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samjack4ever
December 8th, 2004, 07:17 AM
Hi All,

We've had Cpn. Chris(tine) Bowman asking about writing smooch but what I'm interested in is how to write a good action scene...

For example...

Our fav team are trapped on a Goa'uld mothership hiding in a room somewhere but before you know it a few Jaffa have spotted them and all the hell breaks loose... bullets and staff blasts are going everywhere, jaffa are dying left right and centre... Daniel has been hit by a zat and is lying behind a bunch of crates ;)


So how do you go about writing such a scene and make it fast paced and exciting?

Thanks

Sparky13
December 8th, 2004, 09:55 AM
As someone who's written fic in other fandoms (but not this one, yet), I'd say that each writer would have his or her own way to getting the scene on paper.

My favorite way to create something exciting is to first choreograph the scene. It might help to sketch how you see the room and where the people in it are from the beginning of the action until the end, including the objects in the room. Then decide how people are moving, what weapons they are handling, and other, smaller things. Remember that each character plays a part in what's going on, so don't leave anybody out if you can help it.

Next, imagine sounds, smells and other sensory impressions and include them in your writing. Dialogue comes into play, here, as well.

And, last, fold in a nice dose of emotion.

So, basically, you have your running, jumping, shooting, gasping, rolling, sizzling, popping, exploding, terror-striking, courage-loading, zapping, smoking, ricocheting action scene. Begin with the big picture, the physical environment. Then layer on the movements of each participant. Then bring in all of the senses. Add some dialogue, if it is necessary. Top with feelings, either overt or implied (a grimace can say so much!).

Writing good action scenes can take a long time because so much goes on all at once. Take your time, polish everything to a fine glow, use your thesaurus and everything will come together just fine.

Now go out there and write!

Sparky

Skydiver
December 8th, 2004, 10:29 AM
i would say pick one pov, just one at a time
then imagine the scene, imagine what's gonna play out

then have your character see/hear/taste/feel it

it gets confusing if you crawl into multiple heads at a time.

just close your eyes and picture it happening, then write down what you see

Mr Prophet
December 8th, 2004, 12:49 PM
Give everyone involved a name, or at least a short designation (Scarface, Stumpy, Toots - Jack giving people nicknames can be helpful). Very little breaks the pace like having to say things like "The other Jaffa who had shot at Daniel before taking cover behind a wall..." every time you need to have Jaffa 3 do anything.

Tok'Ra Hostess
December 8th, 2004, 01:05 PM
Ah, the action scene. I love to write it. Here's what I try to do:

Use action verbs for action scenes. Avoid passive verbs/tense (was, had, have, did, would, the staff was fired, the wound bled, etc) like the plague.

Use short sentences, distilled of every superfluous detail. I can't stress this enough.

Example: Daniel may be observant, but the action scene is likely not the time when he will be noticing the craftmanship of the crate he is ducking behind as he avoids getting blasted, unless you can, with short, active words, incorporate Daniel's incredible observational skills under fire into your plot - but only if you mean to highlight that particular ability with this action scene, and even then, you'll want to keep his observations short and to the point. (Same goes for Sam running for her life behind the Colonel and taking the time to notice Jack's terrific butt.) :rolleyes:

Things happen fast in action scenes; the characters are too busy acting and reacting to think in long, grammaticly proper sentences. This is one type of scene where the sentence fragment is a great tool - as long as it's not overdone.

Use short paragraphs. Paragraph one: our character sees or experiences something.

Paragraph two: s/he acts.

Paragraph three: the action causes a reaction.

And so on until the action scene ends.

Well, that's how I try to do the action scene. :)

Mr Prophet
December 9th, 2004, 11:37 AM
Following on from my last point, I'd say that it would be best to write your action either as a skirmish, or to pick a handful of people in a larger fight to write about. Say what a couple of characters are about, then cut to a meanwhile. Cut frequently and you'll build tension; go too long and you leave one set out in the cold; cut too often and you'll annoy, though.


Example: Daniel may be observant, but the action scene is likely not the time when he will be noticing the craftmanship of the crate he is ducking behind as he avoids getting blasted, unless you can, with short, active words, incorporate Daniel's incredible observational skills under fire into your plot - but only if you mean to highlight that particular ability with this action scene, and even then, you'll want to keep his observations short and to the point. (Same goes for Sam running for her life behind the Colonel and taking the time to notice Jack's terrific butt.)

Of course, once someone has been zatted or knocked on the head - especially if they're the last person to go down - it is traditional to have them notice something of interest as they pass out.

But probably not anyone's butt; be it ever so terrific.

Actually, I'd be quite happy to have Daniel note the craftsmanship of the team's cover, especially if he did it out loud while the rest were shooting, but certainly that would not - by the strictest definition - be an action scene, because you are not focusing on the action. The action would commence - or continue - once Daniel had discovered the vital clue written on the stone plinth, moments before it is blasted into powder; or you might cut between the action and Daniel's translation, but that's a little trickier to balance.

lionel_pendergast_rocks
December 17th, 2004, 09:07 PM
woo! i like this thread..it helps me!