Next Stop, Action Town


I’m back…sort of. Came back from a great vacation only to be felled by a terrible cold.

I took my manuscript with me on vacation, fully intending to look at it in my downtime. I did get some minor editing done and planned for a whole lot more on the plane ride home. Then the sickness struck. I was very difficult to focus on something other than how much my throat hurt, so I glanced at my manuscript and ended up watching The King’s Speech and Black Swan, movies I hadn’t seen before.

The  movies were good, but I was pissed that I couldn’t focus on my own writing.

The next day, as I lay exhausted on the couch, unable to walk across the room without panting, I was actually glad that I hadn’t. Being immobile does have its advantages: watching even more thanks to Netflix streaming. This time it was all action-adventures TV episodes I had seen before.

Somewhere in there, I realized that one of the things the Oscar nominees and the TV episodes had in common was that the characters acted. What little I had written on the plane was right in line with what I had deleted earlier. It was taking me too long to get to the point. Instead of action building upon action, I was dragging it out in the worst way possible, by sandwiching action between low points that really had no point. The scenes weren’t there to give the reader breathing room. They were there because I wasn’t willing to let my characters act out.


4 thoughts on “Next Stop, Action Town

  1. Hope you’re feeling better!
    Glad to hear you had some realisations, though. I think it depends on what kind story you are working with, but every scene should have its purpose and be used by the characters to their fullest.

    • Thank you.

      I have to fight the urge to make my character passive because often the action will hurt them. Unfortunately, hurting them is often more interesting then keeping them safe.

      • I can relate to that. Well, except I think my characters get into trouble and/or get hurt on their own, so keeping them from acting is really just prolonging things. 😉

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