How long can you go without action scenes?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Briman, Oct 18, 2004.

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  1. Briman

    Briman Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 8, 2004
    I was just curious and wondering how long can you go without an action scene if you are writing an epic sort of story. I mean, is it fine if you hold off with the action as long as your really getting into the characters and really beginning to get the story in motion and rolling? But can a reader go through all that without tasting some action? What do ya guys think about all that?
  2. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 22, 2003
    "How long can you go without action scenes?"

    It entirely depends.... what kind of action are we talking about?

    Not very long at all ---> :*

    Forever and a day ---> [face_beatup]

  3. spiritgurl

    spiritgurl Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 6, 2003
    I think probably as long as you keep things interesting for the readers in other ways, you may not ever even need a full blown action sequence.

  4. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    If the purpose of the story is to have major character development/plot advancement as well as action, there's not really a set limit to when you can bring in your first action scene. I have a story on the Archives called Burden of Choice where 180 pages of it is them sitting in the courtroom or in cells or at Vader's residence and 40 of it is blasters firing, lightning shooting from fingertips, etc. But it's supposed to be that way, being a trial fic.
  5. Herman Snerd

    Herman Snerd Jedi Master star 6

    Oct 31, 1999
    My first story had only one tiny "action" scene and that was simply one character sparring against a couple of remotes.

    And that was only in the very beginning of the story. The rest was just the boring stuff like dialogue and characters. [face_mischief]
  6. flowerbee

    flowerbee Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 29, 2004
    Forever, I can't write action very well. It's just mush!
  7. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2002
    You don't even need action in a story for it to be good, so it's really up to you.
  8. Dantana Skywalker

    Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 7, 2002
    The rest was just the boring stuff like dialogue and characters.

    And plot. That's boring, too. :p

    I write a lot of epics, and I don't put a lot of action sequences into my stories. I think "Aftershock" had the most, and that was only 3 or 4 in a 500k story.

    You don't need to rely on action sequences to keep your readers. If the writing's good, they'll stay.

    Well, updating regularly helps, too.

  9. DCWiz00

    DCWiz00 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Mar 29, 2004
    How much action you put into a story depends on what kind of a story you are doing. There is nothing wrong with a heavily laden action story as long as that's what you are planning on writing. My current story has more action than I originally thought it would have in the beginning, but I try to space it out with some humor and romance in between the action parts. As long as the action is relevant to the plot, I say go for it. :D
  10. _JM_

    _JM_ Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 26, 2001
    It very much depends on the situation the characters are in and what the characters roles / jobs are. Action scenes shouldn't be regarded as something separate, if the characters are in a situation where conflict is occuring and they are people who have to fight (soldiers, starcrew, jedi, etc.) then when the plot reaches that point an action scene will occur.

    To use two novels as examples it was fine to have less action in the MedStar novels since they were mostly doctors and healers, but in the Rogue Squadron novels since they're fighter pilots to not have much fighting would have been strange.

    Do whatever feels right for your plot.
  11. RK_Striker_JK_5

    RK_Striker_JK_5 Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Jul 2, 2003
    I'm an action junkie, but my 'fix' is predicated on there being a need for action...well, okay. That's entirely false. I threw two 'sparring sessions' between two main characters simply for the coolness factor.

    Yeah, action scenes can be unnecessary at times, but for some stories, they're essential. Writing an X-wing fic? You might need some dogfights. Kyle Katarn your main character? It might be wise to have him kill some stormies. It all depends on your type of story.
  12. Drabbo_Fett

    Drabbo_Fett Jedi Padawan star 4

    Feb 5, 2003
    I can go a few hours without, but after a while, I just gotta have one, no matter what. That could be why I don't get invited to things like weddings and funerals anymore. 8-}

    Really, if you're specifically talking about the beginning of your action epic -- in which case it would matter, since you want to let your readers know what they're in for -- you could always take a cue from the Bond films and jump right into an action sequence that introduces a key character but has little plot relevance. Or you could take an action scene from later in the story and use that as your teaser before jumping to "Five Days Earlier" (or however long it is), then working back up to it. [How many times this past season did Alias do that?]
  13. Spike2002

    Spike2002 Former FF-UK RSA and Arena Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 4, 2002
    It all depends. Minor action sequences can be put on each and every chapter sometimes.

