2017/05/24

How to Write Action

Honor at Stake - Declan Finn

How much action is enough? Is character important to fun, engaging action? Is Dan Brown any good at writing action scenes?

Find out on the latest episode of On the Books with Declan Finn, author of the Love at First Bite series.



Brian Niemeier - The Soul Cycle
Action flows quickly and keeps the reader on edge. At one point, I was at 30% read on my Kindle. By 5:00 PM that same day, I had finished the remaining 70%. I was so engrossed I could not put it down.

5 comments:

  1. Brian

    I listened to the interview with Declan. It was really informative and i hope you can invite him again when your schedules are open.

    I have a tecnical wuestion: exactly how do you pace an action sequence in writing? Is it like chess or chereography or some other technique?

    I ask because i find pacing to be a difficult aspect to master. How much is too much? Or how do you prevent a premsture stop that jars because it screeches to a halt to precipicely?

    Thanks again for the podcasts

    xavier

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    Replies
    1. Some folks will tell you that the way to properly pace action scenes is to write them in short, rapid-fire sentences. This is an amateur mistake.

      Don't use all short sentences. It doesn't speed pacing. It makes action choppy. It gets old fast.

      Use short sentences at first. The first 2 or 3 in a paragraph is good. Then open up the floodgates and unleash a verbal torrent of vivid, emotionally charged action that sweeps the reader off his feet like a tidal wave.

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  2. Brian

    Thanks! That makes sense 2 more technical questions

    1) is it bad technique to pause the action with short sentences for the charcters to reload/take a breath drink water and then restart the action?

    2)how to end the action sequences? I'll need to reread Larry's debut Monster Hunter novel to look at 1 way. But I suspect the advice is whatever is logical to maintain credibility.
    Thanks again!

    xavier

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    Replies
    1. There's really no one size fits all answer there. It depends on the story.

      I do offer professional editing services if there's a manuscript you'd like me to edit.

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  3. Brian

    Thanks. I don't have a manuscript. It's more picking the brains so that i can experiment. I want to practice and make mistakes. It's important to suck but still enjoy the slog :)

    also i want to write in Catalan because if i write a story in English,i'm lazy while in Catalan i'm forced to be more thoughtful.

    and it's fun to use the English language inflences and distill then in another language :)

    Thanks again!

    xavier

    ReplyDelete