The Writer Encourager,  Thoughts,  Writing Notes

Writing Balanced Action

I would like to encourage you to include action in your writing. I mean this in two ways. All writing isn’t dialogue, there has to be action. Secondly, and more importantly, tell your story with excitement.

Action in tone means that you narrate the story with passion, words that don’t seem monotone, and with the reader in mind. It’s not shouting, or fast paced events. It’s telling the story with joy. Show, in your words, that you enjoy telling the story, and the readers will find joy in reading it.

Excitement does not mean overly detailing things. Artists will tell you to paint a picture for the viewer, but don’t get overly caught up in the details. Describe your character’s appearance, but try and do it in one or two paragraphs.

Tell the character’s story, but avoid needless words and sentences. They not only slow down the action of the story itself, often they lose the readers. The same is true if your balance, throughout the book, of dialogue and action is off.

There will be areas, pages, even a chapter of two that may have more of one or the other, but aim for balance. Again, you’re writing now, not editing. However, keeping this in mind now, will help with the editing later.

Action doesn’t have to be a rollercoaster either, it can be as simple as a trip to the library, if it adds to the story. Needless action can be as damaging as needless over detail. Also the genre matters, most versions of the three little pigs don’t describe the pigs.

Fairy tales don’t need to describe pigs, most kids have seen the pigs. They do spend more time describing the houses, that detail is important to the story. Also notice, the balance between the dialogue and action. Neither is too much, in this example there is more action than dialogue, and that’s ok.

In other stories this may be different, but as long as they balanced, it will be okay. These are guidelines, some successful stories are exceptions to this rule. Still, it’s a good marker to help you as you write. Writing balanced action, in the characters activity, and your narration of the story is key to telling a great story.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: