Narrative Basics Lesson 2: Action

Describing action

Physical action

The most obvious type of actions are physical.

Characters run, jump, eat, sleep.

Note: To keep the highlighting looking clean, we'll highlight entire clauses below, not just the verb/action in each clause.

Miles yanked his notebook from his backpack, flipped it open, stared at what he had already written in the dorm. Then ripped that out, crumpled it into a ball, and did a stiff hook shot to the garbage can. Missed.

Miles Morales: Spider-ManJason ReynoldsSource

This snippet is a sequence of physical actions: yank, flip, stare, rip, crumple, throw, miss.

Here are a couple of examples that stack up a series of physical actions.

Sasha zipped up her jacket and hustled down the snowy street, only slowing to carefully step around icy patches of pavement. Glancing around the dark street, Sasha waved down a passing taxi, opened the door and threw herself into the warmth.

Henry hauled another cat out of the kitchen bin, put it with its fellows, reached back into the bin, then leapt back, and slammed into the fridge, avoiding the claws of the giant tomcat still inside. He examined his hand for scratches.

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