How to Write Action Sequences

Fiction editor Joshua Essoe gives his best tips for writing fight scenes (hint: it's not about the fighting).

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read
Episode #777

Joshua Essoe has been a full-time freelance fiction editor for more than 10 years and just came out with his first book: "Essoe's Guides to Writing: Action Sequences & Sex Scenes." We focused on action sequences and talked about the following:

  • How to use emotions as an essential part of action sequences.
  • Why it's usually important to keep your dialogue short.
  • The one thing he cuts most often from fight scenes: turning and looking.
  • Which words you should use only once or twice: "charged" and "roared."
  • Why sex scenes are just a different kind of action sequence.
  • How he got his first gig as a fiction editor. (It's a great lesson for aspiring editors!)

Find Joshua on Twitter, Facebook, and JoshuaEssoe.com.

You can listen to the interview using the player at the top of this page or read a complete rough transcript.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.