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  1. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    Action story plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Moe1795, Dec 15, 2016.

    I have dificulty writing action. Like I can lead the story to the final conflict, but then I have trouble keeping it interesting. All I get in my mind is bang bang, punch punch, big explosion and someone wins and someone looses. Anybody got any tips on how to get better at this?
     
  2. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributing Member Contributor

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    What kind of stories are you writing?
     
  3. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    Thriller type stories
     
  4. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd look at POV and stakes. Who's your POV character for these events? What are the stakes for that character?

    I think action scenes are kind of like sex scenes - a clinical description of the events isn't going to evoke a reaction from the reader. Instead we want to be inside a character's head, feeling what the character is feeling, thinking what the character is thinking.
     
  5. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    I mean I wanted to do s comic book at first but I think im gonna write it as a book first. I csn write my way to a conflict between characters but im finding trouble making the resolution interesting
     
  6. Seren

    Seren Active Member

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    Well, "bang bang, punch punch" is a good start. If you can at least picture the movements of the action scene in your mind, you're one step ahead than a lot of people. Reading some action scenes from the genre you want to write will really help. Pick them apart. See what has been done, and how that changes throughout the stories you look at as the stakes get higher and the fights become more serious. An easy fight where the protagonist is clearly going to win without breaking a sweat gets no one on the edge of their seat. Making it a constant struggle or suddenly flipping the situation (without it being too unrealistic) from it seeming like the antagonist will win to them losing is much better. Basically, making the fight hard and seeing the characters struggle and sometimes slip up is what keeps us reading. The good guy in action and thriller movies always struggles against the antagonist instead of clearly winning. Watching some action scenes from films might also help you. (Specifically, what's coming to mind right now is the most recent Jason Bourne.)
     
  7. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    Thats a interesting point. I was not doing POV I was doing omnipresent narrator POV might make it more interesting.
     
  8. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    Good input thank you. I should definitely watch some action movies. The stuff I wanna write is about a city"s economy and how factio s struggle to have the upper hand wheter by legitimate means or not.
     
    Seren likes this.
  9. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    I hate to say it, but....read more thrillers, Do a search for action thrillers. Read First Blood by Morrell(?). Go to youtube and do a search for writing action, or writing fight scene, watch a few 8 minute vids for some inspiration.
    Authors handle action differently depending on the writing style.
    When I write, it could be descriptive:
    From a half-crouch he sprung, grabbing the closest one by a lock of hair, causing him to involuntarily flinch which pulled Jon fully on-balance, driving a fist through....
    Or not so much:
    Jon scanned the three men sent to retrieve him and cackled maniacally, knowing they were no match in this setting. Very shortly after the door slammed shut, Jon emerged rubbing his shoulder.
     
  10. ddavidv

    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I don't know how helpful this will be but one thing I try not to do is draw out action scenes excessively. Most fights end pretty quickly; the Jason Bourne movie fights where they connect with 47 punches are frankly just visual entertainment and not realistic. My fights tend to be sudden, violent and with quick resolution. If I want a longer bit of action I draw it out by having action, then 'pause' while the characters reassess or move positions, then continue with another barrage of bullets or whatever. The longer you try to make the action the more difficult it is to do it convincingly, IMO.
     
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  11. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    All your posts read and appreciated guys thanks! I supposse above all just go with it and not try to beat on my head with a hammer over it
     
  12. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Another thing is, is that action movies are about stunts and pyrotechnics, where as if it's a book, those kinds of action scenes are not going to impress the reader so much, since they are not actually watching the stunts being done.

    So on the page, emotional action might work better, in the sense that the characters' emotional struggle, is the action. Some movies do this kind of action as well. Here are scenes from a few movies that have emotionally charged action in without relying on too many wild stunts or anything. As you can see, the emotional level of survival is really high and intense here, compared to something like... James Bond for example:



     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
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  13. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    Awesome. Will watch soon thanks
     
  14. Seren

    Seren Active Member

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    By my reference to Jason Bourne I was trying to suggest that the good guy shouldn't win easily. Yes, some of it is not realistic at all, but the fact that Bourne struggles and comes close to being killed himself before he kills seems realistic, at least fictionally, to me. I've only watched the new movie, by the way. I have no idea how true that is in any of the others. Good luck! Don't be afraid to experiment and hone your skills with a little trial and error.
     
