1. hughesj
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    hughesj Member

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    Writing a 'High Action' Scene.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by hughesj, Jul 23, 2013.

    hey everyone,

    i am about to write a scene in my novel which will have a lot of 'actions' that the character does in a short space of time. Unfortunately my first try at it sounded like i was listing the actions but don't know how to stop this without losing the pace of the scene? It is supposed to be a high action scene where two of the characters are rescued from the bad guys. (Sounds cheesy but i couldnt think of another way to write it)
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There isn't any one 'right way' to write a scene packed with action. There are many factors to consider besides writing style, including POV.

    What I'd suggest is to find a couple of novels/authors you've enjoyed reading that have action scenes similar to what you're attempting. Study how those authors accomplished it, including pacing, mixture of dialogue and description, length of sentences, etc. Then apply what you learned to your writing style and the scene you're attempting to write.

    Good luck!
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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  4. rodney adams
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    rodney adams Member

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    I subscribe to Brandon Sanderson's theory for action sequences.
    Blow by blow has sort of a niche audience, where as if you other mc's in the same scene, place them somewhere doing something, then focus on your protagonist. Here's a great video of him explaining it:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyTrlsuwZug

    I don't know if your sequence is going to focus on fighting or not, so I don't really know if you're looking for actual fighting advice or chase sequence advice. Luckily Brandon Sanderson has videos on both.

    PS: Since it's a person, not a company this isn't advertising, is it?
     
  5. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You need the basic action-reaction sequence. But then in between, throw in character thoughts, use fragments, and use long sentences from time to time. Think about it, violence is rather fluid. It's not really, I punch you, pause, you dodge, I swing to your right, you block and kick. It's not like that. It's more like I'm punching and kicking and while you're also doing the exact same thing at the same time. It's fluid motion, really. So I wouldn't be afraid to convey this sense of "everything flying by" by using long sentences. Then change pace by using a fragment or very short sentence, to convey the impact - the THUD when the character lands a punch - perhaps follow with language that could be more vague than previously to convey the dazed state of the MC and here's where you'd use character thought (shit I'm gonna die I'm gonna die). Then snap back into concrete action.

    Basically, it's no different to any other kinds of writing. Think of it as more like a dance, there will be abrupt moments and there will be fluid moments, and don't leave character thought and feeling out of this either (unless you're going Jack Reacher style, but even then there's much internal dialogue actually, Reacher calculating his next move or dropping in one of his "rules" that has just sealed the bad guy's doom, then BAM he strikes.)
     
  6. johnangelov
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    johnangelov New Member

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    Very nice .. and I also was suffering from the same problem ... :)
     
  7. Ann-Russell
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    Ann-Russell Member

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    Mix up the blow-by-blow descriptions (which can get boring) with some emotion and impact. I enjoy action scenes, but only if I can feel them. If your characters are being rescued, there must be a mix of emotions involved and the threat of death (or some other impending doom :)). Play these up to create tension and conflict. Don't just write it from afar; make it personal.
     

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