The Art of Writing Action Scenes in a Novel
When people read a novel, they always find a reason to keep turning the pages. They look for something interesting about the story, so they can decide whether or not the novel is worth their time. To capture the interest of the readers and draw them further into a novel, authors use various literary devices such as narrative hooks and plot twists. These devices prevent a story from being monotonous and dull. Action scenes are another way to spice up a novel. Action scenes are often full of intensity and vivid descriptions that stimulate the imagination of the readers.
The Jungle Rules Trilogy is a series of thriller books that can best demonstrate the purpose of action scenes in a novel. The series contains a lot of riveting action scenes described vividly to keep the readers alive and on the hook. The creative and literary quality of the action scenes in the Jungle Rules Trilogy is no longer quite surprising, given the fact that its author, Paul Shemella, has vast knowledge and enormous experience in real-life action scenes as a retired captain of the U.S. Navy.
Even though it seems simple, writing action scenes can be difficult. It is not as easy as throwing random action words together to create a certain scene. Coming up with an effective and convincing action scene requires both creativity and proficiency in writing.
The rest of this article is especially dedicated to those aspiring authors who want to learn how to write good action scenes like that of Paul Shemella’s Jungle Rules Trilogy. Below are some basic yet effective pieces of advice on the art of writing action scenes in a novel.
Remember the pace
The pacing of the story can be a deciding factor for the readers on whether to continue through the novel or to stop reading entirely. For this reason, authors should be particular when it comes to the scenes that they write. They should avoid writing boring scenes, as these can cost them to lose potential readers. Worse, they may even receive bad reviews. Especially when it comes to writing action scenes, pacing is important.
To prevent an action scene from becoming dragging and dull, it should be kept short as much as possible. This does not necessarily mean that authors need to make it less descriptive. Action scenes should be described vividly, but they should not contain more details than necessary. Failure to be concise is a common shortcoming among authors. Some authors tend to write several pages for a dialogue that could have been wrapped up in a single page only. To avoid this, authors should always find a balance between dialogues and actions, especially in writing action scenes.
Be clear as crystal
Action scenes are generally visualized as chaotic and an all-out war – this is the reason why it is sometimes difficult to write concise action scenes without compromising some details. However, the general solution to this is simple: authors need to be clear on what they want to convey to their readers as much as possible. There is no need to use a fancy language, especially when it comes to writing action scenes. Authors should remember that they are writing a novel, not an English essay. Action scenes should be straightforward without compromising literary creativity. Readers should be able to fully understand what is happening in an action scene, but they should also be impressed at the same time.
Read your work again and again
The selling point of authors is their skills in writing. Like the Jungle Rules Trilogy, there are so many action-packed books out there that are well-loved by the reading population because they satisfy the main standards of action scenes: clarity and effective pacing. Aside from this, they have most certainly gone through a series of edits and countless rereads – this is the most important thing that authors should do in writing action scenes.
No one can write good action scenes overnight. Writing a novel in general requires a lot of time, effort, and patience. Authors should see to it that they read their works and edit them several times before handing them in for publishing. This provides authors with some time to add, remove, or rewrite details that do not seem to fit in certain scenes. Authors should never confuse their readers with their writing. Especially when it comes to writing action scenes, authors should always be willing to be corrected or to correct themselves.