Lights, Camera, Action?

Blurred action shot of a man doing a jump with his skate board

#319 Skate Park by Mikael Miettinen / CC BY 2.0

When I was trying to come up with what to write for this post, I checked my draft folder. I only have one post hanging out and it’s been there for quite a while. When I reread it, I realized why: it’s wrong. The opening sentence says that emotions are hard to write, but action is easy.

I really wonder what I was thinking when I wrote that. I must have been really struggling with an emotional scene or I was moping about mourning. More recently, I’m moping about action. I’m spending a lot of time dealing with Julia and her emotions. The story is moving forward. The mystery-solving has been set in motion. But I’m wondering if I’m moving too slowly.

This is never going to be a Bond-paced novel: no car chases, no whizzing bullets, no laser-beams aimed at genitals nor  sea bass with laser beams on their heads.

All the same, I want her to do something. Move around a little. I have her in three different cities so far, but that’s not the kind of moving I mean.

In Daughter of Time, Jennifer Tey’s main character was in a hospital bed the entire mystery…I was enthralled. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and what clues would be uncovered.

There was action, however, just not the conventional moving from place to place action. Strictly speaking, people came and went from the ward and the main character when from lying down to sitting up. But that’s not what kept me flipping the pages, it was to find out more about what was happening with Richard the 3rd: what his actions were…via the books the main character is reading.

It’s only been a few months since I finished Daughter of Time, but I think I need to go back and examine it again. When I read, I tend to approach books as a reader and not a writer. My inner writer shuts down and I have trouble analyzing. I much prefer to get carried away. But I need to do some serious analyzing. When there aren’t whiz-bang action sequences, how do characters get from place to place in an interesting, page-turning way? Am I over thinking this as a way to procrastinate?

What books you recommend I check out for non-thriller paced, character-based action?


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