ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
Hello. Welcome to another Saturday. Wow, time is sure flying by. We are almost into May.
Today I would like to discuss writing action scenes.
When writing an action scene there are six basic writing tips one should keep in mind.
1) Show don’t tell
2) Include internal and external dialogue
3) Make sure pace reflects the intensity of the scene
4) Stay in POV and voice of the main character
5) Use short sentences and fragments, and short paragraphs
6) Use senses and emotions
We know showing draws the reader in and helps to bring your story to life. A story that uses more telling than showing may end up reading more like a novel summary. And when you are trying to write action, if you tell instead of show, the scene will fall flat. Draw the reader right into the action. Showing will get their hearts pumping, their fingers gripping the pages. Help them to forget they are sitting in a chair, reading a novel.
By using dialogue, be it, internal or external, it helps to pull the reader into the scene right alongside your characters. Both forms of dialogue also help show your main POV character’s emotions. Make sure your spoken dialogue and internal dialogue are true to your character’s voice. Using both forms of dialogue also helps in the showing instead of telling department.
Another requirement for writing a winning action scene is by picking up the pace. One of the easiest ways to quicken the pace is by using short sentences, sentence fragments, and short paragraphs. The use of sentence fragments will help provide the sense of motion, of something happening right at the moment you are reading. This also heightens the drama and tension. Remember to cut out clutter in action scenes and try not to slow the pace with unnecessary details.
While writing any scene, it is best to stay in one POV at a time, but it is essential when writing action. If you head hop during a dramatic scene you may lose some of the immediacy and emotions.
The use of senses is another great way to get your reader into the heart of the action. The reader will smell what your character smells, hear what they hear, touch what they touch, and see the surrounding. Be careful not to overload your readers with too many sensory details and impressions all at the same time. Try choosing two that fit with that particular scene.
I hope this helps. Until next Saturday, happy writing.