Category Archives: Action Scenes

6 Tricks to Layer on Stakes

Stakes are what are at risk in a story. It might be that the protagonist’s life is at risk, or perhaps a romantic relationship, or maybe the opportunity to go on a long-awaited trip (Hello, Covid!). But I find this … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Fear, High Stakes, Motivation, Pacing, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

How Plotlines Add Dimension

When writing a novel, you need to use more than one plotline. In fact, most successful books need at least three. If they only have one or two, the story will feel flat, bloated, or repetitive, because the writer doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Character Arc, Characters, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 18 Comments

Storytelling Decisions: What’s the Right Pace for Your Story?

As we learn to write, we often hear about the need to create a strong pace in our story. Many seem to think that a strong pace requires a fast pace. However, that’s not what’s meant by strong. So what … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Backstory, Characters, Conflict, Description, Endings, Middles, Openings, Pacing, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Story Structure, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 13 Comments

How a Career Can Reveal Your Character’s Deeper Layers

Did you know that before Becca became an author and writing coach, she was a teacher? It’s true. And if you know her, you’re probably thinking, I can see that. It makes sense. Why? Because when you think of a … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Backstory, Basic Human Needs, Character Arc, Character Flaws, Character Hobbies, Character Traits, Character Wound, Characters, Conflict, Description, Diversity, Fatal Flaw, Fear, High Stakes, Motivation, Occupation Thesaurus, One Stop For Writers, Pacing, Plotting, Show Don't Tell, Story Structure, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft, Writing Resources | 1 Comment

Build a Bridge: From Story Beginning to Main Conflict

During one of my previous posts as a Resident Writing Coach, we talked about the importance of strong goals for helping our story move forward. But as we discussed in the comments of that post, our characters can start off … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Openings, Pacing, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 9 Comments

Surprising Your Readers in Every Scene

Often we think of surprising audiences with large twists and turns, with thrilling midpoints or shocking losses, but bringing surprise into smaller story pieces, like interactions and beats, can sometimes be equally satisfying in their own way. They also hook … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Characters, Dialogue, Emotion, Motivation, Pacing, Reader Interest, Reading, Resident Writing Coach, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 11 Comments

Goal-Oriented Storytelling: Satisfaction

Welcome to the final post in this four-part series on ANTS. As I mentioned in my first post, ANTS is a goal-oriented framework for storytelling. It’s what you’re trying to achieve by making great characters, settings, and plots for your … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Character Arc, Characters, Conflict, Endings, Motivation, Plotting, Resident Writing Coach, Tension, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons | 6 Comments

How Realistic Should Your Action Scenes Be?

At a conference some time ago I was on a panel with some fellow thriller writers. During the Q & A we got this question from the floor: “How can I learn to write a good action scene?” I answered … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Resident Writing Coach | 4 Comments

Get Into The Fight: How to Write Action That Won’t Show You’ve Never Thrown a Punch

Our books are getting so close to being finished! We’re in that weird almost-done stage where you can see the finish line but you still have so much left to do, and there are roughly a million decisions to be made. … Continue reading

Posted in Action Scenes, Characters, Experiments, Guest Post, Uncategorized, Villains, Writing Craft | 31 Comments