I Will Fight You On This

Let's talk altercations. Fight scenes make for great entertainment. Whether it is a hero in a bar fight, a heroine taking down the bad guy, or a vampire trying to sink her teeth into a bear shifter, a good fight scene drives the story forward and keeps readers turning pages.

However, fight scenes are particularly difficult to write because there's a lot of physics, as well as physicality, to think about. You can use movie scenes to get the movement straight in your head, or maybe you have a life partner willing to take one on the chin for the sake of your art. 

I came across this article on Pinterest called 8 Things Writers Forget When Writing Fight Scenes. It was written way back in 2012, but I think a lot of the lessons hold true. Her first suggestion is to worry less about the technical details and more about the emotion of the fight. 

Sometimes, we can get too deep into the technicality of a scene and clog the flow with too many details. Fights are usually highly emotional activities with bodies moving more by instinct than plan. The same holds true for sex scenes, but that is another post. 

Another tip is to make sure you have the right level of realism in there. If your heroine has never thrown a punch, she is not likely to hold it together during an extended fight. She will break her hand with the first punch so make it count. By the same token, someone who fights frequently, even medieval warriors, are going to be sore after a battle. 

What are some of your favorite fight scenes from books or movies? 

Also, if you have a great method of planning a fight scene (action figures, anyone?) then let me know how you make them awesome. 

Creativity Jump Start: Structure By Way of Cats and Paper

I am a member of RWA's romantic suspense chapter, Kiss of Death. Members there have a number of forums to post on, including one called Invisible Words that focuses on the pre-work involved in writing a book. We discuss creativity, plotting, characterization, and more. 

Here's my IW post for this week...

Hi everyone,

When a book has issues, sometimes it's helpful to come at it from a new perspective. If you are dealing with the dreaded saggy middle, taking a look at the story's key points (or beats) can help to identify where things are dragging. Today I'm sharing a great article that outlines the 15 point screenwriting structure found in Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need. 

The book implies that one should begin with an outline and build the story around that, but I know that will give my pantser friends a bad case of hives. So don't think of it like that. If you are a plotter looking for a new approach to the outlining process, try this. If you are a panster stuck in a round of revisions going no where, try applying this structure over the current WIP and see where you find a gaping hole or a section that maybe goes on (and on and on) too long. 

The author of the article, Tumblr user thatkatiecooney, lays out the 15 point structure and then uses the Disney animated short Paperman to illustrate how the plot points are used to create a story.  

The 15 PLOT POINTS of Story Structure
http://thatkatiecooney.tumblr.com/post/158522319993/the-15-plot-points-of-story-structure

What I particularly like about this article is that the example is a romance, but the plot point structure could easily be applied to a mystery/suspense story as well. That's the unique challenge that KOD members have set for themselves, to somehow braid together a thrilling story line with the emotional journey of people falling in love.

What do you guys think of this approach? Do you have a tried and true method that helps you manage your story structure? Please share it! 

 

Book Recommendation – Goal, Motivation, & Conflict

I highly recommend reading Goal, Motivation, and Conflict by Debra Dixon. Her method of planning and editing a book, a scene, or even a character according to certain criteria is very simple and very effective. “Regardless of what you call GMC, the bottom line is that these three topics are the foundation of everything that happens in our story world.” For this post, and in honor of Solo: A Star Wars Story being released this week, let’s focus on everyone’s favorite scruffy looking nerf-herder, Han Solo.

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What Romance Authors Can Learn From Avengers: Infinity War (No Spoilers)

With the release of Avengers: Infinity War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) tied nineteen movies together. The huge cast of characters have new and interesting pairings, sometimes for power, sometimes for comedy, and occasionally for a hint of romance.

I am certainly not calling it a rom-com, but I do think there is a lot that romance authors can learn from Marvel about engaging their fans in the storytelling process. 

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You have to start somewhere

Whether you are writing a book, chasing a dream, or just trying to eat healthier, you have to start by writing things down. Get the thoughts out of your head and on to paper (or a screen) so that you can start to massage and shape them. 

 

jengraybealeditingservices-puttingitonpaper.png

Whatever thoughts you have rolling around in your head will make more sense if you write/type them out. You won't get it right the first time, and that is OK. That is why there are erasers and back buttons. That said, as long as the words stay in your head, you won't make forward progress.

So grab a pen and write! Or type your goals into the comments. I can't wait to see what you have in mind.