Hello again readers and writers alike. Thanks for allowing me to share a little of your busy day. Today let’s discuss an important issue in a story, action and the reaction to it. Action and reaction is totally different from Scene/Sequel. I’ll leave that for another day. Today is the time for action. There can be no action without a reaction just as reaction isn’t possible without the action first. Action can merely be part of speech without physical movement other than the mouth or actual physical action.
Sample of action, reaction from An Enduring Love:
ACTION: “Devil a bit!” Rebecca stood and began to pace, agitation in each step.
REACTION: With his brows pleated in a frown, Lord Lethebridge scolded, “Granddaughter, such language.”
ACTION: “Beg pardon.” She grimaced and forced down gulps of air to expand her lungs against the smothering tightness in her chest. “Still, I will not be left behind as if I am some weak—female. I will not, I say.” She rounded on her grandfather. “I intend to take Henry with me and leave for London at once.”
REACTION: “Rebecca, what are you about?” he asked, alarm stamped on his features.
ACTION: She gestured towards the door. “You saw him. Rhys is so weary he could barely walk. I must ride after him, help him in some way if I can. Anything is better than sitting here twiddling my thumbs.”
REACTION: “But, Rhys….”
Examples of action, reaction based on more of the physical from A Lady’s Vanishing Choices:
Action: The wind picked up and tangled through Bethany’s hair with a whisper of the storm to come. Startled, she jumped as the swaying branches deposited a wayward twig in her hair. Shivering as dark clouds covered the afternoon sun, she cast a concerned glance at the deep shadows and the strange shapes fluttering across the path seemingly alive with threats.
REACTION: “I hate storms.” She hurried a little faster as lightning danced in the distance and flared in her eyes.
ACTION: The boom of thunder rolled closer and closer heralding the arrival of the storm. The smell of rain hung in the air, swirling around her.
REACTION: Glad to have made it to the manor before the storm broke, she took a deep, thankful breath.
From the same book, A Lady’s Vanishing Choices, more verbiage. :
ACTION: She stepped into the side drawing room where her aunt could usually be found at this hour of the afternoon. Finding her aunt reposed in her favorite chair before a tall window, Bethany offered her the message. “Aunt, a letter arrived for you.”
REACTION: Gertrude lifted her gaze and, without a word, held out her hand for the note. Bethany passed her the folded sheet and turned to leave.
ACTION: The rustle of the paper being spread with ruthless dispatch sounded behind her. Before she reached the door, a screech echoed through the chamber.
“Betha, who delivered this note?”
REACTION: Alarmed, Bethany turned back to her aunt. “A stranger. A young boy came up to the house. Is there a problem?”
ACTION: “Find that boy at once. I must speak with him.” Gertrude clutched the crumpled note in her fist and waved it at Bethany.
REACTION: “Aunt, he is long gone. He ran off through the woods towards the village immediately after he handed me the note.”
ACTION: Gertrude threw her head back and glared at Bethany. “No matter. You know everyone in that blot on the map called a village. Fetch him to me at once.”
This does need a reaction—desperately. That’s why the reader keeps turning the pages.
Another sample from one of my earliest attempts at writing. Conduct Unbecoming of a Gentleman is another Regency romance twisted with suspense.
ACTION: Adron dismounted and strode toward the house at Landings. A few paces from the door, he heard a screech and pounding footsteps followed by a scream. He bolted into the house and up the stairs where he encountered a maid wringing her hands. “What’s amiss?”
REACTION: Essie poked her nose out of the parlor with Percy behind her as the butler and a couple of footmen came tearing from the back of the house. Everyone stared at the maid.
Her hands were trembling. “I was putting some linens in the closet in the back hall and I heard someone in the attics. Lady Laningham has been searching the house all day so I thought to give her a hand. I opened the door and a man wearing a mask was standing over her. She was limp on the floor like she was dead.” The maid covered her mouth and spoke between her fingers, “He come flying at me so I ran. And I screamed.”
ACTION: Adron took the stairs two at a time and drew his pistol before he shoved into the attic. At the sight of Laurel crumpled on the floor, his heart seemed to flip over before racing until he thought he would choke. Glancing around, he rushed over to kneel at her side. Adron stroked her hair away from her face. When he touched her, she moaned and seconds later opened her eyes.
REACTION: “My head hurts.”
ACTION: “Laurel. Thank God. What are you trying to do to me?” He lifted her into a sitting position with one arm and examined her scalp only to discover a lump trickling blood onto his hand. Someone had attached her and rage boiled inside him. He managed to force it down. “Someone knocked you on the head. Let’s get you downstairs into bed.”
REACTION: He gathered her in his arms and placed a kiss on top of her head. “You frightened me half to death. I couldn’t bear to lose you.”
Carrying her gingerly down the stairs, he placed her on her bed. “I’ll send one of the maids to assist you into bed. Then I want to know exactly what happened.”
ACTION: After the servant helped her settle, Adron stalked into her chamber leaving the door ajar and pulled up a chair. He forced his temper down. “What are you doing here? I thought I made it clear this is no place for you at present.”
REACTION: Laurel leaned up on one elbow. She caught her breath on a half laugh and half gasp of pain. “That hurts.” She sank back onto the pillow. “I apologize, Adron. I thought you would be here to protect me else I wouldn’t have come.” Laurel stopped to catch her breath.
Hopefully the reader will want to know what happens next. The point in action, reaction is to bring the reader into the story. For more information about my books and my present work in progress, visit my website: I don’t think it’s against the law at Soul Mate to add my other information. If it is, I apologize, but here goes anyway.
Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you. Until next time, have a lovely reading time.