6 Action Feature Scripts To Read & What You Can Learn From Them

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Today we're talking about action features, and I've found 6 feature scripts for you to read & study (all sourced from the fab Script Slug site) - Also, I'm sharing 5 tips on HOW to get the most from your own writing when it comes to this genre!

If you want to know HOW to create a thrilling action sequence AND a hero/heroine the audience will root for - checkout these 5 writing tips & the links to the scripts available below. 

Writing Tip #1

There Are No Limits - Write Something Unique

In Action - all cards are off the table and literally ANYTHING is possible, so get creative!

Audiences don't want a hero that's the same cardboard copy of all those gone before. 

Not anymore! 

There has to be something DIFFERENT about your hero - WHAT makes them the right person to tackle the opposing force/enemy? WHY are they in this scenario? What personal LOSS/GAIN does it mean to them? 

Think outside the box - in the right circumstances, pretty much ANYBODY will rise to the occasion if they have no other choice BUT to confront it. 

Writing Tip #2

Bring Humanity To Your Character

Cue the puppy scene from John Wick - and NO, I'm not saying every great action film should involve puppies (although, maybe I am?) BUT you know what scene I'm referring to and WHY!

This puppy brought John a sense of humanity - yes he is a total badass killing machine, but the audience were shown he was capable of emotions, of being affectionate and caring towards another living being. 

He was NOT a mindless assassin! 

And when sh*t hit the fan - audiences are sympathetic to John for his loss. Your hero needs a core, because without it the audience won't emotionally invest in your story OR hero. And without that, you've got a mega flop on your hands. 

Writing Tip #3

For The Greater Good = Thrilling Action Sequences

In Action, there is usually always a band of sidekicks available to support our hero. Whether they are technical whizzes available to provide the latest tech or a fighter on the battle front, these characters SERVE your hero's journey. 

It also ups the stakes when it comes to thrilling action sequences, because the audience will care about more than just your hero - they'll care about their allies and friends! It's all about creating that perfect crescendo, building these characters towards the ultimate showdown. 

WHO will play an important part of our hero succeeding, WHO might not make it and WHAT is the repercussion of losing? 

Carefully place your hero and their supporting cast of characters in powerful positions building towards the finale. 

Writing Tip #4

Equality & Diversity When It Comes To Fair Game

In recent years there have been some wonderful action heroines that prove they're more than capable! 

She's the female badass that can overcome ANY challenge! No damsel in distress here! 

The action heroine can actually take many forms, but fundamentally she's not intimidated by anybody. 

She has skills, cunning, intellect and a mean punch - so no more vanilla descriptions of one dimensional heroines! 

Like any hero - they have flaws, passions and vices, and that makes them INTERESTING. Recently, there have also been great representations of communities usually lacking screen time such as the LGBT community in Atomic Blonde. 

I personally loved that our heroine Lorraine was in a lesbian relationship because duh! WHY can't she be a lesbian or bi?  It also went against the typical stereotype of the woman falling in love with a leading man and created a very different dynamic to watch on screen. 

Be bold enough to write characters that AREN'T cookie cutter copies of what's already been seen! 

Writing Tip #5

The Charismatic Hero We're Rooting For

Every Hero - even the grumpy ones - have some sort of charisma that the audience can relate to. 

If anything, your hero needs to inspire the everyday man/woman, that in extraordinary circumstances we can all rise to do the 'right' thing. 

Like Eggsy from Kingsman - he's not your average suave hero, which is WHY the audience like him. He's self deprecating, humorous and very charismatic. I'm not saying you need to make your writing a laugh-a-minute, I'm saying you need to tap into what makes your character appealing to the audience. 

It's also interesting to note that at some point, usually a Hero/Heroine will fail at something with serious consequences. This also further proves they're relatable to the audience as a sympathetic and realistic character. 

Use these human qualities in your story!

A full list of free scripts all sourced and found via Google or Script Slug - available to download & read:

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