1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

blog 3 Tips for Writing Action Scenes

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Svrtnsse, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    Svrtnsse submitted a new blog post:

    3 Tips for Writing Action Scenes
    by Nils Ödlund


    Lights, camera, action.

    It's time. You've written your novel almost to the end. You've ramped up the tension and excitement, and the fate of the entire world is at stake. The audience is waiting with bated breath for what's to come. All that remains is to write the final showdown where your heroes vanquish the great evil and save the day.

    It's going to be awesome.

    Only, as you write it, it's not. It's not awesome. In fact, it's a bit dull, and you're not enjoying it.

    You've got all these powerful heroes with their amazing powers. You've got evocative similes to describe your special effects, and you've got a battery of snappy one-liners for the heroes to fire off as they foil the carefully laid out plans of the villain.

    But, it's still boring...

    At least, that's what it's like for me.

    The first draft of any action scene I write is just plain dull. It's not until the second or third version that it starts to get interesting.

    There's a saying about how the first draft is just about telling yourself the story. Remember this and keep it at the top of your mind, both for action and for writing in general.

    The first draft of an action scene is little more than a chronological list of the events taking place at the time. It's necessary to write it though, or you won't have anything to spice up for the second draft. It's so you know what happens.

    Done? You've got your first draft? Cool....
    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
    Carol and Chessie2 like this.
  2. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    Have you read The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett?

    The action sequences in that book are captivating. He makes use of both pacing and timers in several memorable scenes. The primary timer is actually central to the story's plotline: when the sun goes down, the demons arise. That's a pretty powerful motivator to fight your way indoors.
  3. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

    I haven't read it, but I've heard about it.

    Having the setting sun as a timer sounds like a great move. It's the kind of thing you can't delay with clever tricks, and it happens at the end of every day - and then maybe one day it's raining and clouds cover the sky and you can't tell for sure how late in the day it actually is, so you get trapped outside.

    I'll have to look that up.
  4. I wrote one action scene that I like (and many more that are not as good) where the protag begins counting down from 60 (out loud when they can.. so it skips when they can't talk due to intensity of the fight.. so plays with pacing etc) as the fight starts... the "villain" in this particular case does not know why they are counting down but it was a fun way to push the tension of the timer mechanic onto the antagonist. So it is they who feel the pressure to end it before the protag hits 0 - even when they are not sure why.

Share This Page