Friday, April 9, 2010

H is for Hair-Raising!

Today's entry in the Blogging From A-Z, April Challenge, is "H" is for Hair-Raising! I love a good action scene. Something that makes my spine tingle and my breathing hitch up as I worry for the character and fret for their survival.

One of my favorite movie scenes is in Michael Crichton's, Jurassic Park movie where the RV is hanging over the edge of the cliff and the main character is on the window…and then the spider cracks start webbing out from under her. Yikes! I was nervous.

I’ve been writing and *cough* re-writing a climactic scene in my book, Ruby Dawn, where the heroine has to rush into a building to stop the hero from being killed. She’s just an ordinary gal in an extraordinary situation. Do or die, she has to cowboy-up and be brave, whether or not she feels brave. The building is buckling after an explosion she set off accidentally, the hero is tied to a chair injured, and the antagonist knows she’s on her way in and he's waiting for her.
I’m working on it, but it’s difficult. I want the scene to move quickly, but not so quick there's not enough time to build tension.  On the other hand, a climactic scene that moves too slowly...is boring.

Pacing, I’m told, is the key to these scenes. The clock is ticking, the consequences of failure devastating, and the obstacles seemingly insurmountable…these are the elements of a nail-biting, hair-raising moment in your character’s life. Wicked Wordsmith has a great article on the elements of a suspenseful scene, if you're interested.

My question to you readers out there is this: What is your favorite Hair-Raising scene? It could be from movies, books, or real life. Let me in on why it affected you so much. I’d love hear from you. Until next time…Go Write!

Dont forget to sign up for the Primal Scream Blogfest - Your Most Heart Pumping Scene, here on April 19th. The Blogfest will take place on May 5th...can't wait!

Photograph by Orin Zebest, Uploaded March 11, 2008. Photograph by Jeff Kubina, Uploaded August 9, 2006.

9 comments:

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Loved the blog, I like a good murder mystery myself when I get the time to read.
Where I live we are not far from what is known as The Jurassic Coastline, it's quite historic and many flock to find fossils and such.

Have a great week-end.
Yvonne.

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness - there have been so many favorites, I couldn't think of just one right now if I tried! Jurassic Park was filled with those type of scenes, though. Loved it! :)

arlee bird said...

Excellent post on the writing craft. Pacing is indeed everything. I can't think of a favorite scene in literature, but I could probably come up with several from films if I really put my mind to work. Oh, this sad Mr. Memory.
Lee

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

Niki said...

Titanic movie when the ship was going down. So scary and made worse by the fact it really happened.

Ellie said...

This is great, I can't wait to glance at your other blog. Great
scene you picked. I also like the pace of Stephen King's "Cujo"...lots of pacing, til the attack scene. I
was freaked out! You knew it was coming, but it really gave me goosebumps and felt scared!

Gregg said...

interesting post. I love any and all of the hair raising scences in all three of the Bourne movies.

Lady Jayne said...

Is it weird that I actually find sex scenes easier to write than action scenes? LoL!

A writer that I very much admire suggested that I read lots of Robert E. Howard – which I did over the winter. Once I got past all the ‘mighty thews’, I really did find it incredibly helpful. Simple and straightforward wins the day in action scenes, methinks.

Not enough hours! said...

I have tried to post three times, and each time, blogger has gone all funny on me :-(

To be honest, I don't like hair raising scenes too much. But I do know my least favourite one - the dragon chase in Goblets of Fire.

~ Rayna

Anonymous said...

Great post. My favorite hair raising scene is from Children of Men. The slowest car chase ever and it was so tense!