Advice for Action Scenes – #IWSG

Badge for Insecure Writer's Support Group

It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The amazing co-hosts for April 3  IWSG are: J.H. Moncrieff, Natalie Aguirre, Patsy Collins, and Chemist Ken! This month, I’m talking about action scenes. The IWSG Day question for April is:

If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

Action scenes are really hard for me. I don’t even watch action movies, let alone write action scenes. They just aren’t a place of comfort for me. When I have to deal with action scenes, I follow a few basic rules that actually can make most scenes better.

Advice for Action Scenes

  • No Adjectives. They will slow the scene down for no good reason.
  • No Adverbs. Instead, use a better verb.
  • Minimal dialogue or it will end up looking like a scene in a cheezy comic book
  • Consider your timing. Does it actually take that long or that little time in real life?
  • Don’t put a major action scene at the beginning of the book. First, make the readers care about the characters.

That’s about all the advice I have. Take it at your own risk, since I will be using that wish to write my action scenes. After all, They aren’t my strong suit.

Action Scenes

By the Way

This April, I’m participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Every day (except Sundays) participants will post to their blogs something that pertains to a specific theme (usually) and corresponds to the letter of the alphabet assigned to that day. Last year my theme was “Creativity.” This year I’m expanding on that theme and challenge, using prompts from Brainsparker’s free Kickstart Course email series. Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker’s theme in 2019 is…Thinking Creatively

Here is today’s post: Discover New Connections.

What Are YOUR Thoughts?

I’d love to hear in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!

About Heather Erickson The Ericksons

I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at

The Memory Maker’s Journal 

Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer

Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer

I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.

Have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you! By commenting, you agree to the terms of my privacy policy.

6 comments on “Advice for Action Scenes – #IWSG

For someone who doesn’t write action, those are great tips. I can’t believe you are writing two AtoZs and #IWSG. You’re your own action figure!

Hi Jacqui. It seems that there are so many things that I can write about better than actually doing them. Lol.

Excellent advice on action scenes. I like the point about no dialogue. I hadn’t thought of that one. Is screaming considered dialogue? hee hee
JQ Rose

Hi JQ. I think that you can add a lot to the scene with a grunt, a yelp, a scream, a groan, or other vocal expressions. But, they must be used sparingly. And really think about your choice of words so your reader is getting the right picture in their mind. This is a great thing to consider. Have a great week!

Yeah, I mentally tune out when a show has an action scene. I’m probably focusing on my knitting.

Hi Liz, You and me, both. I’m just not interested in scenes that don’t deepen the plot. Action scents rarely do. I need to learn how to knit.

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