Friday, August 3, 2012

Chopsocky with J.C. Martin, Ninja News, and Odd Questions of the Week

Thanks to everyone who posted for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group - all five thousand of you! Well, not that many, but by about the hundred and fiftieth blog on Wednesday, it felt like it. Appreciate all the support you guys showed one another.


J.C. Martin’s Oracle came out this week and she’d like to share a little Chopsocky with you!

5 Tips on Writing Actions Scenes: Lessons from Chopsocky

Chopsocky refers to martial arts films made in the 1960s and 1970s. You know, the ones with out-of-sync dubbing, exaggerated sound effects, and all-around cheesiness? Despite their cornball plots, there is no denying that these films can be pretty entertaining.
A writer can learn lots about writing action from watching a classic chopsocky:

1. Keep the action flowing
The choreography for some chopsocky is pretty impressive. When writing action, your sentences should flow as smoothly as the on-screen moves.
Action scenes are fast-paced, so don’t slow them down with flowery words. Simple and short sentences reflect urgency. Use active verbs, e.g. “Bruce punches Jackie,” rather than passive sentences like “Jackie is punched by Bruce.” (Bonus question: in which film did this happen?)

2. Spare the intricacies
The chopsocky hero is capable of amazing (and dubious) feats, but viewers are so engrossed in the action, they barely notice the physical implausibility of one kick knocking three people down.
Someone in a life-or-death situation has adrenaline surging through their veins. The result: increased heart rate, dry mouth, tunnel vision. They won’t notice the colour of the carpet. Their sole focus is survival, so leave out unnecessary details. They only slow the action down.

3. Cut small talk
Chopsocky is often guilty of this: the hero and villain engaged in a civil conversation in between bashing each other’s brains in. This doesn’t happen in real life. Use dialogue only in the preamble. Once the fight is on, dialogue should be restricted to shouts and grunts—and no, we don’t need the hero reciting a running commentary of every move he makes!

4. Avoid one-sided fights
Another sin of chopsocky: the hero takes down twenty goons without a scratch, then struggles against the big boss. Your hero isn’t invincible, and your baddies aren’t shambling idiots. To up the tension, ebb and flow is key.

5. Use layman’s terms
Just because you’ve done your research, or have first-hand martial arts knowledge, doesn’t mean you should bog your scene down with unfamiliar terms. Telling readers your heroine executes a well-timed Monkey Steals the Peach will likely receive blank stares—and yes, it’s a real Ninjitsu technique!

By all means, give a rough description of the moves, but trust your readers to fill in the scene with their rich imagination.

Are YOU a chopsocky fan? What else is important in creating a good action scene?

About the Author: J.C. Martin is a butt-kicking bookworm: when she isn’t reading or writing, she teaches martial arts and self-defence to adults and children.
Find JC: Website, Blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

Purchase Oracle: Amazon US Amazon UK Barnes and Noble

Ninja News!

Most of you know that Jeremy at Retro-Zombie is an artist. (He did the cool CassaFire banner above.) Now some of his artwork is available on t-shirts! Is that cool or what? Rock on, Jeremy!

Madeleine Maddocks at Scribble and Edit has a new book out – Ultimate Sacrifice. Congratulations, Madeleine!

Karen Elizabeth Brown has a new book out – Medieval Muse! Congratulations, Karen.

S.A. Larson has an agent! Congratulations, Sheri.

Laura Eno’s book, Demon in the Basement, is on sale right now for 99 cents!

James Garcia’s book, Dance on Fire, is available again after his publisher closed shop and free this weekend at Amazon.

You know Laura Bambrey is an author – but did you know her father is as well? Visit the Daily Dodo to learn more about his book, Atlantis Eternal.

I won an autographed copy of Michael Whelan’s book from Roland at Writing in the Crosshairs! Thanks, Roland – that is just too damn cool.

And at 11:45 last night, I typed the words THE END. The first draft of CassaStorm is complete. And I desperately need a nap because that was way past my bedtime...

Two Odd Questions

First, how long does it take you to compose a blog post? With all the links, it takes me about two hours. Oh, to be able to type faster!

Second, what is the weirdest group you’ve ever seen in concert? I think Primus wins it for me. Saw them open for another band on their Sailing the Seas of Cheese tour. They were good, but odd!

Whoa! So who is ready to Chopsocky? See some new books that interest you? How long does it take you to put together a post? And just what is the oddest band you’ve ever seen?


Kyra Lennon said...

Congrats on finishing CassaStorm! The end of the first draft is always such a relief!

L.G. Keltner said...

Congratulations on finishing the first draft! That's always a huge milestone.

