This photo made me laugh. The guy prepares for the opening of car wash business hours as if he was preparing for the start of a gang war!
But whatever the fight, it’s all about set-up. A still moment before the start of a fight or other intense action scene can build reader anticipation.
Reader anticipation about a coming fight is not only built by obstacles in a sympathetic character’s path. It also climbs when the sympathetic character commits fully to the struggle.
Commitment signals that the character will give her best and makes a promise to the reader that this will be a good fight.
This week’s writing prompt:
Plan or write the still moment just before the start of an intense action scene. Consider increasing your reader’s anticipation for an exciting fight by emphasizing the character’s commitment to success.
Some of my ideas…
- Use a tight POV to add immediacy.
- Freeze or slow time to draw out the moment and provide a contrast to the fast pace of the fight scene.
- Highlight characters’ preparedness and resolve with conversation, internalization, or nonverbal cues.