a topic you want to ask about more regularly?
    • Something with the meaning of "fighting" is common in many areas of writing, so there likely will be more such questions in the future. Plus point for creating the tag.
  2. Look through the existing questions: how many already use the word or similar words and might profit from the tag?
    • Apparently there already are multiple questions that would benefit from a tag according to the research done in this meta discussion post. Grouping them would be beneficial for people searching for information about this topic. Plus point for creating the tag.
  3. Look through the existing tags: is one of them already encompassing what you are trying to convey?
    • I couldn't find anything. Nothing along the lines of war, fighting or combat as far as I can tell. Plus point for creating something for such questions.
  4. Look through Meta: have there been similar requests or precedent cases where something similar has been created/denied?
    • Nothing again. So nothing against creating such a tag.
  5. Think about the sites scope: do you think that a lot of people will profit from these tags when they are asking questions about the specific topic of the site you are on?
    • Combat scenes, action scenes, wars, ... - those are pretty common in lots of different genres. From a big site about writing new users will probably expect a couple questions about such a topic.
  6. Think about the tag's scope: is it well-defined and obvious to users coming to the site?
    • The scope looks good to me when using . "Combat" looks to me like a supercategory of everything related to fighting, be it a small-scale action fight scene between the protagonist and a villain in a fantasy setting or a large-scale battle between nations. We have many tags with a broad focus on genres like or - but then again only has 12 questions whereas this meta discussion already mentions 8. It's more similar to one of the other tags that focus on certain types of content that you can find in different genres, like , which currently has 9 questions, or , again with 9 questions.

All in all: I think this tag would be useful and is well-defined.

I vote for naming it and categorising everything related to fights of any scale under it - from small-scale action scenes to large-scale wars.

Wikipedia seems to roughly agree on this perception - anything from an argument between individual people through professional boxing to a battle between nations seem to fall under the term combat though there is a notice that this specific article is not really good. Looks like a good indication that for now such a tag would be acceptable though. We can always split it later if we get lots of specialised questions or change the name if we realise that people are using something else most of the time.

Here is an idea for the corresponding tag wiki excerpt:

This tag should be used for questions about fights of any scale - from small-scale fighting scenes in your action packed fantasy novel to large-scale wars between the nations of your modern alternate universe dystopia.

Here is an idea for the corresponding full tag wiki:

This tag should be used when you are asking a question about fights. Whether you are writing a small-scale fight scene in your fantasy novel or a large-scale war between the nations of your modern dystopia there is a difference between writing dialogue between characters in a relaxed atmosphere and showing the reader how a battle plays out or what your characters feel while they are being attacked by a villain.

When asking a question about combat you should mention what genre you are writing in, what specific problem you encountered with combat in your literary work and how you identified this problem. For example you should mention what kind of feedback you got from beta readers if you have gotten such feedback and how you tried to change your writing based on it.


Combat is a useful tag

Secespitus's answer is a great breakdown of how to assess when to make new tags. They make great points and I agree with their conclusions.

Personally I would like a combat tag to exist. I find many situations where I would like to describe combat in various settings but rarely have enough for an actual question. The ability to browse through other combat questions for inspiration would be useful.

I would suggest that the tag wiki should include descriptions that the tag is for combats at all scale and points of view. From 1st-person first fights in an alley to large-scale warfare.


I think that would be too specific, regardless of the volume of questions.

There is already a tag called scene, and one called description.

What would prevent then to make tags for sailing, travelling, walking, jogging, ironing, cooking, waiting, sleeping, etc... ?

Finally, combat is the typical focus of young male writers. Nothing against being young, male and a writer, there is just no need to push gender-specific tags on the rest of us.

  • 5
    I'm not male!!! Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 19:12
  • No intention of pushing tags on you either. Apologies if that was perceived that way.
    – NofP
    Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 19:48
  • 5
    How is "combat" gender-specific? I'm writing a war novel. I'm a woman. Am I less woman because I'm writing a war novel, or does my war novel have less worth because I'm a woman? Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 20:08
  • 2
    Also, "travel" might actually be a good tag. Has been suggested before. Should cover travel guides, travelogues, and descriptions of travel. Commented Mar 24, 2019 at 20:47
  • 3
    Yes, I'd like to see travel (I was probably not the first but I did suggest it).
    – Cyn
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 1:42
  • 1
    Ha ha @Galastel is from a country where every able bodied citizen, male or female, serves 2 years in the military (or eq service). But still, combat doesn't = military. It can be for writing fight scenes in a superhero comic, police takedowns, schoolyard fights, or someone fighting off an attacker.
    – Cyn
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 3:43
  • 7
    Are you serious with this answer? 1. Scene and description have very little to do with writing effective combat. 2. I can actually make a good argument for a traveling tag. 3. I am a young male writer and I find your final comment offensive. So what if it is more common among one group? That doesn't make it a gender-specific tag. Romance is more common among middle-aged women don't push your gender-specific tags on the rest of us. Flagged.
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 4:58
  • 6
    I don't see how combat is gender-specific. The negative stereotyping in your final paragraph is probably why your post is getting the negative reception it's getting. Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 1:33
  • 1
    Let's keep comments focused on the content not the people, please. Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 1:33

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