The blog posts that consist of flash fiction can take up to four hours. That's just because I keep editing after pasting the story into the box. I just can't leave it alone, because I'm worried there's a glaring spelling error or something. My paranoia is going to drive me mad one of these days.

Michelle Wallace said...

My hubby loves the old "Chopsocky" movies! They're fun and relaxing, where you don't have to concentrate or think too hard.
Your first draft is done? Wow! Congrats Alex.

RaveAir said...

Composing a new blogpost takes up to me about an hour. But sometimes it's more, especially when I write in English.

I admit I hate to find pictures and links to a blog entry, but it's vital if you want to run a successful blog.

Old Kitty said...

Enter the Dragon? I think!! Where Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee appear together??

Awww yay for gorgeous JC Martin and chopsocky action tips!!! Love these films!

How long does it take me to write a blog post!?!? As long as my shaky internet connection allows!!!

You deserve a deep long sleep for finishing your first draft of CassaStorm!! Yay!!!

Take care

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

WOOO! Congrats for CassaStorm and The end!!! How awesome!!!

Yay for JC. Great tips.

It takes me about 30mins to compose and link and adjust the pics for a guest post... and forever for my own posts.

Sangu Mandanna said...

I love J.C's Tip #2! So true. It's very easy to fall into the habit of describing things, even during an action scene, which doesn't make sense at all!

Congratulations on finishing CassaStorm, Alex!

Sean McLachlan said...

"They won’t notice the colour of the carpet."

They will when it starts turning red!

J.C. Martin said...

Thanks for helping out with my blog tour, Alex, and well done on completing the first draft of CASSASTORM! Now go rest--you deserve it!

Depending on the kind of blog post I'm writing, it could take anything from 30min to an hour plus.

And thank you to everyone who commented on my post. I had great fun writing this one!

Old Kitty: Well done, it is Enter the Dragon where Jackie and Bruce briefly did battle!

Sangu: I find it helps to role-play the action scene to see what I would and would not notice before writing it! Perhaps I have the makings of being a good actor, but I do get my blood pumping just imagining the scene!

Sean: LOL! Yes, then they will notice!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Tip #1 about action and #5 are essential. Thanks for this post and congrats on Cassa Storm.

Miranda Hardy said...

A great post all around. I love writing action scenes. Those are my favorite.

Some posts take longer than others. I'm putting a bit of research in my Friday posts now, so I'd say it takes a good hour to research and write up the little post. I love learning, so it's not a big deal.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

J.C. Martin you are one smart cookie... great helpful advice. #5 "Monkey Steals the Peach" is a thought I am going to share all day. the trailer was great... building of character.

Alex, thank you, thank you... it has been a great couple days of a positive vibe. i left you a small present on my post for today...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thenks, Kyra!

LG, I'd take all day on something like that.

Zoltan, the links take the longest...

Kitty, I'm sleeping in tomorrow!

Lynda, we're such perfectionists, aren't we?

JC, you are most welcome! You have entertained the Ninja Army well.

Miranda, most of mine take so long...

Jeremy, you're welcome and thanks!

Melissa said...

Woot on finishing CassaStorm, Alex! :D That's an accomplishment.

Great action scene tips, J.C. I'm gonna tweet this for sure. And congrats on the book release. :)

How long per blog post?
Depends. If I had to put one together like yours, probably as long or longer, but I can throw a short, easy one together in about a half hour or less if I'm inspired and I don't have to hunt down links or a picture on Fotolia.

Right now, I've got them done and pre-scheduled thru early September. But mine aren't as time-sensitive as yours. You rock, Alex. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great tips J.C. Thanks for sharing them.

Congrats Alex on finishing your draft. It usually takes me an hour or two to draft my posts. It's in two shifts because I have to research and write up my author interview questions first.

Rusty Carl said...

Loved the guest post today. I used to watch Kung fu theatre every week on the USA network. Loved those flicks.

And you're done? Time to celebrate. I so can't wait to read it.

And your questions today - I don't know. I'd have to think on it. Not to long on a blog post - unless I do some artsy stuff beforehand. Then it can take a while. It would be longer if I were more professional about it.

The Van Halen tribute band gets my vote for weird. That 275 pound David Lee Roth really should steer clear of all that spandex.

Karen Baldwin said...

Yes, congrats on CassaStorm. During one action scene in a recent best seller, the author, using his hero's thoughts, dumped some backstory. Really? I couldn't finish the book after that. Just another book that makes you go, hmm?

LynnRush said...

Yay. Typing THE END IS SO AWESOME!!!! :)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Thanks for sharing the action scene tips! Very helpful.
Congratulations on typing 'the end!'
As far as the odd questions, 1: It totally depends on the post. I can see where doing all the links you do would take forever! 2: I don't think I've seen anyone really odd. Maybe I should change that. :) Have a good weekend!

