Don’t we all love a good action scene?
Dystopian, fantasy, science-fiction... What do all of these novel types have in common? Typically, a captivating fight scene!
In books like Harry Potter, The Illuminae Files, Magnus Chase, Percy Jackson, Nevernight, Shadowhunters, The Mortality Doctrine, etc. there is always someone trying to defeat a bad guy/ guys; but is war and fighting really the answer?
As usual, when I want to do a post that answers a question I conducted a google search and came up with a few articles that mentioned popular novels and talked generally about why people like YA, which didn’t answer my question the way I wanted.
Not all hope was lost! I stumbled upon a Reddit thread that talks about the difference between movie action and book action scenes. One user named jwbjerk brought up a brilliant point by saying the following: Focusing on the second paragraph, these aspects mentioned all make up the character and tell us who they are. These are things that cannot be conveyed through film. A film only shows actions and not the deeper thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc of the character. It doesn’t talk about why they choose what they choose/ their strategies, etc.
The above got me thinking about what makes me want to read novels with action scenes and I came to the following conclusion. I also noticed that these points came up in articles that I found during my research.
- Show the weak points and breaking points of a character and the type of people they are. Will they be the protector or the betrayer? I like to see what choices the character makes when they are called to action, when their loved ones are in danger, or even when they come face to face with the bad guy.
- Everything has to lead up to the fight. Usually, it is an end-all-or-be-all scene which determines the fate for the good and bad guys. Maybe the bad guy dies or if the author really wants to torture their reader, some of the good guys will die. There may not even be any foreshadowing of this.
- Unlike movies, books have no fancy camera work, so there is only the power of words to deliver the raw emotion of the fight that is happening. This also makes false deaths easier to believe (I’m looking at you jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman). We cannot see the faces of the characters but we see into their minds. We see what we need to, to create the story and keep it running in our minds; unlike movies in which we see everything both necessary and unnecessary.
- The fight causes disruption in the flow of things and there are repercussions for all parties involved. A surprise fight can change the course of the story entirely, changing the mood and feel of the novel. With the ending of the fight, both parties will suffer, some losing more than others, but once the fight ensues nothing will be the same.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Please let me know what your thoughts are on posts like these. I’d love to know if you want more posts like this, or even if you have any thoughts on books with action scenes.
Which novels hold some of your favourite action scenes??
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With Love Bree xx
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