How to Write Kick-Ass Action Scenes (Part 1)

By Laurence MacNaughton, @LMacNaughton Part of the How They Do It Series (Contributing Author) Do you struggle with writing fight or chase scenes? Do you avoid putting action in your stories because you aren’t sure how to make the action tense, original, and interesting? Don’t worry. It’s easier than you think. To write a hard-hitting action scene that makes your readers break out in a sweat, you’ll start by breaking it down into its component parts. You’ll brainstorm ideas separately for each part, and then weave them all together at the end. I’ll show you how. Just grab your notebook and follow along. 1. Start with the location. Where does this scene take place? Indoors, outdoors, both? What do the surroundings look like, sound like, smell like? What sort of people could be present? Before you even start to write the action, take a moment to mentally walk through the location. Imagine it’s a movie set, before the actors arrive. You’re actually there on set, walking around, experiencing it. Write down a list of everything you can think of: sights, smells, textures, background noise. Don’t worry about writing “real” description, just make a list. Get your impressions down on […]

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