Ciara said...

I've never heard it called Chopsocky. What a perfect name for it. Congratulations on writing THE END. Awesome!!! It takes me forever to do my posts. I type fast, but it is getting all the links to work, spacing, etc...

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great action tips! And congrats on finishing your draft!

Laura Eno said...

Thanks for the shout out and congrats to all the ninja-newsworthy people!
The End - such sweet words. Way to go, Alex!
That is why I don't write long posts... ;)

Laura Eno said...

Forgot to mention Oracle's great trailer!

Anonymous said...

I've never been a huge fan of Chopsocky movies, but the tips from them are great! Congratulations on finishing your first draft, Alex.

In general, blogging only takes me about half an hour, but then I only do links once a week (my Friday links posts DO take closer to an hour), and I don't mind leaving my blog writing a little unpolished, so I rarely edit my posts.

Unknown said...

Just visited all of the above and wished them well. Congrats on finishing Cassa Storm!

The freakiest band I have seen live is the B-52'as

Maurice Mitchell said...

First Alex, congratulations on the draft. I was following your countdown on twitter.
If we're talking writing and not research an average of two hours (140 min). Although Geek Bits can take six hours altogether. Great guest post.
J.C. I love martial arts movies and these are great tips.
Jeremy you're an amazing artist, so I know you'll do great man.

Charmaine Clancy said...

I'd love to include a martial arts scene in one of my books! They say write what you know and sadly, I only know how to do the quick girly hand slapping hits. Maybe I can combine it with something I know and have Ninja Sea-monkeys?
Phil Collins was the weirdest and worst concert I went to, had all these irrelevant lasers and sang songs we'd never heard. George Michael was perfectly normal, as was I, in my Choose Life t-shirt.

mooderino said...

A blog post will take me a couple of hours too, although I tend to do it over a couple of days.

Congrats on getting to the end of your draft!

mood said...

That's great advice related to Chopsocky.

Depending on the topic (my dating ad posts tend to be fastest), blog post time varies. I probably spend at least 2 per post.

Congratulations on getting to THE END. That's reason to celebrate with sleep and/or Hot Tamales.


Liza said...

That is one compelling trailer!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Melissa! I should add that I also put these together the night before.

Natalie, since I do so much news, I'm snagging links for days before the post.

Rusty, that makes my eyes bleed without even seeing it! And after a hundred revisions, I'll let you read it.

Lynn - it is!

Rachel, everyone needs an odd band experience.

Ciara, then you understand.

Laura, you are smart. And mine really aren't that long...

CM, they were odd!

Maurice, I can see your Friday posts taking that long. Links take a while to organize and format. And thanks - I was so bleary eyed when I finished, I didn't even go back to check Twitter.

Charmaine, that's odd that Collins was odd!

Robyn, thanks, and hopefully I don't fall asleep on my Hot Tamales.

Thanks guys!

shelly said...

Your guest poster gave some great tips. Congrats on finishing your next book. And it takes me about 2 hours to get my blogs typed up sometimes.

Ans I still believe you're the Santa Claus of the blogosphere. You've been named on of the Hot Man of Blogs over at

Unfortunately, I have no badge made because I'm a moronic at figuring things out.

Chocolate chip cookies and glass of milk to you,

Karen Lange said...

Thanks J.C., for sharing about Chopsocky. I didn't know that's what it was called! Congrats also on your book release.

Thanks Alex, for hosting, and for all the news and notes. Congrats on THE END!

Happy weekend!

Arlee Bird said...

Glad you've finished another first draft. Look forward to its release.
Enjoy watching chopsocky, but haven't written much action myself--no much in the way of fighting in the stories I've written.
I'm thinking on that oddest band one. The Sensational Alex Harvey band put on a unique performance, but I don't know that I'd call them odd. Cafe Tacuba plays some odd sounding music, but their performance was pretty traditional. Todd Rundgren and the Hello People was very different to see since the back-up band were also mimes--that was strange, but wonderful.

Tossing It Out

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

My Motivational Monday posts tend to take the longest - I never timed it, though - because I first need to find a quote that speaks to me and then I need to find the connection between the quote and something in my own life so I can (hopefully!) inspire or encourage someone else. :)

Congrats on finishing the draft!

Kelley Lynn said...

Yay for CassaStorm!

jaybird said...

The Husband and my girls are WAY into these movies, so I can fully relate to this. I love how you compared the two.

And, YAY for typing The End on CassaStorm. There is nothing like that feeling, is there?

It can take me a long time to write a post. I type like crazy, but I get interrupted so many stinking times by kids, the phone, the cat, The Husband, the neighbor, etc. you get the idea...that's probably why I rarely, if ever, make much sense! LOL

Unknown said...

