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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Writers Road Recap: Putting the Punch in Action

Last week we chatted about putting the punch in your action scenes. Here is an abbreviated recap:


For some, action scenes can be tough to write, but they don't have to be. #WritersRoad




Action scenes are all about pacing, keeping it going, but still giving the reader time to breathe and absorb. #WritersRoad




@HeatherMcCorkle So. That awkward moment when you do a search in your ms and find a billion uses of ONE word. pfft #WritersRoad




@HeatherMcCorkle The best action scenes I've read have had a mix of short and long sentences. Short ones for the action... #WritersRoad




Short, punchy sentences are great for keeping the pace going during action scenes. #WritersRoad Just don't over do them.




@HeatherMcCorkle ...and longer ones for the breathing moments. #WritersRoad




@HeatherMcCorkle @teetate Ditto and cringeworthy. I had a nightmare about a reader pointing out THE one word in a review. #WritersRoad




Dialogue is tricky during action. It can slow, or speed things. Handle it carefully! #WritersRoad




And, if there is dialogue during an action scene, it must be believable and relevant. #WritersRoad




@HeatherMcCorkle And fergawdsake don't do what superhero comics do and throw in large chunks of exposition. #WritersRoad




@HeatherMcCorkle Like,no monologues during a fistfight? #WritersRoad




@AllisonDuke Unless of course it's done for comedic effect. #WritersRoad




@teetate @HeatherMcCorkle True. No two fights are going to be the same, even if you're fighting the same person. #WritersRoad




With action scenes it's okay to let the hero lose. Shouldn't win every time. *pet perve* #writersroad




@Tina_Moss SO true! But it goes the same way. They shouldn't always loose until the last battle. #WritersRoad




With action scenes it's okay to let the hero lose. Shouldn't win every time. *pet peeve* #writersroad




@Tina_Moss There was an action hero who used to do that in every one of his movies. It got way too predictable. #WritersRoad




@Tina_Moss If the hero always wins, what's the point? Even Superman died. Once. (He got better.) #WritersRoad




Action scenes should be realistic. Do u know what a punch feels like? It hurts both the hitter &the hittee. Do ur research! #WritersRoad




Wining can be relative. Like: Hero stops evil ritual. Win! But bag guy got away and hero got his butt handed to him. #WritersRoad




#Writing a fight scene and never been in a fight? Do your research to make it believable. #WritersRoad




Self defense classes are a great way to get some exposure. #WritersRoad




@Tangynt Yes! Give me a hero who gets best up now and again. Shouldn't be perfect. #writersroad




@Tina_Moss There is beauty in being flawed, so true.




Real fights are never choreographed and rarely what you see in movies. In fact, it doesn't usually go beyond one or two hits. #writersroad




However, you probably don't want to write the way a real fight would be = boring. That's why it's fiction. But... #writersroad




On the subject of research, all slug-throwing weapons have some kind of kick-back. The bigger they are, the more they kick. #WritersRoad




@teetate One of my favorite authors, Patricia Veryan, did action very well. Usually swordfighting. Very romantic. #WritersRoad




@Tina_Moss So true, because it HURTS and most aren't prepared for that. #WritersRoad




Talking to martial artists, watching a class, talking to police officers, all great ways to research. #WritersRoad




@Tina_Moss @teetate @Nightveil BTW, armor is ridiculous to actually try to fight in. It doesn't exactly, well, move. #WritersRoad




For reference: as a shorter woman, I find it typically easier to take down a taller person than shorter person. Gravity helps. #writersroad




@Nightveil @teetate Is the material magical? I can't imagine fighting in a regular corset. Talk about pain! #writersroad




Be realistic about what your characters can endure. Humans are fragile for the most part. #WritersRoad




@Tina_Moss Yeah, that would have to pinch something fierce. #WritersRoad




@HeatherMcCorkle Talk to an ER doctor about what the human body can take. It ain't pretty. #WritersRoad




Really brutal fighting has been popularized by action films. It does make for exciting movies, which aren't realistic. #WritersRoad




Cool as Buffy was, we can't all take what Buffy could take. Or dish out. #WritersRoad




If your character is a superhero or superhuman you have a little leeway, but you have to *explain* why they can. #WritersRoad

Heather McCorkle @HeatherMcCorkle Realism aside, in fiction you need to push your characters to their brink, then push them even further. #WritersRoad




If your hero has amazing super powers that no one can overcome... kryptonite. Then, use the "kryptonite". #writersroad




@Tangynt I may have to put that by my PC. "Everyone has kryptonite". :) #WritersRoad




A thought on action: Be aware of your surroundings. Good advice for all writers. And Jedi warriors. And Batman. #WritersRoad




Don't worry, you don't have to take a hit or a bullet to write a great action scene, but talk to someone who has. #WritersRoad




Adrenalin, tunnel vision, battle fatigue, all things to consider in an action scene. #WritersRoad




Little known fact: A fight lasting longer than two minutes is a REALLY LONG fight. #WritersRoad




@HeatherMcCorkle Which brings up the question of what to do *after* the fight? How keyed up are your characters? #WritersRoad




@HeatherMcCorkle Adding: height dif., weight dif., skill level, ability, agility, flexibility, weapons vs. hand-to-hand. #WritersRoad




@HeatherMcCorkle Adding: height dif., weight dif., skill level, ability, agility, flexibility, weapons vs. hand-to-hand. #WritersRoad




@HeatherMcCorkle Yes! Time is essential. Hitting someone for two minutes is a LONG time. #writersroad




@HeatherMcCorkle Big time yes! There's a reason they have "rounds" in fights. #WritersRoad




