Tips for Writing Action Scenes

Action scenes from a pro. Read how Mae Clair writes them over on Story Empire.

Story Empire

Hi, SEers. You’re with Mae today for a look at writing action scenes. Of all the types of scenes that go into constructing a novel, I used to dread action the most. Not so much these days, but they’re still the scenes I tweak and re-tweak most during editing.

When writing an action scene, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

Use Short Sentences
Short sentences generally work best in action scenes. Keep your reader pumped up and immersed in the moment. Don’t leave them stumbling over a tangle of lengthy sentences. Intersperse longer sentences with dialogue and/or shorter sentences to propel the action forward.

dog running toward camera, with open mouth, all four paws in air above groundAvoid Weak Verbs
Actions scenes call for strong verbs. Avoid verbs that are overused (turned, pulled, looked, moved). A trick I use when I write action is to focus on the urgency of the moment. As an example, people don’t just turn or

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