    Major action sequences about once/twice a story at the mo.

    Of course, if you're an action junkie then major sequences can take up a lot of the story and be rather frequent.

    It depends what kind of story you're writing.
  14. SpeldoriontheBlended

    SpeldoriontheBlended Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 12, 2002
    As said above, it just depends. Of course, if you start the whole thing off with [hl=black]having the POV character stabbed in a fracas (or just above)[/hl] even just a short action sequence, then you can wait longer 'till the next one - in my ncurrent potboiler, it's about eight pages to the first action, then 16 to the next... and the first bit was only about a page and a half... And remember, never have a battle or action sequence that doesn't further the plot. What's the point of lots of pretty 'saber-sparks if the characters don't develope?

    AERYN_SUN Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 1, 2001
    Action is by far my hardest to write. When I worked on Fallen Angels, I had to work with the script description of the arena battle in Attack of the Clones. I started to write it, then I left the story (well, that part of it anyway) alone for a couple of months. And then once I felt comfortable to finish the rest, of it, I did.

    But I still left out chunks of battle sequences though because I didn't want to drone too much with the action.

    And it helped that FA isn't even posted yet on the board so I didn't have my readers begging me to post.

  16. Alaneia

    Alaneia Jedi Youngling star 2

    Apr 13, 1999
    I'm not good at action scenes, I rarely write them.
  17. Obi-Wan21

    Obi-Wan21 Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 27, 2002
    It really depends on what you're writing as others have said. My fics differ kind of. Like the latest one I'm writing isn't focused on battles, I'm way into it and really haven't had a full-blown action scene. It really goes for characters, I mean, if you've got an interesting, great story and plot, with awesome characters. Then the readers will pretty much not care.

    I've read many fics with barely any action and I love them! Cause I just get so buried into it, that it doesn't matter. I only put action in when needed. I try not to push it too much. Mostly because I just don't care for too much action. I like focusing on my main character and his internal battle and journey.
  18. Darth_Elu

    Darth_Elu Chosen One star 7

    Jan 2, 2003
    I love action(fighting that is ;) )I seem to write it somewhat well. I can't go for very long without wanting to write something, but I force myself to go with my plot which may have large breaks from action in it. ;)

  19. Tych_sel

    Tych_sel Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 29, 2001
    I think it all depends on one's plot. As others have said, do what's right for your plot. I personally will use an action scene if the plot seems to be dragging, or if I get stuck in a rut and can't figure out how to get out of it. But then again, my current fic hasn't had nearly the kind of action my previous fics have. It all depends on the story.
  20. Lonewolf89

    Lonewolf89 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Sep 26, 2001
    I've never cared much for action scenes in fan fiction. Epic lightsaber battles and dog fights through space tend to lose their grandeur when read. Unless, of course, the author is very talented.

    They are, however, unavoidable in some stories. Sooner or later, you'll have to write one at some point, but I try to wait until absolutely necessary.
  21. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 9

    Mar 26, 2001
    3 days so far...

    Heaven help me now!
  22. Alethia

    Alethia Jedi Master star 5

    Feb 13, 2005
    I try to put off action as long as I can. I don't mind reading action, but it's a chore to write, so I try to stay away from plots that require heavy action. I'm definitely more character-oriented, preferring to take apart a character's mind than to have a character duel someone or something.

    But really, it all depends on the author and the fic. Everyone is different, so you really can't have a set standard.
  23. ZebulaNebula

    ZebulaNebula Jedi Master star 5

    Feb 10, 2005
    With my J/TK fic, Winds of Change, I held off on the action as long as possible, then got my heroes into a major battle. Before that, the closest thing to a fight was my primary OC pulling a weapon on Jacen Solo when Jacen kinda startled him. And when they do get in, it's a doozie.
  24. Dev_Binks

    Dev_Binks Jedi Knight star 6

    Aug 7, 2003
    Maybe two or three posts.
  25. DarthGaul

    DarthGaul Jedi Master star 3

    May 25, 2004
    I think it depends on the age and sex of the reader you're shooting for. The younger readers tend to like a lot of action and fighting scenes. While the older crowd likes to hear the deep driven plot and character roles. Women do tend to be more favorable towards inter-character drama and not so much action. Men always like to see someone get the snot beaten out of someone and a good saber duel.

    So it varies from person to person.
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