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Keep the Adrenaline Pumping with your Action Script

According to a 2021 stat released by Statista, action movies were the most popular movie genre in North America, accounting for 39.8% of the domestic box office. But why isn’t this spot occupied by other genres, like adventure movies? The answer is quite obvious.

People love the thrills and spills that come with action movies. Those sequences of The Avengers battling arch-enemy Thanos in a breathtaking manner, or Tom Cruise scaling the Burj Khalifa like it were a tiny tree, are enough to incite a huge dopamine rush.

However, while enjoying these movies with great excitement, eager to feed your dilated eyes with more scenes of thought-provoking action, you must understand that such movies would have been lackluster if the screenplays weren't top-notch.

So that leaves us with the question: how do you write a rousing action screenplay? Before we provide you with the tips, let’s consider what an action screenplay is.

What is an Action Screenplay?

Basically, an action screenplay is a script for a movie involving just that: plenty of action! These movies are often crammed with exciting scenes, from explosive car chases to crazy stunts and amazing fight sequences. The job of an action screenplay is to balance action with the story, hook the audience and get them emotionally attached.

Now, let's hit the ground running: how do you write action screenplays? Here are some valuable tips:

Tip No 1: Give your Hero a personal problem

You can kick off your script with one of those gripping action scenes that leave audiences at the edge of their seats. Afterwards, back off from the thrills and create a personal problem for the characters; one which they must tackle simultaneously with fighting the bad guys or overcoming the even bigger problem. The result should thrill your audience and provide them with a reason to watch until the end, anticipating how things unfold.

Tip No 2: Add some Realness: your Audience isn't Dumb

When writing an action screenplay, the urge is always there to go overboard. You always want to create the best car race scenes, fight sequences, stunts, and more. However, before you put any idea to paper, you need to consider its realness.

Does someone kicking a flying bullet look natural to you? What about a toddler handling a machine gun? While your eagerness may provide your audience with enough thrills and spills, you shouldn't go overboard with it, otherwise you'll create the wrong impression with your script or even worse, make your audience appear like fools. I mean, how on earth would a normal individual get shot several times (close range) and not get hit?

Tip No 3: Plot comes from Moving from one Surprise to Another

Don’t just surprise the audience with your script. Include the hero in the folds. But how do you do that? You'll have to conceal as much about your opposition as you can. The best action scripts are full of deception and ambiguity, especially regarding the villain's true nature.

Tip No 4: Make the hero strong but the villain stronger

Take the Avengers: Infinity War as an example; one of the most-watched action movies ever made. We discover that Thanos—the sturdy villain—was stronger than the entire Avengers team put together. Even Thor, the God of Thunder, and The Hulk were no match for him.

What does this tell you? It tells you that, when writing an action screenplay, it makes sense to make the hero strong but the villain stronger. Doing so would makes the battle between villain and hero much more interesting. No one wants to watch a boring fight scene. Viewers want something that puts the hero to the test. And what better way to do that than making the villain so strong and unbeatable that the heroes have to battle against all odds to be victorious.

Join us

Writing action scripts that hooks your audience and makes them come back for more isn't easy-peasy. However, with commitment and the right platform, you'll sail through. So join us at the Script School to hone and develop your scriptwriting skills so you can take the first step towards creating your masterpiece.

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