#atozchallenge : A for Action #fiction #writing #quotes

A to Z Challenge Theme: Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing

And here we go! Today is the first day of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and we’re getting off to a fine start! If you haven’t signed  up yet, the list is still open– get on this mega-blogging ride, and join in the fun and games with the rest of us!

Today on Amlokiblogs, I begin the challenge with a word that leads a lot of fiction to hit bestseller lists: Action. Action is the method fiction writers use to show movement in the story. It is the heartbeat of a story– and no story, no matter how abstract or literary, can do without action.

Here are few quotes that talk about action:

 “Begin your writing, fiction or article, where the action begins. This
action can be internal (e.g., an important insight or personal decision)
or external (e.g., a murder or calamity). Begin too early, you lose
your reader. Begin too late, you lose your story.”
— Walt Shiel

“Pace is crucial. Fine writing isn’t enough.
Writing students can be great at producing a single page of well-crafted
prose; what they sometimes lack is the ability to take the reader on a
journey, with all the changes of terrain, speed and mood that a long
journey involves. Again, I find that looking at films can help. Most
novels will want to move close, linger, move back, move on, in pretty
cinematic ways.”
– Rose Tremain

“Character gives us qualities, but it is in actions – what we do – that
we are happy or the reverse….All human happiness and misery take the
form of action.”
— Aristotle

“In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it ‘got boring,’
the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of
description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball

― Stephen King
 Do you like stories with action? What sort of stories do you like to read or write?

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

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Add Yours
  1. iamstri

    I am glad you used Action and not Attitude because Attitude is frequently explored. This was different and informative.

  2. A Daft Scots Lass

    I thought I'd pay all the A to Z Blog Challenge Hosts a visit today. Everyone has put in so much effort into this event. I think its the best blog challenge in the Blogsphere! Enjoy the rest the challenge and I adore the image!

  3. celineslouchelounge

    Totally agree with your post and the importance of action. I do, however, find that books that feature big 'action' scenes, you know like a fight scene in a film, quickly lose my focus. I find it a bit hard to picture and if it goes on for too long I get bored. I guess like everything getting the action *just* right is a balancing act!

  4. Scribbles From Jenn

    What a great theme! I love quotes, I have them all throughout the book I'm writing. I also like books with action, but have trouble getting enough of it in my own writing :/

  5. Barbara Duke

    I do appreciate a good action story. I write personal stories that have little action. I mainly write thoughts about living in general, etiquette, manners, kindness, etc. You do have me thinking. I have had an interesting life and everyone tells me I should write a book. Have a great day. http://thoughts-of-pink.blogspot.com

  6. Masquerade Crew

    Although I like the painting of scenes and setting, a writer who does this too much will lose me. Of course the opposite is true too. Too much action is annoying as well.

    Visit us during the A to Z Challenge. We're highlighting authors who are more than writers. Click HERE.

  7. angelsbark

    I love action! Great start to the A-Z! Can't wait to see what you bring us tomorrow! Thanks for all your hard work in hosting and organizing the challenge. It's my first year and I'm already having a blast!

  8. Doreen McGettigan

    These are great reminders. I am in the middle of editing my second book and my editor asked for more action in a couple of places.
    Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

  9. Viola Fury

    Writing dialog is very difficult for me, Damyanti. I tend to write pages and pages of what is going on in my characters' heads and their motives for their behavior. 😐 Making the switch from rhetorical/essay writing to fiction is difficult and this was painfully pointed out to me during this past NaNoWriMo, but at least I finished, so there is hope for me yet!

  10. Julie Jordan Scott

    Now I get to sound, for a moment, intellectual. I was reading Willa Cather's "The Professor's House" yesterday, just for fun, and I noticed her gorgeous descriptions which one would more than likely NEVER find in today's fiction? Why? Because we are trained to jump immediately into the "What happened." Nothing wrong with that, just a different take and is appealing to today's average reader.

    I enjoy reading memoir and letters/journals more than anything else… usually not action dense. i do love your quotes. Very helpful. Perhaps it is pacing, for me, more than action. Pacing and cadence of the author's voice.

    Happy A to Zing!

    Julie Jordan Scott
    A to Z Challenge Participant/2011,12,13,14…..
    The Bold Writer from A to Z

  11. A.M. Guynes/Annikka Woods

    Action is my biggest weakness in my stories. I do a lot of description, a lot of dialogue, but not much to keep the ball rolling. That's something I'm going to have to go back and check in these current edits on my novel. Good post. I got here because of the A to Z Challenge and I may just have to come back for more.

  12. Inge H. Borg

    Amazing! I finally caught up with you (you always google-plus my blog articles – bet you do that to all the bloggers!). Great quotes. I may have to change some of my "darlings,"and instead keep the ball rolling.
    I also love gooseberries – seemingly not available here in these southern states where I am in "retirement exile." Oh well, more time to read blogs and what else? Oh yes, write!

  13. Fe

    So true. I must say though that I do like descriptions. Sometimes they're the only thing which allows one to catch a much-needed breath in a story. That said, I have been known to skim over such passages… :p

    Felicity Writing Away

  14. Chrys Fey

    There HAS to be action in the books I read and write. It's essential for me. 😀 And you picked some really great quotes.

  15. Deborah Blair

    I've picked up several books lately – all with too much telling and not enough showing, or action. Great post today!

    A to Z: deborahdera.com & writingforpeanuts.com

  16. Salvwi Prasad

    Action in a story grips the readers. They are intrigued to know what follows next. For me action does not mean in its typical sense. Any story that arouses an interest in me to continue has action because that's what keeps me moving with the story. Nice educative theme.


  17. cintascorner.com

    I like fast-paced, action-packed books. I am seeing too many books that bask in descriptions and that only makes the book boring. I'm all for the action!

  18. shelly

    Yes. Trying to find the right balance to weave in the action is key. Something I seem to struggle with in my current piece.

    Hugs and chocolate!

  19. Trisha F

    Hi Damyanti, I look forward to seeing your posts throughout the A to Z! 🙂 I so agree that pacing and action are important things in any story. One of my big problems with some novels has been to leave the real action until very far into the story. Not good!

  20. JennaQuentin

    I love action scenes that seem effortless, where you forget you are reading. Harry Potter comes to mind, with all the Quidditch games and fights and suspense.

  21. Shailaja V

    Oh this is such a fun theme 🙂 I love quotes. Use them liberally in my presentations and teaching moments. And, since I started trying my hand at fiction, that is an area worth exploring in detail 🙂

    And I agree with the excessive description. Turns me off the story.

  22. Laura Marcella

    Hello, D.! These are great quotes. Action is always fun to read. But I don't like when a book starts with it immediately in the first line because I think it's too jarring and confusing. I don't know the characters yet so why would I care about the action-packed happenings? I much prefer starting, in reading and writing, with tension that foreshadows inevitable action.

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines