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Welcome to my blog. Here, you will find information about my novels, life in Japan, as well as author interviews, discussions on writing, and more. Feel free to browse and if you enjoy a post, please comment. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

MSH Blog Tour Week 13: Scenes

"What is the hardest scene for you to write?  Is it a battle scene?  A transition? Bridge? A luuuuuurrrve scene?  What have you done to overcome these hard spots and improve your writing?" That is the writing prompt for this week's MSH blog tour post.

I find action sequences to be the hardest to write, especially fight scenes. To be clear, action scenes and fight scenes are a little different in my mind. While each one has elements of the other, fight scenes are fights between two or more people while action scenes often involve running, moving, and usually non-living things. The car-flipping chase in Bad Boys 2 is an action scene (and probably my favorite car chase scene of all time) while Hulk versus Thor in The Avengers is a fight scene.

When writing them, you have to ask yourself what the purpose of the scene is. This will determine the majority of the action, as well as whose POV it should be. Not every action or fight scene has to be from the hero's point of view, you may want to do it from the villain's. But whomever you chose, make sure you don't head hop during the scene. This may be the most difficult thing to do in action/battle scenes with multiple participants. In Adventure Hunters I had to tackle this when Regina gets kidnapped. It was easy as a screenplay but once I turned it into a novel I had to make sure I didn't hop from person to person. I wrote the scene by splitting the focus between Artorius, Regina, and Lisa but by not repeating everything that had already happened. I also mentioned, after I switched to a different person, that they were aware of what the others in the scene were doing. For example, after leaving Lisa's head and moving into Artorius's, who was engaged in a dual, I mentioned that he knew of Lisa's fight that was happening as well. I broke each new head hop into a different section and tried to keep a sense of continuity by having each character comment, however briefly, on the previous action.

I often have a specific image I want to work into an action scene and work around it. If you want a rooftop chase sequence, you have to figure out how all the players get to the roof, why are they there, hazards of running up there, and a million other questions.

I find writing action sequences like car chases and such easier to write then fight scenes. The pitfall of fights is to write every swing, punch, and kick. You get too bogged down in details. I think the key is to highlight specific, special moves while glossing over the regular punches. If it is a martial arts fight, like in The Matrix, the kicks and punches come fast. You don't need to write where every hit lands, but what about special moves like the throat jab Neo gives Agent Smith. Detail works good for action sequences, but specific, highlighted action written powerfully work best in fights.

I often sit and visualize the action, trying to see it as a movie. Then I'll write a little bit, stop and visualize, then repeat until the scene is done. It is good to review your scene after you write it, especially with action scenes they tend to read much faster and seem shorter than when you're writing them. If you want a long sequence, like the highway chase from The Matrix Reloaded or rescuing the airplane from Superman Returns, you may find yourself needing to add elements.

That's all I have for this week. As always, thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. I agree, I visualize them in my head before I actually write it out. I play it over at least a dozen times to get the subtle nuances right, the emotions and the sequence.

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