How To Write An Action Scene

I’m working on the finale of BLOOD & GLASS. In fact, it’s the finale of the whole trilogy. The epic, final battle scene unfolds in a downtown Los Angeles high-rise. It’s gonna be huge, like DIE HARD in a … well, in a building.

But wait,we have to break it down. What’s really going on? We have Lauren and Speck and Elan (Team A) in the elevator, ready to draw blood. Sandrine waits for them at the party she’s throwing on the top floor. She paces and grinds her teeth and flexes her hands because really, this is her big moment. Nick’s there, too. He’s in good shape, in spite of having been kidnaped. In fact, he’s having a cocktail, unaware that his heart has literally become a ticking time bomb. Then there’s Team B in the elevator shaft, blissfully unaware of Team A, though Sandrine’s aware of them both. Slake will try to tackle Team B. The fight needs to be harrowing. And we’re gonna lose somebody. Should it be Andre? Makes more sense to lose Elvis. But who’s going to survive the battle on the top floor? And when exactly do they show up? We have to give Team A a chance to make an impact. Then Team B can save the day, which is something no one expects them capable of, since they go to high school.

Lauren and Sandrine have to have their moment. Sandrine can say something unique and powerful like, “Ha ha, now at last I’ve got you right where I want you!” And Lauren could say something like, “Oh yeah? You and what army?” And Sandrine plays her hand and shows Lauren that she does, indeed, have an army.

…At which point the party guests attack with teeth (oh, did I mention there are vampires?) That should keep Speck and Elan occupied. At some point Nick gets bitten himself. Should that happen before or after Team B shows up? And then how do we get Annette and Owen to face Sandrine? Because Sandrine needs to stab Annette at some point. And then Gene’s taser needs to fall into Owen’s hands somehow so that they can get on with spiriting Sandrine off to the desert for the final battle. And at what point is the army actually unleashed? Because once the floodgates open, the survivors need to get to the roof where they can get on with their last stand.

Oh, hell, maybe we should go to the flowchart for this one:


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  1. mom - October 7, 2006 at 3:44 pm Reply

    Wowzee. Makes me wonder just where you got the screenwriting gene??

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