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As a writer, crafting exciting action scenes is an essential part of keeping your readers engaged and invested in your story. Whether you're writing a thriller, a sci-fi epic, or a romance, exciting action can be the key to keeping your readers turning pages and eagerly anticipating what happens next. But how do you write exciting action scenes that truly capture the reader's imagination? In this post, we'll share some tips and techniques for writing exciting action in your novel.

Establish Stakes

The first step to writing exciting action scenes is to establish stakes that matter to your characters and your readers. In other words, you need to create a sense of urgency and tension that motivates your characters to act and your readers to care about what happens.

One way to establish stakes is to tie your action scenes to your story's central conflict. For example, if your hero is on a mission to save the world from an alien invasion, every action scene should contribute to that goal and help to advance the plot.

Another way to establish stakes is to create personal motivations for your characters. For example, if your hero is a soldier fighting in a war, they may be motivated to save their fellow soldiers or protect innocent civilians. By creating personal stakes for your characters, you give readers a reason to care about what happens and root for their success.

Use Strong Verbs and Action Words

When it comes to writing exciting action scenes, strong verbs and action words are essential. These are the words that convey movement, speed, and impact, and they can make all the difference in creating a scene that is exciting and engaging.

Instead of using weak or passive verbs like "walked" or "moved," use strong verbs that convey action and intensity, like "charged," "leaped," or "slammed." Likewise, use action words that describe the physical impact of the action, like "crash," "explode," or "smash."

Create a Sense of Motion

Another key to writing exciting action scenes is to create a sense of motion and movement. This can be achieved through a variety of techniques, such as:

Using short sentences and paragraphs to create a sense of urgency and speed

Focusing on sensory details, like the sound of gunfire or the feel of wind rushing past

Incorporating vivid imagery and metaphors to create a sense of movement and excitement

Using active voice to convey action and momentum

By creating a sense of motion and movement, you can immerse your readers in the action and make them feel like they are right in the middle of the scene.

Vary Sentence Length and Structure

To keep your action scenes from becoming monotonous or repetitive, it's important to vary your sentence length and structure. This can help create a sense of rhythm and pacing, and keep readers engaged and interested in the scene.

For example, you might use short, punchy sentences to convey rapid-fire action, followed by longer, more descriptive sentences to build tension and suspense. Or you might use fragments or incomplete sentences to create a sense of chaos or urgency.

Use Dialogue to Enhance Action

Dialogue can be a powerful tool for enhancing action scenes, as it can help to convey emotion, establish character, and advance the plot. By using dialogue to complement your action scenes, you can add depth and complexity to your characters and make your scenes more dynamic and engaging.

One way to use dialogue in action scenes is to have characters communicate their thoughts and feelings in the heat of the moment. This can help to convey the intensity of the action and give readers insight into the character's mindset.

Another way to use dialogue is to have characters use it as a weapon, such as taunting or threatening each other during a fight. This can add an extra layer of tension and Use Sensory Details

Sensory details are essential for creating vivid, immersive action scenes. By incorporating sensory details like sounds, smells, and textures, you can make your scenes feel more real and help readers imagine themselves in the middle of the action.

For example, you might describe the sound of gunshots echoing off the walls, the smell of smoke and gunpowder in the air, or the feel of blood and sweat on a character's skin. These sensory details can help to create a fully realized scene that is both exciting and memorable.

Avoid Clichés

When it comes to writing exciting action scenes, it's important to avoid clichés and overused tropes. While it can be tempting to rely on familiar action movie clichés, like explosions and car chases, these can quickly become stale and predictable.

Instead, try to come up with fresh and unexpected action scenes that challenge readers' expectations and keep them guessing. This might mean incorporating unusual weapons or fighting styles, or setting the action in unexpected locations.

Edit and Revise

Finally, remember that the key to writing exciting action scenes is to edit and revise your work carefully. This means cutting out any unnecessary details or scenes that don't contribute to the story, and honing in on the action that truly matters.

It's also important to pay attention to pacing and structure, and make sure that your action scenes are well integrated into the overall narrative. By taking the time to edit and revise your work, you can create action scenes that are truly exciting and memorable.


Writing exciting action scenes is an essential part of crafting a gripping and engaging novel. By establishing stakes, using strong verbs and action words, creating a sense of motion, varying sentence length and structure, using dialogue to enhance action, incorporating sensory details, avoiding clichés, and editing and revising your work carefully, you can write action scenes that truly capture readers' imaginations.

Remember, the key to writing great action scenes is to keep your readers invested in the story and rooting for your characters. With the right techniques and a little bit of practice, you can create action scenes that are both thrilling and unforgettable.


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