In this week’s Story Works Round Table, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert discuss the need for both action and non-action in story arcs, how to balance action with non-action, and what goes wrong when the balance is off.




What can cause problems in your action balance? How do you identify these problems? And how can you work to solve them? What counts as an action beat versus a quiet moment? And what should your characters be doing in those moments?

What we talked about:

How can action become a problem? (0:45)

The idea of a scene sequel and how that can help your balance. (2:03)

Let art reflect life! (5:35)

What these “breaks” or character downtime should accomplish. (6:20)

Use narrative exposition to shift the mood! (9:20)

Action should have consequence. (12:20)

What about genre’s that are action driven? (14:03)

Quiet moments give your readers someone to connect to. (16:05)

What about when there isn’t enough action? (18:24)

What counts as action? (24:25)


Things we mentioned:

Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
Blade Runner 
Minority Report 
Jack Reacher by Lee Child

Want more about these topics? Check out:

SWRT 31: Action Scenes
Flash Tip: Slowing Down Action for Effect 

Have thoughts, questions, other examples? Join the conversation at the Story Works Writers Facebook group

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