Blog posts usually take me an hour, sometimes two. It depends on what I include. Links and uploading photos and rearrangement of text drive me to the two hour mark.

Congrats on finishing your first draft of Cassastorm!

Juliana Haygert said...

Congrats on finishing CassaStorm! Yay!

It depends on the blog post. If it's a guest post, it's easy to just copy and paste, but some, when I'm coming with them up from the top of my head, may take a couple of hours.

M.J. Fifield said...

Congratulations on finishing your first draft!

I worked backstage security for a Dave Matthews Band/ Big Head Todd & The Monsters/ Widepread Panic concert. That was pretty strange backstage. I have no idea what the actual show was like though.

Cate Masters said...

High five on typing The End! Now the real work of revision begins. :)

Thanks for the great action tips, JC. And congrats to all on your fantastic news.

Charles Gramlich said...

good fighting advice.

Jennie Bennett said...

Love the action scene tips. It takes me about 15 minutes to write a blog post, if it's just my thoughts. 30 min if I'm doing book reviews or links. Visiting everyone is what takes all my blogging time, but then again I get long winded in the comments :)

Nancy Thompson said...

Yay! Wow, congratulations on finishing CassaStorm! What a great feeling! I usually spend about an hour or so putting each post together, but I don't include nearly as many links as you do. My weirdest concert? When Billy Idol opened up for Queensryche in San Francisco I think. He got into a brawl with a fan who had thrown a water bottle up on stage. They both came away bloody & Idol refused to finish his show.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Shelly, thanks! Now I'm a hot Santa.

Lee, mimes? You win!

Karen, links take the most time.

Juliana, I know the feeling...

MJ, that is an odd mix of bands.

JA, I have the advantage there since I am a man of few words...

Nancy, I thought only Guns 'n' Roses did dumb things like that. And Idol with Queensryche?

Carol Kilgore said...

J.C. - I love the term chopsocky. This is the first time I've heard it. Good luck with your book. It sounds great!

Alex - Congrats on The End! I know how huge an accomplishment that is.

Sometimes I can put a blog post together in about 20 minutes if it's short and fluffy with only a link or two. Sometimes it takes an hour or more if I have many links and/or photos.

Happy Weekend to All!

~Sia McKye~ said...

First Congrats on completing the first draft of Cassa Storm!

Blog posts? Depends upon how mangled the article I receive from the author but it averages about an hour now but trust me, I have plenty of two hour jobs to do on the blog.

JC-loved your points on writing action! I have your book, just haven't had the time to read it yet!

Wishing you lots of success!


Leovi said...

Very interesting Lessons Chopsocky

Jay Noel said...

I grew up watching Chopsocky on USA Network. They had "Kung Fu Theatre" every Saturday. It was awesome.

Rick Daley said...

The Chopsocky tips were great, thanks!

I haven't seen Primus live, but I'm a bassist and have a good deal of respect for Les Claypool. He's up there with Flea and Victor Wooten as one of the best bassists alive today!

Johanna Garth said...

Yay Alex and great chopsocky tips!

Unknown said...

Congrats on your well deserved nap :)New books that interest me? Get the scoop tomorrow on my blog...shhhh, big! Oddest band I ever saw was Prince and his band before he became famous in a small bar in Mpls. Weird because they were all just weird and surreal, but so was I so all in good fun. Takes me usually about half an hour to make a computer so taking about an hour, but I do not have as many links as you do. Always ready for some Chopsocky :)

Helen Ginger said...

I don't think I could do a Chopsocky, but, seriously, the advice could be applied to a lot of other genres. Let the action move forward!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Details and description always slow down the action. And if the fight is between two men, it's very unrealistic, because men don't tend to notice details.

Pat Tillett said...

I'm stuck with two "weirdest groups" I've seen in concert. The weirdest being Captain Beefheart with a close second to Talking Heads. Both were very cutting edge, but really good.

Time to create a blog post? It all depends on what it is. I'm not as dedicated as you are (or as creative). I'm happy to heard that CassaStorm is moving right along!

Mason Canyon said...

Friday's are always informative here. Congratulations on finishing your draft and congrats to all the other authors you mentioned.

Thoughts in Progress

Tyrean Martinson said...

Chopsocky rocks!!! To answer the question about Bruce and Jackie - umm . . .Enter the Dragon? Great guest post!
All the books looke good!
It takes me between 20 minutes and an hour to write a post.
Oddest band in concert: Family Force Five

Tyrean Martinson said...

And Congrats on CassaStorm!!!

DMS said...

I have not read any Chopsocky- that I know of... but I thought the advice was very helpful. When writing an action scene- these tips can make everything flow better for the reader (I recently watched how they used to film Bruce Lee movies- and it goes nicely with this post).

Love all the Ninja News! So many great things happening out there. Congrats on finishing up the first draft. YEAH!

A typical blog post takes between 2-4 hours for me (depending on what it is and if I hit any problems).

I have to think about the oddest band I have ever seen...

Emily R. King said...

Great advice, J.C.! Thanks for having her on your blog, Alex! :)

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats on finishing CassaStorm!!

Those were awesome tips from J.C. I definitely agree with them when it comes to action scenes.

As for the time to compose a blog post, it depends. Anywhere from five minutes to thirty, but I am a decent typer. :)

Anonymous said...

Loved the Chopsocky tips, it was very Chopsocky!

Thanks again, for the shout out for Ultimate Sacrifice. x

Congrats to all the other talented authors out there.

I've never been to a concert :O0!

I'm not sure how long it takes to write a blog post, but I agree it's ages! LOL!

James Garcia Jr said...

Thanks again, Alex, for taking the time to offer a helping hand to me as I launch my Amazon presence. It is very appreciated. Rock on, my friend!

Elise Fallson said...

Nice to meet you J.C. and thanks for the excellent advice. I love writing action scenes but they are so difficult for me.

Alex CONGRATS on finishing your draft! Isn't it a great feeling typing The End?! As for posts, they can take me anywhere from 1 hours to a whole day. It can be really frustrating. I think part of the problem is me being relatively new to the blogging world. Oh, and I saw Pink Floyd in D.C. back in 94 and yeah, that was odd....

Anonymous said...

Congrats on finishing your draft!!

Congrats to JC!

D.G. Hudson said...

Congrats on THE END of Bk #3. It's a satisfying moment for a writer.

To compose a blog post-about 2 hours. Some subjects take longer.

Oddest band: Zappa and the Mothers of Invention (at university show)

Never heard of chopsocky, catchy name though. Congrats JC! I've taken a couple of martial arts classes. It's all about mind and body control. I discovered I lack true coordination.

Have a great weekend.

StratPlayerCJF said...

Excellent chopsocky info! I enjoyed that, and it was also filed with great pointers.

And congratulations on finishing the draft, Alex! Great work! Too bad it came so late you had to go to bed Diablo-less, though. Hope you get some time this weekend to veg out!

How long to write a blog post? It varies, just like all my writing -- some come pouring out in a rapid stream-of-consciouness, and some are huge struggles to get down. I'd say around an hour or two on average, though...

Weirdest concert? Probably Alice Cooper's tour in 1979 -- wild, theatrical weirdness!

Unknown said...

Congrats, J.C.!! And I love those old chopsocky flicks. They are a great time.

Alex, it takes me about two hours or so as well. and the weirdest concert I have ever been to was B-52's. It was like being on acid and staring at disco balls. LOL

Unknown said...

Huge, HUGE congrats on finishing your draft. That rocks!!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Congrats on finishing CassaStorm. You deserve the nap. Infact, you can take the weekend off.

J.C Martin's tips are wonderful.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Carol, I bet the Top Ten ones are easy - but they are fun!

Sia, I hope I never send you a mangled guest post.

Rick, he was really good!

Siv, I'll have to stop by tomorrow. That's wild you saw Prince before he was big.

Pat, I bet Talking Heads was weird!

Thanks for stopping by, Mason!

Thanks, Tyrean.

Jess, good to know it's not just me.

Cherie, and I am very slow...

Madeleine, you're welcome, and NEVER????

James, you are welcome!

Elise, I heard they do a great show though.

DG, I've seen Zappa's son perform. Not quite as odd.

Chris, I'll be playing tonight. And a Cooper concert in the 70's? I heard it was a stage show and a half.

Melissa, that is two votes for the B52s. And thanks!

Rachna, I am taking the weekend off!

Thanks everyone - this has been a great week.

Sherry Ellis said...

Congratulations on completing your manuscript! I agree, it sure does feel good when you get to write, "The End."

It take me about 45 minutes to do a post on the Garden blog. Usually I whip out the Mama Diaries in 15 minutes, because it's whatever comes off the top of my head - no planning or research involved. Answering comments and visiting other bloggers takes much longer, so I appreciate your efforts in responding to so many bloggers!

Gossip_Grl said...

Congrats on getting to The End of your draft! That's great news.

Amy Saia said...

I am a bit dyslexic and so I tend to keep my posts really simple, but sometimes I feel like I'm cheating a bit. I'm in awe of the quality of your posts and how you keep up with everything. Well done!

Jemi Fraser said...

I would never have thought that was a real move! Sounds fun :)

You always have so many links, Alex - that's the part that takes forever! I tend to write blogs in spurts of a couple of minutes here and there - I rarely spend more than 20 minutes to a half hour on one. I think... I'll have to pay attention now!

