Saturday, August 04, 2007

Writing Action Sequences

The hardest part of writing for me. Grueling. Writing dialogues comes naturally - I just think back to conversations I've had. Inner dialogue and musings - just as easy, for I've often found myself sitting and thinking about stuff, and I just let my mind wander in similar ways to what my characters are experiencing at the moment. Descriptions of static scenery - no problem, just think what would strike your notice in a similar situation, and keep an eye out for the details that are going to have narrative payoff later on in the story. But an action sequence - so many details, and things that I don't normally think of ever. I just did one that seemed fairly straightforward. Man threatens a woman with a gun. Should just take a few minutes to write up, right? Took me hours. The gun had just been fired. So how hot was it going to be, when he pressed it against her skin? A gun is obviously phallic and the scene is not just a threat of shooting, but of rape - but how graphic do I want that to be, before it's beyond what I want in my story? And equally problematic for the level of violence actually perpetrated against her - should he smack her with his free hand? Pistol whip her? Kick her in the stomach? All those have different nuances, and are also blocked differently, and they're going to cause different wounds, which will have to appear on her in subsequent scenes and could mess up the actions of those. So wow, it was complicated. My hats off to authors who pull them off seamlessly and convincingly.

And now, be sure to look for that scene in D2L2 and see if it worked!


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