1. Super Awesome Me
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    Super Awesome Me New Member

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    Writing an impact

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Super Awesome Me, Oct 5, 2013.

    Not sure if this is the correct place to post this but I need some help adding an impact into my story.

    My character is running through the woods when all of a sudden she is going to run into a stranger. As in literally run into.

    Writing the running scene is easy but I don't know how to write "Emily runs straight into a strange man" without it sounding pedestrian and rather naff.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Maybe alter your verb - action scenes need high action verbs, they can really give it a boost. For instance. Emily slammed into a strange man - or even alter strange man into figure or person.
    A good way to get your create juices going is to watch a similar action in a movie. You can observe reactions, point of impact etc.

    Also, welcome to the group SuperAwesome!
     
  3. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    It seems that you are using third person POV, but still I would probably concentrate on how she experiences it. She runs into something, then realizes it isn't a tree, that it's actually someone, a man...
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I fully agree with this. Find a scene in a film and watch it eyes open and also eyes closed. Listen to the sound. It may well give you some ideas.

    And I second the Welcome! :) Love your avi. ;)
     
  5. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you're writing from the viewpoint of your main character, the actual impact may not be perceived immediately. You could try something like, "Emily suddenly found herself on the ground with pain in her head and chest. Trying to recover her breath she looked up and saw a strange man standing over her."
     
  6. Super Awesome Me
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    Super Awesome Me New Member

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    Wow thank you all for your help and for the warm welcome. I've never written a book before, in fact I've seldom even read one, but a very good friend of mine has a big birthday coming up and I've decided to write a book for her as a birthday present, with her as the central character but set 150 years ago.

    I found this forum tonight and I can imagine I will be coming on here a lot for inspiration and tips on writing.

    I'm just about to start chapter 4, but fingers crossed it's not going to be a long story as I need to get it finished and printed by next month.
     
  7. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    You can't. Writing it as you demonstrate is you telling the story aloud. It's not Emily running into the man from her POV. And in any case, she doesn't know he's a strange man till she recovers, stops moaning in pain, and looks him over and decides that. You know, but it's not your story, it's hers. So she gets to make the observations and decisions. It's in her union contract.

    Get into her head and tell the reader what she perceives. Think of how she views it. First, there has to be a reason for her having the accident. Perhaps she's not paying attention. Perhaps he's coming on a different trail and is screened by brush. But the question is, why didn't she hear him? Why didn't he hear her? To work, the reader needs to know the situation as she does, and buy into it happening because, as presented, they would have run into him themselves.

    Provide only the details of the collision and there's no feeling of realism, no entertainment value.

    Here's an example of such a situation from the POV of the runner:

    Why in the hell was I so easy?" There was no answer to that question, and it nagged, as Susan fell into the rhythm of the jog, breath coming easily, muscles warming to the task. The colors of fall brought no joy, and the tang of someone's campfire on the late fall breeze held no interest. What mattered was what possessed her to say yes last night

    Jack was a bastard. That was a given. He always had been. So what possible reason had there been for trusting him? Only stupidity. And the thought of that brought anger, which she relieved by increasing the pace, out-runing her frustration. But by doing that she entered the cross-trail a single pace to early, and the man who had been approaching, who had increased his own pace to pass in front of her, was now directly in her path.

    Shit! She swerved left, to give him room to pass, but unfortunately, he tried to be a gentleman and stop. As they tumbled to the ground she had time for one clear thought, I am an idiot. Then they they were both rolling down the steep hillside and there was no time for thought.
    - - - - - - - -
    Note that we know, from her POV, what's happening. I've given a plausible reason for her being less than attentive, and for the collision, due to natural actions on both their part. And as part of it I've provided character development. She's prone to be self-critical and analytic, but also impulsive. He's someone who tends toward the polite response. I could have had him try to beat her, had I wanted a different personality. She couls woerry about something different to change her personality.

    Did you wonder, at the end, if they were hurt? If so, you were involved, emotionally, and cared about her, and the man to an extent. That can't happen if you simply report events, because it's too dispassionate.

    A good article on the technique I used for that demo can be found here.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Super Awesome Me
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    Super Awesome Me New Member

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    Thank you, that helps a lot.
     
  9. RickAndrew
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    RickAndrew New Member

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    I agree with them you can change words which shows action ....
    But as they said see movie and their action I wanna add something that is seeing movie is easy but converting them into words are very difficult..
     

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