This weekend the newest Jason Bourne opened in theaters. I LOVE the Bourne movies (some more than others. I'm looking at you, Jeremy Renner) and I rank The Bourne Identity as one of my top 5 movies ever!
One of the reasons I'm drawn to Jason Bourne is because of the action. I geek-out over the fight choreography which feels to me like equal parts grace and power. Not to mention the improvisation! Who knew a pen, a rolled-up magazine, or a BOOK could be so dangerous?
I've always been drawn to action in movies. It's probably a by-product of growing up in the '80's and '90's and watching too many Steven Seagal movies (Hard to Kill = Awesome; Marked for Death = Not So Much). But I'm not a movie star or even a fight choreographer. I'm a writer . . . so how do I incorporate action into my writing?
When I was in middle school I read the novelization of another '80s/90's classic -- Willow! I loved the movie, but when I read the book, I walked away disappointed -- mostly because the epic sword fights in the movie were simply glossed over in the novel with barely a sentence or two of description.
In ANOM: Awakening I wanted the action to feel like a Bourne movie -- filled with power and grace. But how do I write that without droning on about every punch, kick, and bruise?
In the end, I tried to write my action scenes like a play-by-play sportscaster on the radio - creating a clear picture with my words, but not getting bogged down in too much detail because something else is already happening. I'll leave it to you, my readers, to judge the end results for yourselves, but when I read reviews that talk about the visual nature of my book, I think I must be onto something.
The other element that really helped me create action scenes was my recent involvement with Kenpo Karate. My wife and I started taking karate classes a couple of years ago, and as we've learned different self-defense moves and "basics" in class, it's become easier and easier for me to visualize my way through a fight. After all, if I can't see the fight in my own imagination, how will I ever describe it for the reader?
After Vanessa read my book she described it as "Captain America meets Jason Bourne." I hope that's true. And I hope that the new Bourne movie lives up to its reputation. And I hope one day I can see my fights from ANOM choreographed out on the big screen.
Until then, I'll just have to settle for Bourne.