Friday, January 22, 2010

I am so in need of some assistance!

Okay, so just as I suspected, I totally suck at writing an action scene. At least I think I do. I mean, I definitely know what happens - the visual in my head is running on a continuous loop at the moment. But I can't write it out without getting a laundry list feel of the action. And I know I need description, but any time I try some here and there, it seems to just get in the way and slow things down.

So...I would LOVE for YOU to help me out. What can you tell me about any action scenes you've ever read - surely there's been at least one, right?? - that appealed to you? I need tips, feedback, anything you can give me to avoid another dead month. A little help, please?



Jen said...

Love the blog so I decided to follow! I also love that your living in Australia... how exotic :)

As for the action scene I too always seem to have trouble, though if you could give a little more about what action you are planning on doing... sky diving? Is this just a fight scene?

Bek said...

Thanks:) And trust me, it's not always as exotic as it gets pretty hot!

My action scene is a fight. Typical good guy, bad guy stuff. I'm basically having trouble because I'm narrating the whole thing as it happens, and it just feels so lifeless. And while I'd like to add more thoughts and emotions of my main character, doing so only takes away from the intensity of the scene.

So...this one's definitely a learning experience for me:) Any help is totally appreciated!

Guinevere said...

I think you can include emotions and thoughts of the character; it just has to be paced properly with the scene. I don't know if you like Dean Koontz or not, but I think he does this very well in his novels. You might want to take a look at a book like Dean Koontz's Intensity (which is basically a succession of action scenes with hardly a pause) for an example.

But basically, in a chaotic situation, I think our thoughts are quick and sharp, our observations brief. You can help maintain the frenetic pace of an action scene by couching things that way, using short sentences. You can't maintain that pace for too long because it gets exhausting for the reader, but for the duration of the action, it works. For instance, during a fight scene--

He has to break loose. Get to the knife. Abigail. What could happen to Abigail?

I hope that makes sense & helps! Action scenes are tough, but don't worry too much about feeling like it's flat -- just get the scene out. If you're like me, you're judging your work too harshly in the process, and it may be better than you imagine. :)

Rebekah D. Hay said...

Oh, thanks so much! I totally get what you're saying. And thanks for the Intensity suggestion. I haven't read it, but will head to the library ASAP:)

You rock!! And I love your blog, too;) Thanks for following!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Well, I don't read that many action scenes in the books I read, but i do like it when something unexpected happens.

Rebekah D. Hay said...

Yeah, it keeps you on your toes, right? Maybe that could help the pacing, indirectly.