Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading my blog and to those who liked my last post! I found another article today about adverbs and other writing tips, shared on Facebook by actor, director, producer and writer Joseph Gordon-Levitt so take a look if you’re interested: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/16/arts/writers-writing-easy-adverbs-exclamation-points-especially-hooptedoodle.html
Today I’m going to talk about writing fight scenes and I’ll also being sharing an interview with my best friend and writing coach Angela.
Firstly, let’s focus on fight scenes. At first, when I started writing an action novel for the first time, I struggled with fight scenes. Now, I love writing them. Sometimes all it takes is practice, but there are so many resources available to help you. I use YouTube all of the time because there are so many videos on choreographing fight scenes as well as videos that teach self defence and fight scene clips from films. Having that visual aid can help to give you ideas and learning the mechanics of fighting makes it easier to outline the basic moves in a scene. On the other hand though, writing for film can be completely different from writing for a novel. In a film or television series, the actions are executed within seconds. If you were to describe every single move shown on screen, your reader would get bored. That’s why I think it is important to read plenty of books and short stories with action scenes too. I started reading the first book in The Bourne Series by Robert Ludlum. I love his snappy, concise use of description in fight scenes which makes the reader feel like they are right there, watching the action.
I study Latin at school and one of my favourite fight scene techniques is from Latin poet Virgil. He uses a fight between two characters, bringing the action to a suspenseful climax, before immediately switching the attention to another character, or another description. This leaves the reader wondering about the outcome of the fight, while simultaneously getting hooked on the new focus of the scene.
Here’s a (short) example:
“Turnus leapt forward thinking himself safe, rose to the full height
of his body with uplifted sword, and struck (1): the Trojans
and the anxious Latins cried out, both armies were roused.(2)”
In the first sentence (1) Virgil describes a vital point in the fight between main characters Turnus and Aeneas, but before the audience is allowed to see the outcome of the fight, he switches our attention to the audience in the story-the Trojans and the Latins.
Now, here’s the interview I promised!
Hi Angela, welcome to the blog, can you tell the readers a bit about yourself?
Well obviously my name is Angela, and my last name is Olsen. I’m from South Africa, and lived there until I was eleven years old, when in 2009, I moved to England and started secondary school with you and most of our other friends.
As for the basics, here are some of my favourites…
-Colour: emerald green
-Movie: Blood Diamond
-Song: A Drop in the Ocean, by Ron Pope
When did you first become involved with Fireworks?
I first became involved with the novel towards the end of 2011, just after you started writing the book. It’s funny because I remember reading the opening scene where you describe the miserable weather, and ironically, it happened snowing outside at the same time!
Do you have a favourite scene, and why?
My favourite scenes tend to involve Jared being protective and always defensive of Carlie- they all illustrate his undeniable love for her. I also thought it was cute when he got jealous of Ashton after Carlie had spent some time at the beach with him in Chicago.
What about a favourite character, and why?
Definitely Xavier! It’s actually strange because when his character was first introduced in the book, I loathed him! But his character is deeper than you would expect- he has been hurt and no longer acknowledges his emotions because of what happened to him. Now, even knowing all of the horrible things he has done, I don’t want to see him hurt again.
Xavier is a unique character because we want to hate him for what he has done to the characters we love, but reading his story in the novella Two sides of a Coin I have come to realise that he can’t be held fully responsible for what he has done- corrupt people have moulded him into the person he appears to be today, but at heart he is an innocent child who has never really known love and therefore cannot relate to it.
Who is your favourite couple, and why?
I love Sean and Isla. They’re a young couple who don’t know much about each other yet they are able to relate to each other easily.
When Isla, Carlie and Jared leave Santa Carma abruptly, Sean got no real explanation. Still when they return weeks later, Sean is there for Isla. Even when Sean learns about Isla’s dramatic and disastrous past, he still wants to be with her – that sounds like love to me.
Do you have any funny memories from the last year involving Fireworks and the writing process?
Yes! Particularly you spending pretty much every lunchtime trying to persuade me to like Xavier even though I already did- you just didn’t know it!
As one of the two only people who have read the ending to Fireworks, do you think it is an ending that will satisfy readers?
Of course I do! The ending can be seen in one of two ways -unexpected, or undeniable. The twist at the end of the book is unexpected, but what happens shortly afterwards is undeniable. It is purely out of fate that Jared and Carlie meet in the first place, and the same can be said about the ending to this book; it is not realistic to expect what happens to happen, but it does, and this makes the ending perfect.
What would you like to see happen in the second book between Carlie and Jared, or any other character?
I want Carlie to realise exactly how much she means to Jared. Maybe he could take her on a surprise trip, possibly to Disney Land, anywhere that they can forget about their secrets and constant threat and just be a happy, carefree, young couple for the day.
It would also be interesting to learn more about Miley’s boyfriend; is he as innocent as he appears, or is he harbouring his own share of secrets?
And obviously I’m dying to know what happens between Kim and her fiancé!
Thank you for guest starring on my blog, is there anything else you’d like to mention?
You’re welcome! Yes, read this book because you’ll never expect things to happen as they do. For the characters, any situation can change at the drop of a hat. The most difficult time for all of these characters is when the truth is revealed and you no longer know if you can trust the one person you should be able to, these scenes are by far the most emotional.
*End of interview*
To finish here’s another inspirational writing quote for you by Jack London:
“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
Thanks so much for reading, please like/comment on my post if you enjoyed it and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter if you haven’t already at @cw_writing.