@Nightveil Yes! Adrenalin can stay in the system for a long time, keeping one very keyed up. #WritersRoad




Action scenes can be confusing to the reader while making perfect sense to the writer. Be sure to have betas or crits for them. #WritersRoad




@Nightveil @HeatherMcCorkle If adult novel... reason why they say sex and violence (not toward partner) go hand in hand. #writersroad


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Writers Road Chat Recap: Approaching Editors

There are 2 types of editors you may approach in your career, freelance and publishing house editors. Each approach differs #WritersRoad

In today's incredibly tough market, you need every advantage you can get. Freelance editors can give you that. #WritersRoad

Freelance editors can help you tighten your work and prepare it so it stands out in a good way. #WritersRoad

I'm using a freelance editor for the next two novels. No matter how good I think I am, I can't do it alone. #writersroad

And you can use the experience to learn and improve your writing for the future as well. #WritersRoad

HeatherMcCorkle But only if they're good. How do you know if they are? #writersroad

Choose freelance editors carefully. Ask friends, other clients, do your research. Get a sample edit. #WritersRoad

And, make sure the freelance editor's style works well with what you want and expect. #WritersRoad

We are never too old or too experienced to learn how to improve. Seek out those that will educate you. #editors #WritersRoad

Good place to meet editors is at conferences/conventions. Pitch ideas at pitch sessions, not in bathrooms ;-) #writersroad

An editor is a necessary part of your creative process. You give them the bones, they help you grow the body. #WritersRoad

I met my editor at a writers's festival. Always a good reason to get out of the house! #writersroad

Know your story inside and out before you even attempt a pitch. Editors want to be rapt. Make that happen. #WritersRoad

And also, if I may boast . . . this is in the USA as of today! amazon.com/Autumn-Palace-… #writersroad OK, I'll calm down now.

Also use editing tools before you send to editors #WritersRoad

Sample edits are something every freelancer does. Don't be afraid to ask for a small one to ensure you're compatable. #WritersRoad

I'll put in a great plug for Tee! RT @teetate @HeatherMcCorkle LOL I'm running a sale. Trying to get some clients. :P #WritersRoad

Don't let big price tags scare you off. Some freelance editors are very affordable and excellent. #WritersRoad such as our own @teetate

If you want to save money on editing costs, put in as much work as you can first. #writersroad

HOWEVER. Do NOT use a freelance editor as an excuse not to edit. Edit very well, then employ them. #WritersRoad

You want an editor who is going to be a good fit and offer constructive ways to make your book the best it can be. #writersroad

So how do you know your MS is ready to hand off to an editor? Some of us could revise into oblivion! #WritersRoad

@Loriprima Good Q. Once you've gone over it multiple times and it feels polished, but you still need input, then it's time. #WritersRoad

Myself, I do five intensive rounds of editing, looking for different things each time. Then employ a freelancer. #WritersRoad

Whether you are going to sub to agents or self-pub, a freelancer can help you succeed. #WritersRoad

For my MS, after I revised and had several rounds with beta readers, I retained @teetate for comprehensive edits. 1/2 #WritersRoad

It's in a writer's best interest to turn over as clean a manuscript as possible - ensures faster turnaround and fewer errors. #WritersRoad

Knowing Tee went through both content and grammar/line edits gave me the confidence that I had a viable MS. #WritersRoad

Ditto. RT @overdunne: @Loriprima I usually take it to a point where I CAN'T STAND IT anymore. Then I send it off. #WritersRoad

I love that my editor offers great ideas on where to take things. I'm too close to the project to be objective. #writersroad

On the other end of the spectrum, you can approach some publishing house editors. But be really, really ready. #WritersRoad

On the other end of the spectrum, you can approach some publishing house editors. But be really, really ready. #WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle So what would be the proper procedure for doing this? #WritersRoad

Ifr you have polished, then put your work through a freelance editor, and want to approach a pub house editor, then its time. #WritersRoad

@AllisonDuke The best way is meeting them & pitching, 2nd best is open submission times. #WritersRoad

When looking for an editor, search their name on Amazon (many authors incl. them as a contributor). Read what you can. 1/2 #WritersRoad

That isn't to say that you should bypass agents, but just know that you can directly sub to pub house editors. #WritersRoad

I've read many books w/ editors listed as contributors & have decided NOT to use them b/c of the book's quality. 2/2 #WritersRoad

I have an awesome editor, she used to work for a big publishing house and now freelances. She pulls no punches and I'm grateful #WritersRoad

Agents can get you great deals, take your book to auction, all kinds of things. But, that isn't the only route open to you. #WritersRoad

Agents can get you great deals, take your book to auction, all kinds of things. But, that isn't the only route open to you. #WritersRoad

Would I still recommend an agent? Absolutely. Would I sub to editors w/out one? Absolutely.Circumstances pending. #WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle just reminds me that everything is not cookie cutter. Find what works for your situation #WritersRoad

Editors replace publishers for quality assurance? - Covers could show their stamp of approval #WritersRoad

@HeatherMcCorkle There are so many more options than even 3 years ago. Publishing is changing so fast. #writersroad

It's also ok to disagree with an editor. But remember if an editor's eye stopped on a word/phrase/plot point, others will too. #WritersRoad

Bottom line: Don't submit a manuscript to anyone that isn't HIGHLY polished. #WritersRoad

Not sure if you need a freelance editor? How is your pacing, grammar, plot, twists, character arcs, tense, passive voice? #WritersRoad

If your answer to any of this is that you aren't sure, then you need a freelance editor. #WritersRoad

The industry is changing. You have to adjust. Be willing to learn from someone who is experienced. #WritersRoad