Although I have some action in my book, those scenes tend to be short, so I am no expert on writing a sustained action sequence. This article has seven great points on how to write an action scene.
One thing I am going to check in my action scenes is to to make sure I don’t have my character thinking “lofty thoughts” in the middle of the action, as Ms. Griep points out in her fourth piece of advice “Instinct Over Intellect”.
I have always thought writers should use short sentences when writing an action scene, but I also think the paragraphs should be short. One to two lines per paragraph convey speed to me, the literary equivalent of rapid-cut editing in movies.
When I am reading and realize the action is ratcheting up but the next few pages consist of chunky paragraphs, I think the form works against the action.
So what do you think? Should a writer use short paragraphs as well as short sentences when writing an action scene?