Here’s the skinny (whatever that means) on karma. When you do, say or think something ‘bad’ you acquire karma. When you do, say or think something ‘good’ then you acquire merit. Merit cancel out karma, hence a ‘virtuous life’ eradicates karma. The more karma you can cancel out, and the more merit you can accumulate, the closer your true self gets to ultimate reality. When the difference becomes nil, then you become liberated.
How cool is that?
So, what kind of twisted link can we make between karma and writing? Well, here we go – hang on tight now. Karma is a Sanskrit term that literally means ‘action’.
Here are your top tips on how to write a good action scene:
- Buff. Quickly set the scene by unobtrusively describing the body. Even if your warrior is not a muscle bound hulk (or hulkess) then they must at least be buff. Flabby is not the new fit, nor is asthmatic the new sexy. Give them a little ripple about the abs and a bit of bulge in the biceps and that’ll do.
- Reluctance. Before the sequence gets moving, show us an action hero who is reluctant to engage with the enemy. In this way you will get your readers to understand that your champion is not a bully or a thug, but is a sensitive individual that happens to have skills and (optionally) superb musculature.
- Provocation. A few choice words is always a good way to get the action going, but it’s going to have to be something special. Mother-in-law jokes are not going to cut the mustard. Similarly – insulting the manhood (or womanhood) of someone who is supremely confident in their skin will not be enough. What you need here is an actual menace to world peace, or at least the death (or threat thereof) of a close friend or family (or pet – don’t forget John Wick).
- Moves. Circling around each other is obligatory. Cracking knuckles is a requirement. Cracking necks – the same. A disdain of weapons is mandatory – real heroes don’t need RPGs. Mutual glares go with the territory. Feints are made, short jabs that don’t connect are attempted. Then, after a very short period of sizing each other up – in they go.
- Engagement. Ding ding – round one. Right at the start is where the hero goes down – and the crowd of evil bullies roars. But, as sudden and heavy as our champion fell, just as quickly, with more cracking of the neck, our darling rises. And then the real battle begins. Fist as heavy as Thor’s hammer fall again and again on both heads and shoulders. Foreheads butt against noses with titanic force. And then – first blood. And again – its the blood of our shining knight. Booo!
- Chase. Our superstar dabs fingertips delicately into the blood pouring down the face, and what does he do? He smiles, of course. And there – the first flicker of fear in the face of the anti-hero, who has given everything in the pursuit of glory – and it wasn’t enough! After another bruising exchange, the villain has had enough. He has two options – hit our idol with something very big and heavy, or run. Both is actually a very good option. A huge metal … thing hits the hero squarely, and the bad guy is off – running across the rooftops with the good guy close behind.
- Slip. After an increasingly frenetic scene, involving impossible leaps from roof to roof, window to window, with an compulsory dash through some startled person’s bathroom, dining room or bedroom, we arrive at the final scene where the harassed criminal can go no further. Picture it with me now – on the edge of somewhere very (very) tall. Bruised, broken, bloodied and out of breath, the nefarious malefactor stands – back to the void, as the all conquering hero saunters forward – adjusting jacket collar as he approaches. The outlaw steps back, back, back until …close up of a foot, a piece of gravel shifts and … black clothing flutters briefly before a crunching impact and a neck twisted at an impossible angle in a spreading pool of blood.
- Tea. After a job well done, our beautiful, buff, brave-heart pops back home for a nice cup of tea and a well earned shower. Obviously there must be lingering close ups of blood being washed down tastefully described, tightly muscled, beautifully scarred flesh. The scene would not be complete without it.
So there you have it – the action/karma scene in full, from set up to set down. Of course, we all know which part comes next. Yep – muffled by the sound of the shower, the door to the apartment opens.
We see a tastefully clothed pair of legs enter and sneak across the floor. Closer and closer – the sound of water still running – into the room with the steam shrouded shower. A black gloved hand. The shower door ripped open. But the stall is … empty.