Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Writing a Scene with Movement

Today's writing prompt deals with movement. Movement is the magical element that makes your scene come to life. Think about the times you've skimmed long descriptive passages, not because they aren't well written but because they don't move the story along. Movement helps show the story unfolding. A good example is the intro to the 1997 Men in Black movie that starts out with a bug flying through the night air during the opening credits. We follow that bug with interest. It almost gets hit by a semi and you find yourself starting to care about the bug, and just like that it splats on the windshield of another moving vehicle, and now the interest is on the vehicle. That movement moved the story along.

Pumping Your Muse Writing Prompt

Just like any aspect of the craft of writing, showing movement with words takes practice . For today's writing prompt we'll use the above National Geographic video about hummingbirds or the video below that includes 10 knife fights from popular movies. I chose the hummingbird video because it slows the movement down, to give you an opportunity to really see the movement so you can better describe it. In a way, this is what you do when you show movement in your writing, although it shouldn't feel that way once its complete. The movement should "feel" natural. Your challenge is to write a paragraph of what you see and then to incorporate it into a short scene.

If you prefer to challenge yourself with an action scene, use the knife scenes video for your creative writing prompt. It's a montage of 10 movie knife scenes so pick one and use it to hone your skills in writing a fight scene (a trick I learned from stuntman and author T.J. Glenn), and as you do, pay attention to how movement works to push the story forward.

Select strong verbs that create an image in the reader's mind. For instance instead of using the verb "move" choose words that show the movement like dart or dance to paint a clearer image on that mental canvas.
Have fun! Be creative! Add some dialog.

Writing Fight Scenes

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