Action Sequences

One of the most useful functions of Subheadings is the way they can be used to enhance the readability and add intensity to Action Sequences. Whether it is a fight scene, a car chase, or whatever else, Subheadings are a great way to bring the scene to life for the reader.

Look at the example below:

If a reader were to see a giant block of text like that, he or she will be immediately turned off and will likely just glance over it, if they attempt to read it at all. Of course, you could break up the text into smaller paragraphs using the "no more than 4 to 5 lines" rule, but even then it is an awful lot of text.

This is an Action Sequence. It's supposed to be EXCITING to read, not a chore.

So let's re-write the same block of text, breaking it up into smaller paragraphs, but also throwing in some Subheadings to add even more white space.

There. LOTS more white space.

But we've done more than that! We've increased the pace of the scene. It is more intense. We've added tension where none existed before. We are also leading the eyes of the audience, letting them know where the camera is focused in each moment (without calling out a single Camera Direction, I might add).

We've done all that with Subheadings, most of which are no more than a single word.

Notice the first half of the scene segment really isn't "action" so to speak, however we see Walter looking from the road map to the road, adding tension, because we know something is about to happen.

Word to the wise, don't use Subheadings in this manner willy-nilly. This use is for Action Sequences ONLY! Overuse of this technique will hinder, rather than enhance, the reading experience.