Fanfiction Writing Tips: Writing a Good Action Scene
I remember the first time someone commented on one of my fics and said something about how great my action was in the story. I felt like looking over my shoulder and seeing who they were talking to, because surely it couldn’t be me. Needless to say, writing action hasn’t always one of my strong suits. But after writing a few action-packed stories, it has become a little easier.
Here are some of my tips for writing a good gun battle, fist fight, etc.
Watch action scenes
Certainly that’s a given but when I say watch, I really mean it. You’ve got to pay attention to what is happening on screen. Everything usually happens fast so you may have to pause and rewind the ol’DVR, but when you do, you will see exactly what is going on. Once you see it, you can describe it, and once you can describe action, you can start thinking up some of you own.
Read action scenes
Now I’m not advising people to go out and just start stealing other people’s work. I’m talking about reading how another author has described an action sequence so that you get a feel for it. Especially if reading it makes you really feel it – like you are there watching everything happen. Did they describe every single movement or just a few? Did they add emotion to the sequence or not? Noticing things like this will help you to write you own scenes.
Get up out of that chair
One action scene that I’m proud of is a fight I wrote in my NCIS fanfic “Silent Night”. I knew that it needed to be a real knock down, drag out battle and frankly, I was very intimidated before I started it. I had a vague idea in my head of what I wanted to happen, but just couldn’t figure out the details. So at one point I got up out of my chair and started acting it out. I’m sure if anyone happened to be looking in my window (no easy feat since I live on the third floor, thank goodness), they would have thought it a very strange sight. I punched the air, got onto the floor, kicked at an imaginary opponent; basically I walked myself through the entire fight. When all was said and done I ended up learning a lot. I also got lots of positive reviews about the fight when I posted that chapter.
Take kick-boxing classes, self-defense classes, a firearm training course, etc.
Okay so I haven’t actually done this one yet, but it’s something I’m dying to do. Ever since I first saw Buffy kick some major vampire ass, I wanted to learn to fight. I’m just under 5’1”, so I’m sure any vampire would take one look at me and laugh, but I still want to do it. I also think that once I’ve learned how to do some of those moves, especially practicing with a partner, I’ll have a better idea of how to write a fight.
I’ve heard that people should write what they know and there’s no doubt that the words come a lot easier when I’m describing something that I myself have experienced. That doesn’t mean I have to go out and find some demons to fight or go and capture criminals, but every extra skill I learn helps me with my writing. After going to a firing range and learning firearm safety and how to fire a gun, I noticed right away how much easier it was to write scenes involving weapons.
How about you? What has helped you to write a good action scene?