1. Cellardoor54
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    Cellardoor54 New Member

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    How do I write a thrilling "chase scene"?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Cellardoor54, Dec 28, 2012.

    So the concept of my story I'm working on at the moment is along the likes I have never done before. It involves a very motivated FBI agent on the tracks of my main character who is an expert killer and second in command of a notorius gang. I want to write a very fast paced scene like ones you see in the movies, car chase (foot chase etc.) that would drag my characters through a small sector of my setting. Though I don't wish to over exaggerate it like Hollywood movies (I think it would go over the top.)

    Perhaps people have more expertise in this area and knows how to pan a story around fast paced action and I have an understanding, but perhaps examples or a refrence would be of help.

    Thanks!
     
  2. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    I'm having a similar problem! I've been hunting around for my copy of one of the Bourne books (Legacy, Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum, etc.).
     
  3. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    There are plenty of books out there that have such scenes in them, so the oft quoted advice will mainly be to go and find some and read them. The Bourne books are probably as good a place as any to start.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I agree that chase scenes don't tend to have the same impact in a book as on screen. But it can be done. I'd recommend sticking to the main obstacles of the chase: dodging the taxi that shoots across the intersection, just missing an oblivious pedestrian whose attention is on his cell phone, having to take an alternate route because a bus stopped across your route. You can heighten the suspense by raising the stakes of losing your quarry. Similar considerations if your character is the one being pursued.

    But keep it short. Don't try to maintain that pace over several pages.

    Spy thrillers tend to have good chase scenes, such as the chase scene near the Geneva factory in Goldfinger. You may find them in mystery novels as well, but high speed chases are far less common in that genre.
     
  5. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't set out to write a good "chase scene." Set out to write a good scene in which a good chase is occurring.
     
  6. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    When I write chase scenes I do several things. Firstly I look at the locations I plan to have the chase pass through and think about exciting obstacles and stunts I could write in (even a highly realistic story can still have some stunts). Secondly I think about what the obvious escape routes would be and then decide why they can't be used. Then I get into my characters heads and think about how they would escape pursuit in these areas, that is likely to determine how they will go about pursuit as well. The trick of course is to keep it fast paced, interesting and to not let it drag on for more than a couple of pages or so. YOu don't want your audience to skip ahead because too long passes with nothing changing.
     
  7. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    Some of the advice here has been to keep the chase scene short (at least from a page count point of view). In general I agree, because rarely do I feel that an action-oriented scene includes much in the way of story progression. But if you have a chase scene within which a great deal of working through the story can or does occur, then the scene needs to be as long as required to get through the story elements.
     
  8. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I would HIGHLY recommend reading Robert Ludlum's works. Not only are the good, and the passage of time doesn't date them, but he was a master in that field. There are several chase scenes and very high paced action in his novels. In my opinion, his works are a better example of how to do a good thriller then Ian Fleming's works.
     
  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Some good advice here. My input - remember to give your character some reactions - stitch in the
    side from running - breathless, panting, sweaty, if she's got long hair - dare she loose a few seconds to
    anchor it up, if she's wearing high heels - would she kick them off? Make her adrenalin soar. A chase
    scene has a very physical effect on people - it induces fear, a challenge, a kind of glory and relief in
    getting away. And an all-over quivering at close calls when obstacals arise.
     
  10. domenic.p
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    domenic.p Banned

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    moved
     
  11. F.E.
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    F.E. Member

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    That's a good way to get the experience to write a "chase scene", by actually sitting down and writing one. :)

    Other posters have already given you good and practical advice, especially that about studying novels written by well-established authors to see what techniques they use.

    Good luck!
     
  12. Cellardoor54
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    Cellardoor54 New Member

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    Thank you for the input everyone! I have been writing other scenes for my story since I posted this, but with the advice I've been given I'll have to give it a modest attempt!
     

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