1. josie101
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    josie101 Member

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    action scenes!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by josie101, Jun 26, 2012.

    When your writing action scenes what are the best ways to describe them? I am having trouble writing scenes that have fast paced action, help?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Fast action needs a faster writing pace, Shorter sentences and less description increases the pace, longer sentences and more description slows the pace.
     
  3. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    depends on the action type IMHO

    there is a big difference between sniping at a target, and shooting at someone with a handgun at smell each other’s breath distance.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    She already specified fast paced action though.
     
  5. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Trial and error. :) Write them and revise them until they work. As others have said, action isn't much time for details. Imagine somebody's chasing you with a gun. I don't think you'll have time to really notice the brick exteriors of the Jewish deli that you are running past on the recent installed white cement sidewalk. ;) So why would you include it?
     
  6. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    still whould cange. your foucus whould change on fighting type. everything might be fast for longrange shooting. then mentely slow down for a shoot. your world might not extend beyond your gunsight if you are behind fortifications and the enemy is comeing at you but you will be looking every witch way if you cant see them.

    think about how you feel diffrent depending on what happens when playing with paintball/airsoft/laser tag what have you
     
  7. josie101
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    josie101 Member

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    Good point, i'll definitely keep that in mind, thanks! :)
     
  8. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    I agree with both Cogito and James Berkley. When writing an action scene, things happen suddenly. You want a mix of short sentences and midlength--Mostly short.

    If it is first person you will definitely wat to limit observation to that of the POV. Some times rationalities are scatted by emotion. just remember that for action secenes its all action and reaction Something Happens, the POV feels, then thinks, then acts. Or if their thought is scattered by excitement, then they will feel [exciteent, fear, etc] and act on impulse. Maybe they are a rational person so maybe after the fast paste action has built up the tenion the POV is able to calm down, and in that moment they know everything they do. here is an example:

    "With the police closing in on me I had no choice but to shoot my way out. Bang! I shot, and an officer fell. They retaliated with an onslaught of their own bullets. They whizzed past me. I ducked for safety and fired out blindly hoping to hit another. The officers came closer Bang! Bang! Bullets Ricocheted off the wall behind me. I fired again. The officers came closer. I was running out of time. Bang! I was hit in the shoulder! They were on top of me! I dropped my gun and ran.

    "Before I took three steps the officers were on top of me, beating me. my ears started ringing and I became aware of everything. Each blow seemed to slow down and I could almost time the intervals between swing and eminent pain. With a loud crack, my skull was barraded with the blunt end of a gun and I could feel myself losing consciousness. The world disappeared around me. All went black. All was silent."

    Here we have a scene. In it the POV is afraid, tension is building and he starts shooting. With the loss of an officer the police advance. the POV's anxiety rises and the stakes are higher. the sentences arent that long but they aren't entirely broken. then as he's caught he becomes aware of the fact that they are going to knowck him out. he's caught nd can do nothing but take it. and we get a glimpse of everything as he sees it before it blurs away.
     
  9. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    What Cognito said. Even if you're shooting someone with a gun, the sentences should be short and crisp. Descriptions kept to a bare minimum. You can describe the results of the fight after it's done.

    Kate glided out of the dark like an evil spirit released from the darkness. Two seconds later she took a knee and peered around the corner. The men had moved ten meters down the corridor.

    She raised the rifle. It kicked against her shoulder for a couple of seconds. The two former special ops soldiers dropped dead to the floor.


    The first paragraph set up the action, so the sentences were longer. When the action came, the sentences were short, concise and to the point. That makes it *snap snap snap* to the reader. Once that's done, you can take advantage of the lull afterwards to expand more on your character's strength/weaknesses/feelings if you so choose. Action scenes leave you, the writer, a lot of wiggle room as to what you wish to do next.

    But, yes, the sentences need to be short like Cognito said.
     

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