Monday, September 22, 2014

Are you an Action Hero? (i.e. advice for writing action scenes)

I'm probably the last person you should look to for advice on how to write action scenes, so I've asked my wonderful daughter to help illustrate what little I know. (Actually she doesn't know I'm using these pics. Haha!)
True fight scenes are a specials nemesis of mine. I've written them in my fantasy stories, but not so much in my contemporary work. This is how I look at the thought of writing them:

I do recall one piece of good advice I once read on writing action - focus on the details. If a character throws a punch, how does it feel? What does it sound like? A book is not (usually) a movie, so take some time and describe the sensory details that aren't necessarily visual, such as smells, sounds, textures, and tastes.

Tastes are especially good.

Now, while you're describing all that sensory detail, beware of bogging the action down. Short, choppy sentences can give a scene a sense of urgency or speed. How much speed you want or need will depend on the genre you're writing, of course. A thriller will require a much more "Dan Brown" active approach than a cozy mystery would.

Bah! I hate writing rules. Just write! Be the action hero! You can always fix it later. That's my motto - just write.

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