Understanding the role of action in fiction

"Yikes! Let me outta here."

Understanding the role of action in fiction will help you write a story that keeps your readers turning pages. Your book doesn’t need to be an adventure story or a thriller to use and need action. All books could use a dose of action. Without it, books just drag.

Here are some general guidelines for increasing the quality of the action in your writing…

1.Use dialogue when possible and when needed.  It is much more interesting to read what the characters are saying than being told what they said.  Use snappy and interesting dialogue and keep the tags short.  Some writers put movement and stage setting into their tags, such as.  “Hi,” Sally said as she moved to the other side of the room in her gray slacks. All I want to read is, “Hi,” Sally said.  … And then get on with the conversation.

2.Increase the stakes. Make your characters lives interesting and packed with things them must do to solve the problem of the plot or subplot.  If the stakes are low, who cares. Keep that book in their hand by giving them a problem with a little meat to it.

3. Weave a couple of interesting subplots into your story. Be sure the subplots have real must do items of their own. If you write boring subplots, they will only slow down the story.

4. Make time an important part of your story. If your character has infinite time to solve his/her problem, it won’t be nearly as interesting as a problem with a deadline.

5. Use demanding hooks at the end of a chapter or scene. If you resolve issues at the end of every chapter, your readers will not feel a sense of urgency to read on. Leave them hanging so they can’t wait to read the next chapter.

Let me know how you use action in your novels.

About loubelcher

I'm a freelance artist and writer. I enjoy anything whimsical and my art and writing generally concentrate on the lighter side of life.
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