Science fantasy worldbuilding in Phoenix 6: Lasers, camera, action!

Lasers, Camera, Action!


Action sequences in science-fantasy are often heart-pumping passages which are heightened with technology and magic, unique settings, or strange threats. 

Good action often plays out like a rollercoaster of triumph and despair. It’s a back and forth of momentum, like a tug-of-war, keeping the audience on their toes and not knowing who is going to come out on top.

In Phoenix, Said writes action scenes that are raw and vivid, breaking up lines to create beats where you could almost hold your breath. Notice the clear reversals of who is winning the fight.

You’ll notice Said repeating a few of his standard tricks—repetition and em dashes—for dramatic effect. 

Said also makes use of language with strong sound associations so impacts have more, well, impact.

There were troopers on the other side. Five huge Axxa troopers with cannon in their hands. They were off-balance from the explosion, but recovering fast. They raised their cannon – aimed –

– and Bixa was upon them. They were so much bigger than her, yet she took on two of them, all on her own: fists smashing out, hooves kicking with perfect precision.

Major Dashwood fell upon two more, wrestling with them under the flashing lights.

Lucky charged at the last trooper, head down, hoping to take him by surprise. But the man was much stronger than him. He turned Lucky aside, and slammed him into the wall.


Lucky sank to the floor. He looked up to see the trooper aiming his cannon. Squeezing the trigger. A shot went off –

– but not before Major Dashwood had somehow got between them. Hollering a bloodcurdling war cry, he seized the trooper by the collar, and launched his own head forward. Their skulls connected with a sickening crack – and then the trooper was on the floor, unconscious. Dashwood had felled him with a single massive head-butt.

PhoenixS.F. SaidSource
Can you identify all the words in combat that create the sound of a powerful blow in your head?

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