M Pax said...

Yay for JC! And there are so many releases this month.

Congrats on finishing draft one. I'm about 1/2 way on my polished draft.

A lot of links in a post takes more time. Now that I no longer have to copy my posts to a 2nd site, I'm hoping they'll go a little faster. I'd say about an hour a post ... depending. The chats take longer and the other writer and I email back and forth. Release announcements are the quickest if the author did all the work for us. Love those. :)

Have a great weekend.

Patsy said...

I'm not a big fan of Chopsocky films, but it does seem a good approach to writing.

cleemckenzie said...

Congratulations on all the good news here! Loved the tips and Chopsocky!

Jeff Hargett said...

Blog posts can take me anywhere from thirty minutes to days to complete. It all depends on the topic. Length of the post doesn't really affect the time required, oddly enough.

Congrats on completing CassaStorm!! Have the mixed emotions of having typed "The End" started yet or are you still in the happy and relieved phase? :)

Rick said...

Great advice on fight scenes. If I read one more fight scene where one martial arts hero takes down 20 armed assailants I think I'll scream.

And congratulations on getting to THE END!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sherry and Amy, I try to keep up with everyone and everything!

Jemi, once I started the Ninja News, links just became part of the deal.

Mary, I still spend time on those - must be doing something wrong.

Jef, still relieved. But ready to dive into the editing phase soon.

Thanks, everyone!

DWei said...

I'll keep those in mind if I ever write a fight scene. Though I'm not sure where the term chopsocky even originated.

Patricia Stoltey said...

My blog posts take anywhere from thirty minutes to three hours, depending on subject, use of photos, and number of links.

Thanks for all the info and for the Chopsocky advice on writing action scenes. Very helpful.

J.C. Martin said...

Sheena-Kay: Thank you, glad you found some of the tips useful!

Miranda: Me, too. Those are scenes that just flow when I write them, once I got all the action clear in my head.

Retro-Zombie: Thanks. I love Monkey Steals the Peach!

Melissa: Glad you found the tips useful.

Natalie: Thanks for reading!

Rusty: I grew up watching kung fu flicks. Jet Li and Jackie Chan's earlier films are brilliant!

Em-Musings: That kind of action scene would make me go "huh?" as well.

Rachel: Thanks for reading, glad you found them useful!

Ciara: Not sure where the term originated either, but originally it's meant to be a derogatory term. But you have to admit it's an apt description of the film genre!

Elizabeth: Thanks!

Laura: Glad you liked the trailer. All credit goes to the talented people at J. Taylor Publishing!

Louise: Thanks for reading!

Maurice: Glad you liked the tips!

Charmaine: A bit of research goes a long way. Ever thought of trying out a martial arts class? ;)

J.C. Martin said...

Rawkynrobyn: Glad you liked them!

Liza: Thanks, credit for the trailer goes entirely to my publisher!

Shelly: Thanks for reading my post!

Karen: Thank you! Yes, I love the word "chopsocky". Such an apt name!

Arlee: You'll never know when you'll need an action scene in your story. ;)

Jaybird: Your husband and girls have good taste in films! :)

Cate: Thank you!

Charles: Glad you found them useful.

Carol: Thanks. Yes, I love that term too!

Sia: Hope you enjoy it when you get round to it!

Leovi: Thank you!

Jay: I grew up on those films too!

Rick: Thanks for reading!

Johanna: Thanks!

Siv: Chopsocky's awesome, isn't it?

J.C. Martin said...

Helen: Very true, anyone writing any scene requiring urgency could do well to remember these tips!

L. Diana: Good point. The perspective of a male/female fighter should be taken into account too.

Tyread: Correct! :)

DMS: Chopsocky is more a film than a book genre, although the action thriller I'm planning might have some chopsocky elements to it.

Emily: Thanks!

Cherie: Glad you liked them, thanks for dropping by.

Madeleine: Thanks!

Elise: Great to meet you! Hope these tips help you in writing action scenes in future.

lbdiamond: Thanks!

D.G.: I love the term, too. I'm a bit of martial arts buff, but my size and lack of strength limits the styles I can do, but I've found my forte in Wing Chun. There's something out there for everyone. :)

Chris: Thank you!

Melissa: Yes, especially the old films starring Jet Li and Jackie Chan.

Rachna: Thanks, glad you liked them!

Jemi: There are some strange names for martial arts moves!

M Pax: Thank you! I know, I've got so many new book sin my TBR list!

Patsy: It's useful in writing action scenes. Thanks for reading.

cleemckenzie: Thanks for reading!

Rick: There are a few of those out there. Thanks for reading!

