We hope everyone had a good weekend. How was our weekend? Quick, tiring, and eventful. We exercised two out of the three days, met the lovely and AH-MAY-ZING Abby Stevens for lunch on the one day we didn’t exercise, and worked on revising/editing.
Was there something lacking in that description of our weekend? Details, sensory elements? Well, that’s because we kinda suck at writing action.
Yeah, it’s hard for us to believe that we suck at anything as well (;P), but alas…we do. We discovered this when we traveled into the world of paranormals for our NaNo novels. We’ve discussed those WIPs before, mine is about jinns (genies) and Pam’s is about fairies. We realized that we can’t have a paranormal that’s worth anything without at least one action scene. And we found that writing action is a lot harder than it seems.
When our scenes should make the reader feel like this (I Am Number Four RAWKS!):
They often come out like this (if you have not seen My Soul To Take–then don’t.) :
So, what can we do to help us write some kickass action sequences? We turn to some writing resources around the Interwebs to answer this question.
The most helpful site is Kidlit.com. This website suggests a couple of ways to write a good action sequence here. To summarize, mainly write out the action sequence and then go back and revise it using the following checklist:
* Make sure your words are clear and precise (that they cannot be perceived in any other matter then what you meant to show).
* Be consistent with the way your characters act and speak– even if action is occurring, the characters should still behave in the same manner.
* Have varied sentences to ensure that the reader isn’t reading a bunch of sentences that start with: he/she ______ (insert past or present tense verb here) the ______ (insert noun here).
* Have brief action sequences even if the story calls for a lot of action. Put other scenes in between the quick action sequences.
* Make sure your scenes are believable. Do not have tied up abrupt endings and/or neat deus ex machinas.
We will definitely use this checklist when we start to revise the NaNo novels this summer as well as some of the links below:
Tell us, do you have any tricks for action sequences? Do you struggle with action too, or do you have another Achilles’ heel (as Kidlit.com puts it) when it comes to writing?