Time span and speed of action/events
I’ve noticed that, while watching action movies, details get blurred during sequences depending on how fast things occur. They do this quite purposely so that the viewer doesn’t know who will win in a fight, win in a race, shot first, ect…
Now, why am I talking to you from what will be the past, but seem like the present to you? you’re a writer. That is why.
Film choreography and cinematography can go hand in hand with writing.
When your scribe out a scene in your story you are likely thinking about details, step by step. In choreography they are doing the same thing. Cinematography however, is thinking about how it will look. So, whilst writing, think about how the reader is going to see this in their head.
In my writing adventures, I’ve wondered how to do this in order to get the best “viewer image”. So, I studies films and random strangers in my college quadrangle.
My conclusion is ambiguity. Setting up the specs of a conflict or event before hand is the key to this. Once the reader knows the input, They can now image the fight themselves. As the writer it is now your job to guide the readers image, but tossing them small details of the perceivable action to the reader. The more details you give them, the longer the fight will last and give less ambiguity and might contradict the input specs, while the fewer the details you give them there will be more ambiguity which will speed up the fight, but could also confuse the reader.
Some really terrible vague examples:
- a will fight b.
- a hits b. b hits a.
- a hits b. c helps a.
- b kills c. a hits b.
- b kills a.
Without giving you any input information you have likely read this action by action.
- a has challenged b for his gang turf.
- a launches b
- b counter reacts , but is hit by c and then targeted by a.
- b has just enough time to draw his knife.
- a is dead.
In this example, I have given you more input detail and action detail.
compare your vision of the first example to the second example and you will see how this affects the view with the actions you have imagined the character to have made.
Now the length you write can determine the time span of the event if you want it to. Input detail and ambiguity about the actions that happen can help.
- A rag tag punk challenges a gang leader
- A swift lunge and a spark of light flash upon spectators eyes and a body lays still. The new kid didn’t survive.
Quick, simple, and ambiguous action. Who did what isn’t important, the input and output are in this case. (hours of voluntary clint eastwood movie marathons can be cited here)
Lastly, writing from the readers eyes can help move a pen.