DWei: I believe it was a derogatory term for those who weren't fans of the film genre, but it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

OMG, I'm so jealous that you won a copy of Michael Whelan's book. He's my favoritest artist of all time, Alex. OF ALL TIME.

I hate you grrr (not really). But I'm absolutely green with envy.

Heather Murphy said...

Congratulations on finishing CassaStorm! YEAH!
I LOVE Primus! I've seen recordings of their live performances. Les Claypool is an amazing Bassist!
The weirdest group I have seen in concert was called Geggy Tah. They opened for Toad the Wet Sprocket. Good, but weird

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, glad I'm not the only slow one!

Michael, I was stunned to win! He's an awesome artist.

Alexandra Heep said...

Some of my big music blogs took a couple of hours to write.

Most take about 10 minutes or less. I'd love to have more energy to devote to blogging to make it look more professional in the future.

I've been to very few concerts, so no strange ones. Well, the biggest one was probably Heaven and Hell with Ronnie James Dio and Megadeth opening.

Other than that, this local garage band I used to hang out with that had a name I can't use as it would trigger all kinds of filters.

Golden Eagle said...

Congratulations on finishing your first draft! Hooray!

It takes me between 30 minutes and 1:30 to write a blog post, usually. If it's something complicated with a lot of links it can take up to three; that usually happens when I link to followers (every time I gain one hundred).

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It takes me about half an hour to do a post but I usually only have one or two links in mine, not many compared to you.
Good advice for action scenes.

Christine Rains said...

Great guest post, J.C.! Chopsocky is fun stuff. Lots of news this Friday. And congrats on winning the Whelan book, Alex! Sometimes I can write a blog post in ten minutes, but sometimes I take 30 or more. I try not to take any longer because I don't want long posts, but I always feel that I have to choose my words carefully. As for the oddest band I've ever seen was Pansy Division. They were absolutely hilarious!

Alyson Burdette said...

Nice guest post and congrats on finishing your draft! Blog posts can take me anywhere from 15 min to 2 hrs depending on the post itself.

Nicole said...

Awesome advice from JC! Thanks to you both. And Alex, two hours for a blog post plus commenting on hundreds of blogs!?! How do you find time to sleep, eat or breathe, man? :)

Karen Elizabeth Brown said...

Alex: Thanks for mentioning my book!
It takes me for ever to do a post because the link button doesn't always work correctly for me. I fight with it half the time.
The strangest group I ever saw was in Japan, but I can remember their name. The were extremely athletic.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Chopsocky should be my nickname the way I feel so punchy after 9 days straight work! ORACLE sounds intriguing JC. Only the highest sales for you!! I'm glad you liked winning the book, Alex. Sorry, Michael, that you didn't. Have a great weekend everyone!

ali cross said...

LOL! I love me some Chopsocky! I bet I've seen probably every one--know most of the actors, and have seen most more than once! Loved the tips, too.

Don't know how long it takes me to write a blog post. An hour, maybe? I'm slow too.

CONGRATS on CassaStorm! Woot!

Anonymous said...

Loved the chopsocky way... hehe I'll have to try some out:)

Richard said...

Hi Alex, congrats on finishing the
first draft of CassaStorm.
I don't know about you, but that was
where the real work started for me with Atlantis Eternal.
Thanks also for the shout out.
Laura's Dad :)

farawayeyes said...

Third time trying to comment here. I'm sure it's me and not you, but Sheesh!

The reason I keep coming back is I wanted to say what an awesome guest post JC Martin provided. Some really helpful information presented in a fun and unique manner. You go girl.

Typing The End feels so good.

Time it takes to write a blog post? For me that depends on how many commas are necessary.

Oddest band? I can't say they were the oddest band but it was the strangest concert. The Grateful Dead at Red Rocks Park in Colorado.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Alexandra, that would've been an awesome concert! I've seen Dio, but never Megadeth.

Golden, I can appreciate how long those take!

Christine, I envy your ten minutes!

Nicole, I manage!

Karen, you are welcome.

Roland, I'd feel punchy as well. And very excited to win the book.

Ali, a good Ninja knows his (or her) chopsocky.

Hey Richard! You are welcome. And I like editing much better that writing the first draft.

Faraway, sorry it took so long! Commas - that's funny.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've never needed to write a fight scene, but I might just have to throw one in now to see if I can.

My posts are usually just a ramble, so they take me no time at all.

J.C. Martin said...

Susan: Glad you found it useful.

Christine: Thanks, glad you liked it!

Alyson:Thank you for reading.

Nicole: I know, Alex is one super-ninja!

Roland: Thank you for the well wishes!

Ali: I thought you'd love chopsocky, Ms. Writer's Dojo! ;)

tfwalsh: Hope the tips come in handy!

farawayeyes: Thank you! You got your comment through in the end, and I'm glad you did! So happy you enjoyed the post. I enjoyed writing it!

