Tag Archives: eBook

Writing an Action Scene

Last week I was answering interview questions about my story in the integrated short story collection The Life and Times of Chester Lewis and, since I hadn’t looked at it in quite a while, I gave the story a reread. Like most writers (I would imagine), I couldn’t help but think there were places where I could have written more tightly or hooked the reader in more. As writers I don’t think we ever stop editing our stories in our heads, even after they’ve published. I’m a perfectionist in that way, and I don’t think I can ever feel like my writing is perfect. Good, maybe, but perfect, no.

I did concede to myself, however, that I was quite happy with how the main action scene turned out. There are some main points I keep in mind when writing action scenes that I think make a world of difference:

1. Short, sharp sentences pack a punch.

2. But, it is also important to vary sentence length to keep readers engaged, not bored. Short, sharp sentences lose their impact if you don’t vary them with some longer (but not too long) sentences.

3. Get into your character’s head. Think about his or her reactions.

4. Up the stakes. Just when it looks like the character will be triumphant, just when they’ve got the upper hand, turn the tables. Throw the worst case scenario at him or her. Make it seem as though all hope is lost and there is no way out.

If you want to check out my Chester Lewis story and judge my action scene for yourself, The Life and Times of Chester Lewis is actually on special offer today for its launch. You can grab a copy of the ebook for $0.99 (it’s normally $3.99). This is an especially good opportunity to pick up a copy and get started on you fanfic story (if you’re entering). Remember, it’s $2000 for the winner of the competition and it’s open worldwide. What a great opportunity!

Do you have any tips for writing action scenes? What really hooks you in when you’re reading them? Do you have any favourite action scenes from books you’ve read?

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100 Stories for Queensland – A Review

A devastating flood…

In late December last year and early January this year Queensland, Australia was hit by devastating floods. At one time or another, floods covered ninety per cent of the state. Crops were destroyed, homes and lives were lost. Watching the devastation unfold in the media left me with a feeling of horror. The stories that came to surface had me in tears.

The call…

On the 11th of January Trevor Belshaw put out a call on Twitter and Facebook “100 stories for Queensland?”.

The response…

Authors from around the world submitted upbeat and uplifting stories of fiction. One hundred of those stories were chosen for an anthology whose purpose is to raise money for those affected by the floods. Those working behind the scenes, such as editor Jodi Cleghorn, have worked hard and done an amazing job compiling those stories into a beautiful book.

The launch…

On the 3rd of May the eBook of 100 Stories for Queensland was launched and can be bought on the 100 Stories for Queensland website (you can even read a free sample of stories before you buy). In a fortnight the print version of 100 Stories for Queensland will be available from Amazon and the Book Depository and may be ordered from your local bookstore.

My Review

After being brought to tears by Kate Eltham’s beautiful introduction, I’ve been reading through the fantastic collection of stories contained within 100 Stories for Queensland. Here is just a snapshot on my thoughts on a few of the stories.

John Baird’s ‘The Safe Option’ is a very clever story. I loved the twist.

Kim Bannerman’s ‘The Turtle Inventory’ is cute and funny. All those turtles!

Alan Baxter’s ‘The SpeakingTree’ is a tale of life. I loved the old fig tree.

Stephen Book’s ‘After All These Years’ has great characterisation. It reminds me of one of my favourite series: the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.

Gillian Brown’s ‘The Anniversary’ has a funny ending.

Christopher Chartrand’s ‘The Carver’s Daughter’ is a sweet story. It almost made me cry.

Jennifer Domingo’s ‘One Tenth of a Second’ is a story of unbeatable odds and doing your best anyway. It brought a smile to my face.

Karen Field’s ‘Amunet’s Gift’ is very sweet. It has great visual imagery.

Emma Karry’s ‘Confessions of a Toddler’ gave me a good giggle. It reminded me of a certain little toddler living in my house.

I’m only two thirds of the way through reading all the stories so far, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of them.

I feel privileged to be included amongst these talented writers and to be a part of something raising money for those affected by the floods. It’s such a great cause, I hope you will consider buying a copy to help out. I know I will be buying a copy (or two). Remember 100% of the sales from the eBook and 100% of the wholesale price of the paperback (excluding printing costs) go to the Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Fund.