  15. Lew

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    Emotions, emotions, emotions! Killing, especially the first time, is very hard, especially if you are doing it up close and personal. And there is going to be a lot of fear the first time.
     
  16. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    Wow you seem to be quite familiarized with killing... I will try to stay on your good side!
     
  17. Lew

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    It will help!
     
  18. Phil Mitchell

    Phil Mitchell Contributing Member Contributor

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    Read novelizations of famous action filled movies to see how it was done. To see the difference. Top of that list would be the Star Wars prequel novels. Alot of prose writers think they can describe the moves and the stunts and the audience will follow along and have this elaborate sequence in their imagination. That's unrealistic and is never going to happen. You have to save that for moves that actually have consequences. for example, two guys swordfighting, it's enough to say they fought with "brutal ferocity". Or a "civillized elegance." Nobody cares about each move unless that move is super important to the outcome. Same with gunfights. "Again and again they exchanged gunfire as they dived and rolled for cover." But you show the how the deciding move is accomplished. Say the villain uses cover that the hero knows isn't protective against bullets or uses a specially designed bullet. Or finishes it with a grenade. That's all we need to know, because much more interesting in prose is emotion motivation and strategy underlying the fight. Back to the swordfighting example, maybe the hero is tired and must find a way to finish it fast. Maybe the other notices and is trying to stall. Then the hero has to risk going in close range for the deciding move. If you want to look at action movies, look at the moves that are critical and decide things. Filter out all the rest. As far as the prose writer is concerned it's filler to be summarized. In a line or two.
     
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  19. DueNorth

    DueNorth Contributing Member

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    Studying movies or even well-done action TV series like Breaking Bad or 24 is one way to learn and can be fun. My experience has been, though, is that there is no substitute for the value of reading well-done thrillers and observing how it is done. Elsewhere in this forum I have recommended the book Thrill Me by Benjamin Percy which is specifically about this topic. I highly recommend it.
     
  20. Arcadeus

    Arcadeus Active Member

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    So most of these action scenes are life and death moments. Remember that when things suck, you want to "slow things down." Essentially try and add on more and more relevant detail. You don't want to put in pointless descriptions, but ones leading to humor/sadness/anger or anything of the such still have their uses.
    Also, not sure how effective it is, but I like inner monologues with 1st person. Example- "I swear I felt the slap of a pink sandal hit the back of me head. How'd I know it's pink? Well me mum wore pink sandles, and she'd always beat me in the back o' the head with em'. Blood dripped from my nose and realized I musta been imagining things. After all, I was face down on a boat, and me mum hated boats."

    I guess my points is fights can be used as more than just "I beat them all up." You can use them to show growth, strength, weakness. You just have to decide what the reason for the fight is. If the fight is only there to further the plot, maybe add something to give a little character development as well.

    I have a head-ache and am finishing up a 12 hour work shift, but I hope I was of some help.
     
  21. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    I really like first person monologues too! Thanks for taking the time to help me out. That goes for everyone.
     
  22. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    Its so funny that the first thing you mentioned was the star wars novels. Just yesterday I thought about the same thing, cause I was thinking how little story those movies have, how most everything is chases and droids and lightsabers, so I was wondering how they pull off the books, which are so many
     
  23. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    Its so funny that the first thing you mentioned was the star wars novels. Just yesterday I thought about the same thing, cause I was thinking how little story those movies have, how most everything is chases and droids and lightsabers, so I was wondering how they pull off the books, which are so many
     
  24. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    Thanks for the book recomemdation I will add it to my list
     
  25. Moe1795

    Moe1795 Member

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    Hi Seren. I saw the first bourne movie when it first came out and yes I remember him being in some sticky situations, like having to dive in a cold cold russian river to hide from bad guys can you imagine? Personally I cant stand to watch that type of movie by myself I would have to watch them with a group of people, but if it is for the sa k e of research I guess I can make the sacrifice !
     

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