Aero’s Tips For Writing Action Scenes

(A quickie post from my pretty little lovie, who’s writing you can get a little taste of at his writing blog and his last guest post here.)

Hello, all. I have returned to grace thee with another guest post. This time, I’ll be giving some pointers on writing action scenes.

1) Keep it quick.

Personally, I’m not a fan of slow motion shots, but for those who are, it’s unfortunate that we can’t use them in writing. Since we cant slow it down, out only choice is to speed it up. Action is intense when it has a fast pace. That doesn’t necessarily mean less words, but maybe shorter sentences. It’s best to save long, visual descriptions for either before or after it begins. It would also help to avoid long speeches or conversations, though dots of witty banter  may be more suitable.

2) Give it purpose.

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear ‘action’ is bloody, grotesque, seemingly purposeless, over-the-top, senseless violence probably involving ninjas and impossible aerial maneuvers. Personally, I hate that. It’s the general consensus that action scenes should make sense. They should play a purpose in advancing the plot.  I’m sure no one wants to waste time reading something that has no relevance to the plot. The best action scenes or ones that advance the plot.

3) Septuple-jump gound-shatter kick-smash combo-breaker of doom

Tying into the last one is the matter of realism. Make sure that what happens within the realm of possibility in whichever setting and characters you have. One can do that rather simply, in most cases, by keeping ninjas out of 15th century England or by not allowing a ninety-pound librarian to wield a forty-ton warhammer without any aid, or what have you.

That’s really all I have for now.

(A little note from Cynical/the blog owner!:

Action is something I really see mishandled a lot in fiction, so I really wanted to see if I could get something up that handles that topic – but alas, I’ve not practiced my action scenes quite enough yet and probably won’t too soon, so instead of just asking someone who has some experience with it right off the bat, I decided to ask him to post about it instead.

I’m really curious as to what you guys think about action scenes. What are your opinions on them, and how do you go about them if/when you write them?)

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