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How do you use the action in your story?

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Lobster View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lobster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How do you use the action in your story?
    Posted: 22 Nov 2022 at 1:36pm
I got to thinking about this while writing my 250 story, as at least two people said they'd written the whole thing then realised they hadn't included the action. How much influence does the action have on your story? Do you base the whole story around it, or include it incidentally, or does it depend on what you get? I saw some rather generic ones, but others that were very specific (e.g. 'looking through a periscope').

I'm a newbie (two competitions/three stories so far) but the way I've approached it, there's no way I could forget to include the action. For example, I got comedy/wearing a mask/none this year. I could have written *anything* set in the last three years and included a casual mention of someone wearing a surgical mask, but that's really daunting to me. Better to focus on the mask as the central thing to narrow my options down. Two of my three stories wouldn't make sense at all if I removed the action.

But maybe others come to the competition with idea for different genres already, then just figure out how to slide the action in there?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dark&StormyNight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2022 at 2:36pm
Each competition is different in how you are required to use your prompts. For Micro, your action must take place with in story.

Personally, I try and write my stories so the action makes sense or doesn’t feel forced, but don’t worry about writing 250 about combing hair.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acannon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2022 at 2:49pm
My first step was brainstorming and one of the ways I got my brain going was thinking about how the action might occur in my genre. I had romcom and "winning a trophy," so ideas like:

- He wins a workplace trophy for work she did
- Only one is supposed to win Important Trophy A, but somehow they both win it and neither will give it up
- Some kind of sports-related meeting
etc

But I also had other ideas pop up that had nothing to do with the action. In that case, I looked at the idea and added notes on how the action could fit in. If I went with one of these ideas, I could have easily forgotten the action. The idea I went with looked something like this:

- Bank robber sweeps bank teller off her feet (action - wins a meaningless Customer Service trophy at the beginning? Or daydreams about winning something meaningful)

I ended up opening with the action. If I hadn't, it would have been easy to get carried away in the rest of the story! I didn't like having to include it at first lol. Happy with how everything turned out though 😊
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote justmel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2022 at 3:07pm
Originally posted by acannon acannon wrote:

My first step was brainstorming and one of the ways I got my brain going was thinking about how the action might occur in my genre. I had romcom and "winning a trophy," so 

Same. I had romcom too, but with "cutting in a line/queue." It wound up being central to the whole plot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CrayolaSmoker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2022 at 4:33pm
I'm also quite new to these competitions (and writing for fun/expression). I've found that, because of the constraints of micro, I try to make the action central to the plot. Like you, I brainstorm multiple interpretations or settings for the action, and kinda go from there. I then try to create a character with a goal or sense of purpose (doesn't always work), slap 'em together and see what sticks.

I honestly think my best incorporation of prompts was my first competition - MF100, R1 (link in sig). While I'm (variably) proud of all my entries, I've struggled to reach that kind of balance ever since.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2022 at 10:18pm
With micro, I just don't feel I have time to get too cute with the prompt action. And I just played it fairly straight here, but then it was A/A and climbing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wewriteardawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 2022 at 9:18am
The action was central to my story. I'm visual, so meditating on the prompts brings the story into view. I try to see the scene, then write about it. 
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