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Is it possible to write action with not too much emphasis on violence?

ApollosAvenger posted this thread...
Jan. 28, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Hello!
For a first draft of mine, I need action. When I write about violence (because I'm not too big on it), it tends to get to the point, but vague. I'm not the blood and gore and "Oh,look! Blood!" type of person.
 
Is it possible to have good action without people dying, because the worst I've done is semi-vividanimal violence (I was writing about two battling dragons).

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Xenolith replied...
Jan. 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I would say so.  Although, I think it depends on the actual story.  If it’s about a soldier on the battlefield, then there’s definitely going to have to be some corpses and blood.  However, if you think about your typical superhero VS villain book, there is a lot of fighting, but the hero never kills the villain.  At least, not that I've ever seen.
Of course, I don’t know anything about your storyline, but you could try to think of a creative way to put a spin on things.
Targeting natural weaknesses in the body (pressure points), psychological warfare, and biological warfare are a few examples of fighting methods with little to no blood.
Hopefully I offered some help.

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MidnightFireThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jan. 29, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Of course! It might be a bit difficult to get it to flow depending on how you write it, but once you find your channel its way easier. ... you could do things like have the character not look at whatever if you right from first person, or have things out of view, like behind a wall so even if you right in third you don't have to right what's really going on. I hope this helped :) good luck!

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Imaginedangerous replied...
Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Is your problem that killing people is too dark, or that you don't like writing graphic violence?
 
See, there's ways to make the stakes high without killing people permanently. Inception is a great example of this. There's lots of shooting and explosions, but nobody actually dies. (The worst danger is that you might get trapped in the dream and go insane). The same goes for a book I read (I forget the title) set entirely in a role-playing video game. Characters 'died' but were able to show up with a new avatar in the next chapter.
 
If your issue is just with the actual violence and not with the results, there are many ways to show that violence has occurred without getting too graphic. You can have one character murder another without describing the murder in detail. (Scene changes are a great way to do this, as is dialogue between characters.) Or if you're into fantasy (which I'm assuming from your dragon battle) you can create some magical way to kill without blood and violence- that's what Harry Potter did.
 
If you're not comfortable with either, keep on experimenting with battling dragons or dangerous spells and stuff like that. Eventually you'll discover where you're most comfortable and what works best in your writing.

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Katsa08 replied...
Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:03 am

Of course it's possible to have good action without people dying. Action is designed to create suspense and in some cases, reveal plot, character traits, or (if you're a mystery buff) clues to the resolution. And of course, unless it's the entire point of your story, you DON'T want too many of your main character biting the dust. Near-death experiences can be just as suspenseful and have just as much impact. If you want to kill someone, make sure it will hit the reader hard, not just some random "oh, he died, let's move on." It shouldn't be a major plot point if you're not going to make the reader feel something. It sounds like you're almost fixating on the physical description of death and violence. If you want to avoid the gore, focus on the way the character feels at the moment, how seeing someone die changes them, for example. To tell the truth, most people prefer inner thought processes of characters to descriptions of what their wearing and which way the blood is spurting and whether or not it shattered a lung. If you want to avoid gore, steer away from physical description.Good luck!

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ApollosAvenger replied...
Feb. 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I don't mind violence (because it's the truth of life), but graphic violence I try to stay away from as much as I can.

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ApollosAvenger replied...
Feb. 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm

By the way, thank you to everyone for their responses! You're really helping me out!

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Ella_Rose replied...
Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I'd say you have to be comfortable with what your doing. I'm not the major killer violence type either but you want to capture the attention of the reader.

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ApollosAvenger replied...
Feb. 4 at 2:31 pm

Whew! Haven't been on this website in a year! Thanks, again, everyone, for your awesome replies. Even a year later, you're helping me out! <3

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Tactical_Writer_65This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 4 at 7:43 pm

Ya, I think it's possible. I consider myself an action writer and write a lot. There are different types of action, from killing, to fist fights, to sports scenes, to certain romance scenes. It's relatively easy. Just don't let someone die. Since your writing about two dragons, try things like: The dragons circled each other slowly, flying through the air. Suddenly, one dips low and back up, barreling into his opponent. The other dragon roared in anger, spewing a massive fireball in retaliation. The attacking dragon backed away, slicing at his victim with razor like claws on his feet. ETC. Let them fight, maybe a little blood if anything, but they don't have to die. One can back off before something serious happens

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