Chat Between Chapters: Action in Books

August 23, 2015 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 22


How much action do you like in your reads?

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

I think there is a delicate balance between a good action scene in a book, and one that is too long. If I find myself skimming forward, it is too long. Fights scenes might be good visually, but reading them is another story altogether. Don’t bog us down with too many arms flailing and punches thrown. I don’t need a scene that reads like a choreographed screenplay. Instead, I want to read who is doing what and generally which way the fight is going, but I’d like for the action/fight scene to be over in several minutes.


I’m a big fan of action in books and movies. Car chases. Boat chases. Plane chases. Characters being chased by monsters. Shootouts. Sword fights. I need the action to be well-written, though. I want to know how the chase ends. To read when the main characters make it to safety. Or defeat the bead guys. I need the action to carry the plot forward, and not just be there for no particular reason. Action can enhance a lot of other genres, fantasy, sci fi, thrillers. I like when books have a good mixture of action, story-telling, and romance. 

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22 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Action in Books”

  1. Brenda @DailyMayo

    I’m with Julie on this one. Writing action is difficult, I know, so I appreciate it when authors get the balance right. I need enough action for it to feel different from the rest of the book, but not so much that I feel like I could play out the scene blow for blow.
    Brenda @DailyMayo recently posted…Do You Need a Writing Coach?

  2. Sue at Book By Book

    Action? I can take it or leave it. I enjoy a fast-paced thriller or mystery but also enjoy plenty of novels where there is little to no action. I just finished The Storied Life of AJ Fikry – not much action there but a whole lot of laughs and warmth! I’m good with that.

    I live with a husband and two almost-grown sons, so I get plenty of action on the small screen in my male-centric household!


    Book By Book
    Sue at Book By Book recently posted…It’s Monday 8/31! What Are You Reading?

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    I’m a fan of action in my books. I can live without it, of course, but I like it. And in HF, UF or PNR, I’m particularly fond of well choreographed action scenes…those that enable me to *see* it in my head like I’m watching a movie. I have read an author whose books are so action-packed that I feel breathless after reading her. But the story is so good, I let that slide. 😉
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Rock Chick Chat ~ Fire Inside ~ Kristen Ashley

    • Lynn

      I’ve read books like that too, Brandee. It’s like you need a break from all of the action just to catch your breath. And all you are doing is reading!

    • Julie

      It is cool when you can really picture it. Most of the time it is just a mess in my mind so that might be why I don’t like it as much.

  4. Ramona

    Eh, I don’t know 🙂 I like action, but I like caring about the characters more. I like to fall in love with the setting/world. And I really love beautiful writing. So, for me, action is not that important. I can enjoy a book that describes a chair, lol, if the writing makes me love that chair and hold my interest 🙂
    Ramona recently posted…Zen Monday: The Secret of Happiness

    • Julie

      Well, I’m not to the point where a well described chair will hold my attention, but yea beautiful writing and interesting characters are important.

  5. Sharon

    I like action in books but I don’t like it to drag on too long as then I’ll skip parts to see how it turns out. How long that is page wise I’m not really sure as I think it depends on what’s happening in the first place.
    Sharon recently posted…Confess by Colleen Hoover

    • Lynn

      I can understand that, Sharon. Too much action, especially in books, does tend to weigh down the reader.

    • Lynn

      Agree with you on both, Erik! I love high fantasy, too! Check out the Gentleman Bastard books by Scott Lynch. Loads of action in those books!

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