Music for writing action scenes

I’m still working on Book 3 because the hardcopy edits for Book 2 (the sequel to “Crashers”) haven’t arrived yet.

I’m also about to write an action sequence for Book 3’s heroin, Daria Gibron.

OK: trade secret. When I write an action sequence – she’s scaled the outside of a brick warehouse in order to stage an assault from the roof – I drag out my iPod and play the score of an action film.

I picked John Powell’s soundtrack from “The Italian Job” this morning. It has the right energy for the scene.

And so we’re all clear, the score or soundtrack is any music that we, the audience, hears but the characters in the film don’t. It’s the background music.

John Powell’s a favorite (The “Bourne” triology, “Knight and Day,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”). Michael Giacchino is, too (he’s written for all of J.J. Abrams’ TV and film work,  including “Alias,” “Mission Impossible 3” and “Star Trek”). These guys’ music have the forward momentum of a freight train. If you find yourself writing an action sequence and hoping to get the energy and pace and rhythm and even the choreography of it down pat, I recommend playing the soundtrack of a favorite action film in the background. It works wonders.



About danahaynes

Dana Haynes is the author of ICE COLD KILL (2013), BREAKING POINT (2011) and CRASHERS (2010) from Minotaur and St. Martin's Press.

Posted on November 13, 2010, in Blog and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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