My nemesis: Action Scenes

sword fight

Every writer has different abilities that they excel at and every writer also has areas where they will always need work.

I have no trouble rambling on with my characters inner musings and I am pretty darn good at dialogue, if I do say so myself.

The problem I have always been faced with is action. I tend to see it in my mind and skip over little details which in the end makes those scenes somewhat rushed. I have been trying harder to overcome this obstacle and with the last book in my series, The Cursed Scepter, I had to face it head on.

*Cue Eye of the Tiger*

I think what my problem is that I usually gloss over action scenes in a book. There’s a part of me that always yells, “Ok, I get it, you’re fighting, you’re punching, you’re running, e.t.c.”

But then I realized something as a writer. We are the only ones that can convey to our readers what the heck is going on and it is our duty to provide as many details as possible. I reread my first few books and I did the whole scrunched up face, hitting my head with the palm of my hand, and wincing almost in pain as I scrolled through in agony.

I have put a lot of thought into it lately and I have come up with a few tips.

 

1) Write as many details as possible. You can always come back later and take out any unnecessary adverbs… Actually that’s just good advice for every single line in a story.

*FYI: I am not only a comma whore, but an adverb slut as well.

 

2) Just because you as a writer can see it happening in your mind, doesn’t mean the reader can as well.

*Apparently when someone buys your book they do not get the mind reader decoder ring.

 

3) A thesaurus IS your best friend.

*There are many ‘established’ writers out there who poo-poo the thesaurus, but let me be the exception to that snotty rule and raise my hand as a proud thesaurus owner and user.

 

4) Keep the story moving as fast as possible. You do not want to get held up writing a scene about punching someone for three pages.

*Why is that, you might ask? Because people really don’t f-ing care that much and they will get bored. You might like writing about your beloved main character beating the crap out of someone, but chances are your reader doesn’t want to read two thousand words on an ass kicking.

 

5) Write what you know and if you don’t know much about full on fighting scenes (Um, did you see my hand raise again?) then either:

A) don’t include it

or

B) Fake it as best as you can!

 

The bottom line is this. Unless you have been on the front lines in the military, a professional boxer or an Ultimate fighter, chances are it might be difficult for you to write those scenes with any sense of accuracy. You might be tempted to dip your pen in the ink of plagiarism, but I really want to warn you that those things will always come back to haunt you. Stay true to yourself. I have fun writing action scenes when they involve magic and what not, but when it comes to the art of kickboxing, I’m going to leave that to the pro’s.

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