Creating Action in a Stalled Scene

walking line

As I am writing this week, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get the action going in a few scenes and not being so dialogue heavy in my second draft. So, after some research, I found what I was looking for to move my story along AND make my character more fallible because no one likes a perfect heroine, right?

One of my favorite things about writing a story is the fact that I have power over the ending, but now I’ve discovered an equally fun fact. I can force my heroine to make a choice that can lead into a subplot based on her cringe-worthy decision making “skills.” Below, I’ve listed 4 different situations we can put our heroes/heroines in to move the story along through their poor choices and get out of stalled scene.

Getting to the Action Through the “Ill-fated” Choices of the Heroine:

The impulsive moment. Put her in a situation where she is suddenly faced with two choices. To prove that she actually can make a decision, she quickly makes up her mind… but it doesn’t end up being the best choice because she didn’t really think through the possible outcomes.

Example: The choice could have been to tell a “little” lie to get out of an awkward situation and now the heroine is faced with a series of troubling events based on that one weak moment and she is forced to walk a very fine line or risk everything.

The under pressure moment. Peer pressure isn’t fun. Try putting your heroine in a situation where she’s expected to make a choice that is popular with her group even when she doesn’t want to and when she decides to put an end to the jeering, mocking and over all negativity by giving in to the pressure of the moment, it turns out for the worst.

Example: With her “friends” poking at her and prodding for an answer, the heroine decides to admit that she is in love with James, but later finds out that her friends were only prodding her because James was within hearing and now her chances at love could be shot!

The pretend to know it all/ to proud to ask advice moment. Is your heroine trying to prove a point or trying to impress the hero? Or is she just too embarrassed to admit she doesn’t know what in the world to do? Pretending to know how to do something to appear smarter is always a good way to find humor in a moment that is truly serious for the heroine. Does her act of pretending to know what she is doing effect someone else?

Example: Under the impression that the hero knows the way home through The Fire Swamp, the group of hikers rely on his directions and follow him blindly….

The over confident moment. When everything that could go wrong goes wrong for your heroine and she hasn’t made back up plans, the consequences can be dire and/or humorous.

Example: The heroine plans her first ever high society party in the garden, but when it rains, she is at a loss as to where to put everyone and now, her otherwise perfect party and party throwing reputation are on the brink of ruin. Scandalous!

Have fun putting your character into situations to get the action moving!

Happy Writing!

P.S. Fun Note: May will make a year of blogging!!! So, I am changing my blogging days to Wednesdays and Sundays, which will hopefully be permanent!

#Writingtip Wednesday: On Wednesdays, I’ll continue to post writing tips, so if you are interested in reading my blog solely for the writing tips, this is the day for you!

Vintage Sunday: On Sundays, I’ll begin writing posts on research findings and interesting historical goodies with a few vintage pictures as I find them. So, if you need inspiration for your historical fiction, this may help spark an idea!

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About Grace Hitchcock

Grace Hitchcock's first novella, The Widow of St. Charles Avenue, released in Barbour Publishing’s The Second Chance Brides Collection August 2017. Her second novella will release in Barbour Publishing’s The Southern Belle Brides Collection in 2018. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace is a Louisiana Southerner living in Colorado with her husband, Dakota, and newborn son.

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