Too Many Action Scenes?

by Arianna
(Baltimore, MD)

Question: I'm writing a book about a young kidnappee who escapes her environment and I have a lot of action scenes in my plot.

Between each large action scene is like two chapters of mainly dialogue between characters.

The first one is when the book begins, the antagonist (her kidnapper) overdoses on cocaine. Skip forward.

Then there's a gunfight in a bar where one character is shot and killed through a little plot twist. Skip forward.

Then the MC jumps out a window and breaks her knee but still manages to run away (adrenaline I suppose) through a city where she ends up falling asleep in a grocery cart (I can explain. Lol) Skip forward.

Then there's a crazy car scene where she gets kidnapped by the same guy again and has to break out of the car through more twists and with some help. Skip forward.

Then there's a scene in a bar (different bar) where a fire starts and she has to escape her kidnapper through this roaring fire and get out of the bar in time. Her knee is still broken, too. Skip forward.

And that's where I am. Too much action?

I know you don't review manuscripts. I just need to know, plotwise, if this is too much and too intense or if I am okay. Thank you SO much. This means a lot to me.

Answer: From this skeletal description, there's nothing that's necessarily "wrong."

I assume you're writing a thriller, or some other form of action-driven plot? Some thrillers, hard-boiled detective stories, etc. have more action than this.

It sounds as though you are giving the reader breaks in between action scenes, presumably to develop characters and theme, which is a good strategy.

Nonetheless, the best thing to do is finish the manuscript and then invite some people to read it - preferably people who like thrillers. See if there is a consistent pattern of complaints regarding the action, in which case you might want to revise. But I suspect that is unlikely.

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