The 1966 Batman tv show featured words like these flashed on the screen to accentuate the hard-hitting action-packed images flashing across the screen.
Batman & Robin pirouetted through fights, car chases, epic battles versus evil that served well the 30-minute narrative. Stories require episodes, events, and scenes, but storytelling required movement, speed, characters on the go: that too moved the plot forward.
The print medium also perfected this technical device, for the right word or words in combination produced the desired effect of “motion pictures” in the reader’s mind.
All three of the writers in this series maximize image-making while minimizing the word count on the page.
“Action’s” the Name of the Game in Part 3.
Dickens continues Pip’s encounter with Magwitch in the cemetery, as ‘movement’ holds sway when
The man, after looking at me for a moment, turned me upside down, and emptied my pockets. There was nothing in them but a piece of bread. When the church came to itself – for he was so sudden and strong he made it go head over heels before me, and I saw the steeple under my feet – when the church came to itself, I say, I was seated on a high tombstone, trembling, while he at the bread ravenously. [p.4]
In 3 sentences Dickens masterfully creates a topsy-turvy scene as Magwitch shakes Pip upside-down by his feet to empty his pockets then sets him down atop a tombstone, to a dizzying effect.
Wincerl, C., moves the reader into and through his Marian poem, “kneeling at the Manger,” when Mary the Mother of Jesus shows the 3 shepherds’ arrival:
mouths agape, reeking not
of frankincense and myrrh, but
of linseed oil, sulfur, pitch, and
tar, these rough men
by My Son’s birth, shocked in
amazed gazing, at Him. [ll. 1-8]*
And Winderl, Z., captivates the readers with this revealing slice from Atom & Go: Trinity, when Atom must advance from stasis to dynamism:
Atom pulled his pistol, but before he could take aim a vice gripped his forearm and a metallic hand caught him by the back of the neck, lifting him bodily into the air like a fish jerked from the water. His legs kicked like a panicking swimmer, even as his off hand reached in vain to loosen his assailant’s grip.
From Dickens’ “shake, rattle, ‘n’ roll” scene, to C. Winderl’s ‘poetry in commotion” while the shepherds stand in place, to Zachary Winderl positing Atom in the throes of ranging from static to dynamic, Action holds sway and rules the day!
Next week, Part 4 explores the tool of Description.
The most worn-out, over-used, and easiest to reach for in the novice writer’s toolbox, it still has its place.
“Last Place” on the ‘to use or not to use’ list.
As always, keep looking up, know that keep up is far better than ‘ketchup,’ and fear the reaper but not flying the black!
Guest Post by C. Winderl