Six impossible things

Posts Tagged action

Actions speak loudly

The term “action,” like many terms in writing, covers a lot of ground. Some is obvious: a chase scene is action; so is a boxing match, a brawl, a battle, a gunfight. The scene where one guy is clinging to the railroad trestle and the other guy […]

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A lot of my friends have trouble writing action scenes. Not on the sentence-by-sentence level – they know all the tricks and tips – but on a more general level. They know that their first-person viewpoint character is only going to have a close-up, confused picture of […]

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Planning battle scenes

Back when I was writing my first novel, I got somewhere in the middle and realized I needed to write a battle scene. Not just a bar brawl or a fight between six of the good guys and ten or twelve bad guys; an actual clash of […]

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Making an impact

A novel is not a movie; writing a scene is not the same as filming one. It is amazingly easy to forget this, when we are constantly bombarded with visuals in our everyday lives, from movies and TV, to YouTube and those animated ads that are all […]

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Sax and violins

A long time back, a friend of mine (tongue firmly in cheek) told me that when it came to fiction, all the trashy stuff was full of sex and violence, while all the great literature was about love and death. The truth underneath that bit of word […]

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Lights, camera…part IV

So after rambling on for three posts, I’m finally getting down to the nuts and bolts of writing action scenes.  One of the first pieces of action-writing advice you find is usually “Use short sentences and sentence fragments,” because they pick up the pace, and an action scene […]

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Lights, camera…Part III

I thought I was going to get to the nitty-gritty of technique today, but it seems I have a bit more to say about the nitty-gritty of planning. What you need to know up front (unless you are a total “surprise me” writer, who can’t know anything […]

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Lights, camera…Part II

So how do you build an action scene? There are a lot of things to consider. Some of them will be dictated by decisions the writer has made earlier in the story, and the first and most important of these is viewpoint, which frequently implies level. Action can […]

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Lights, camera…what?

Action scenes are the bread-and-butter of whole genres of fiction. As such, they’re pretty important, and I was rather stunned to realize that I’ve said very little about writing them. I was even more stunned when I went to the bookcase that’s full of how-to-write books – […]

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