Writing Practice – Action Scene

So I am STILL not up to “the big showdown” scene in my story, but am creeping ever so close.

I think part of what is causing the slowdown is I haven’t been in a real physical altercation since I was in the 8th grade… back in 1983.

So I decided to try writing an action scene just for practice as a warm-up exercise.

Here’s what I came up with:


Phil stalked Hank through the forest.

Hank was a big, heavy guy, and Phil had little trouble following the trail of broken branches and muddy footprints.

Phil’s pistol was in his right hand, as he knew Hank had taken a gun with him when he had fled into the woods.

Phil slipped easily around trees and over fallen branches, barely making a sound as he closed on the racket of snapping branches and rustling leaves ahead.

The noises slowed, then came an end.

Maybe Hank’s out of breath, Phil thought. Maybe I can get a clear angle and get the drop on him.

Phil crept up to a broad tree about two feet thick, and listened. He heard a low gasping, as if someone was trying to catch their breath.

Phil peered around the tree, careful to keep as much of his body behind cover as possible.

Ahead, in a little clearing among the trees, stood a tall, bulky man with unkempt brown hair and a long bushy beard. The man held a shotgun in one hand, and had his other crossed over his heaving chest.

Phil snaked his gun-arm around the tree. “Drop it, Hank! I’ve got you covered!”

Hank’s head whipped all around as he jerked the shotgun to waist-level.

“Drop it!” Phil called again, “Then put your hands up.”

Hank’s head came to rest facing roughly Phil’s direction. “Okay. Okay. Don’t shoot.”

Hank tossed the shotgun off to one side, but he suddenly dove the other way behind a large fallen tree trunk.

Phil’s pistol barked as he put a bullet into the fallen tree. “Freeze! No more funny stuff, or you’ll get it for sure.”

Phil advanced into the clearing, moving towards the fallen shotgun while keeping his own gun trained on Hank’s position behind the tree trunk.

As Phil bent down to pick up the shotgun, a good-size rock flew up and out from behind the fallen tree in Phil’s direction.

“Whoa!” cried Phil as he dodged out of the way.

With an explosion of rustling leaves, Hank flew to his feet and leapt at Phil. Phil got off one shot, but missed and then the bear-like Hank was upon him.


Notice how even in practice, I STILL did not get to the actual fight?



Author: Spencer E Hart

A 40-something nerd who came back to RPGs in 2010 after a nearly decade-long Dark Age. In 2015, after a 22-year gap, I felt compelled to try fiction writing again.

3 thoughts on “Writing Practice – Action Scene”

    1. That “suddenly” starting the last paragraph is a classic example of repetitious and unneeded -ly adverb I guess. “With an explosion of leaves” already implies it was sudden. Oh well, at least I can pick this up even if it took a few re-reads.


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