META: Writing Good Action [was: Re: [LNH/ACRA] Onion Lad #8]

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Wed Jun 7 18:18:29 PDT 2006

In article <1149714271.436068.305090 at>,
Tom Russell <milos_parker at> wrote:
>What are some general rules to keep in mind?

     One rule I try to follow is to have at least one action sequence per
issue, even if it's just the equivalent of a single jousting pass.  If you
resist the temptation to avoid action entirely, you eventually get a handle
on how to do it.  I mean, I don't really LIKE writing action, for many of the
reasons you brought up and I snipped.  But if I leave action out, I'm kinda
leaving the genre too.

>Any tricks for keeping the scene logistically clear without losing

     Keep it short.  Epic battles are fine in visual media, but bog down
pretty fast.  It helped in my case that my college years involved a Champions
campaign where most everyone had really big attacks and smallish defenses, so
few people could take more than a couple of shots.  With the power levels
most supers throw around, it's plausible to resolve a fight after only a few
exchanges, making it easier to keep things clear.
     If you must have a brawl last longer, try to keep it to a duel, have all
the weaker combatants either taken out or left behind quickly, so it's just
Orion versus Steppenwolf for the next few pages.

     Dave Van Domelen, notes that it can sometimes help to block it out in
some way, either as panel thumbnail drawings, or using a map and minis.

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