In the following article we will talk about 4 keys to create an unforgettable action scene. They sound different when you write them than when you read them, don’t they?
In this post we’ll teach you how to create action scenes that are gripping and riveting for you, and for your reader.
It’s important that you create lots of short vignettes and not a few long vignettes, and just as important, to involve the setting in your action scene, but we won’t distract you any further, read on!
What’s missing in your action scene?
Lately, the pages of your comics don’t have the excitement you imagined in them when you were planning them, something happens between the moment the action develops in your head and the moment you put it on paper.
You can recognize it, when you read it to yourself, the characters, get close to each other, start a conflict, and eventually, the scenario gets involved too, but finally the conflict ends, and someone wins the confrontation.
Maybe it’s a fist fight, with handguns, or shooting each other, or maybe it’s a chase, the fact is that when it ends, you read it and you can’t help but feel that something is missing.
It’s as if nothing had happened, on the other hand, many times, when you read other people’s comics, you feel real admiration for the action scenes, you can spend a good time reading them several times, and they don’t bore you.
It’s hard to understand why you find them so fascinating, if it’s simply a moment when the story stops, every action scene could be summarized in, X fights Y, X wins, and the story continues, right? But if so, why do you find such different experiences when you write action scenes and when you read them?
What’s going on? What’s the secret? Read on, if you want to know some of the keys (and they are just a few! There may be many more!) to making gripping, interesting, unforgettable, and most importantly, necessary action scenes.
TO WIN A BATTLE AND LOSE THE WAR
You have defined who will be victorious in your scene, right? (I hope so, because that’s the first thing) It is key, then, that you do not put the same person to win the confrontation from the beginning, after all, if the winner was so clear, there would be no conflict, right? Don’t be afraid, then, to make the one who is going to win lose a few exchanges.
Nobody will think less of your hero, if he receives some blows, or if he makes a mistake, as long as he ends up being the one who overcomes the confrontation, what you must be very clear, is that a fight is not a single event, but it is composed of several moments.
They are chains of opportunities, in which a character can do well or badly in each one of them, so make sure you take advantage of it, and that the same people are not always winning and losing.
DEDICATE MANY SHORT VIGNETTES, NOT A FEW LONG ONES.
It is very common that we give in to temptation, and we start to make big spectacular vignettes, few things are as shocking as a character getting punched and taking flight, right? But sometimes, the best thing you can do for your reader, instead of trying to wow them, is to offer them clarity and let them wonder on their own.
It is essential that you try to have a very clear idea yourself of how the confrontation will unfold, and not only how you are going to tell it, as if you can see it in three dimensions and from above, you must be able to imagine everything that will happen in the scene and in the right order.
Only after that, you will choose which parts to show, from where, which parts to skip, or take for granted, when you do it, you will choose the precise vignettes, those that allow you to understand what is happening, if what is happening is interesting, you will not need more to convince the reader of the importance of what is happening.
Never forget to show the decisions, or what is the same, show the moments of doubt, the intention is part of the action, and it is very important that we see the characters in the moments when they come up with the ideas that will allow them to win (or lose) the battle in which they find themselves.
MAKE THE STAGE INTERVENE
If you’re thinking of an action sequence that could take place anywhere, you’ve missed an opportunity! I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a fight, but there are few things that make the environment so relevant to one’s perception.
The instinct of survival, makes that nothing is a mere scenography, every element that surrounds us, is evaluated by the mind, to see if it can be used in favor.
Many times also, against, fear multiplies, on a par with audacity, a person, at that moment, is thinking about where he could fall, what could come over him, what are the advantages that his enemy could obtain, etc.
In the same way, look for every advantage you could get over him, honor this need, and take care to provide your characters with an interesting terrain, rich in possibilities.
Also in setbacks, taking into account what was said in the first point, pay attention to how, with some small modifications to the terrain you had in mind, you can propitiate those moments in which luck changes, and suddenly, the one who had the advantage, now runs with the disadvantage.
Perhaps the fate of the melee in the middle of the desert will be decided by who is the first to notice, under the sand, the bones of a poor camel that died of thirst years before, and use the corresponding bones to strike a decisive blow.
REMEMBER THE LESSON LEARNED AND THESE 4 KEYS TO CREATE AN UNFORGETTABLE ACTION SCENE
An action scene is a little story, and every story has a message. What do you want to say with this action scene? Make sure you make it clear,
Maybe you want to highlight a hero’s intelligence, his perseverance, or a villain’s ruthlessness.
Maybe you want to make something clear about how the world in which your story takes place works, and the place of people (AND objects) in it. There are few opportunities to make a point, to persuade a reader, like the development of a conflict, and this is what happens in an action scene.
Make sure that it’s not just the people in a fight, but some of the ideas they represent (almost always, in a fight you will have at least a confrontation between a more visceral and a more dispassionate style of dealing with a conflict, and whoever wins tells us a lot about what you think).
So, now you’re ready to face your pages in a different way. Get ready to draw! This time, the characters facing each other will seem to come out of the page as they attack each other, so readers will want to take cover!
As we could observe during the course of the article, an action scene is a small story that has a message, make sure you make clear the message you intend to leave in it.
If you want to highlight features of your characters, both hero and villain, do it, do not hesitate for a second, you will see how incredible scenes come out.
As we also said above, it is very important that the scenery intervenes in the scene, it is very important, don’t overlook it, it is really very important.
See you next time!