Annalisa: Hopefully the tips will come in handy when you write one!

ediFanoB said...


Two words - beloved and hated at the same time.

So we know you finished the first draft of DassaStorm but we know when we will read these words, the Cassa series will be finished.
I do not want to ask about the future of author Alex J. Cavanaugh before I have read CassaStorm.

Tara Tyler said...

so many congrats to hand out!

love chopsocky! fab word and advice! thanks, JC!

and way to go alex!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Annalisa, I envy that!

Edi, not sure of that future anyway!

Thanks, Tara.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Alex
To build tension, short sentences are great. Certainly, you want to vary sentences in your paragraphs.

Thanks for dropping by.

Unknown said...

I loved the action in Oracle it was so well done. And I have to congratulate all the other accomplishments as well.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on finishing your draft.

Those are great action-writing tips from J.C.

My blog posts tend to be short to medium in length, so they take me about 20-60 minutes to compose. But then after I post, I edit and update several times. I end up tweaking for 10-20 minutes.

Leovi said...

Surely two hours is a short time, I have to devote to blog at least 4 hours a day.

SpacerGuy said...

It makes sense to keep stories punchy, short and simple but lifeform sensations come into play too right? J.C. Martin's Chopsocky is fascinating.

Congratulations on finishing Cassastorms first draft and winning the Art of Michael Whelan. Ninja Nexus Rocks, LOL!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Medeia, I must 'preview' my posts five times or more, checking for errors.

Thanks, Spacerguy!

Heather M. Gardner said...

THE END!!! Congrats to you, Alex! That is freakin' awesome and amazing all at the same time!

Since I don't use as many links it usually takes me less than an hour to write a post once I come up with something to write about.

I do happen to type really fast. Not ludicrous speed but pretty fast.

I'm mostly Monk-ish when it comes to the way it looks though so I have to go back and forth to make sure it looks good published.

Great information...thanks Alex!


RaShelle Workman said...

Alex - great info from J.C. Martin about chopsocky... keeping the action flowing is great advice.

Hooray for Sheri on getting an agent. I'll have to be sure to tell her that.

And, probably the weirdest concert was... hmmmm, no idea. I did see Barbara Mandrel... she's tiny.

Susan Oloier said...

Congrats, Alex, on finishing CassaStorm!
I didn't know JC's book was out now. Very exciting!
Blog post: 1/2 hour, usually.
Oddest band: Skinny Puppy. There was a mosh pit at the club, too.

Katherines Corner said...

Congratulations!!I always enjoy my visits to your blog my friend. I am happy to read your grist draft is complete. xo

Chuck said...

" I will old man" favorite line from Bruce Lee (might have been Enter The Dragon). Jeremy is an artist and a damn good one, nice props for the Retro! Very cool that the first draft of CassaStorm is done. Looking forward to adding this to my "Alex" collection.

My blog posts take about 4 weeks or 3 months which ever is longer. Kidding. Some posts like the Weekend Graphs literally write themselves. Other thought provoking ones, well let's just say I have several in draft mode that get bits and pieces of my time periodically and then a whole new subjects just enters my head and I whip out a post in a couple hours complete. Mostly it is the re-reading and editing and re-writing etc. that take forever. And yes, I wish I had paid attention in typing class!

Nick Wilford said...

Congrats on finishing! It's quite a feeling...

I definitely appreciate the action scenes advice from J.C. Mine never seem exciting enough.

Post writing time really varies. If it has a lot of links, that can take a while depending on how slow my internet is being! Someone mentioned that they obsessively proofread flash fiction entries and I'm the same. Also, I'm like "Aaagh! Is this good enough to put out there??"

The weirdest band I probably saw was my brother's friend's band, Anal Beard (yep, great name). I don't think they were ever known outside my home town. They were a punk band whose songs all lasted about a minute and a half, and the weirdest thing about them was their extremely tall, afro-headed keyboardist, whose trademark was dressing as a baby and dancing bizarrely. Whoa, sorry about the long response!

Unknown said...

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Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Heather - ludicrous speed - funny! Thanks.

RaShelle, that's definitely unique as far as concerts.

Susan, I can imagine!

Chuck, all we can do now is hunt and peck to the best of our abilities...

Nick, glad I missed Anal Beard. Not offense to your brother's friend.

Thanks, Jake!

Unknown said...

Congralutaions on finishing your draft! *throws confetti*

Chopsocky...Um, yes. I need to work on this, though the description thing is not a problem. I go too far the other way and don't describe anything most of the time!

Lisa Regan said...

CONGRATS on finishing your draft!!!! Woo hoo! LOVE, love, love the Chopsocky post. Brilliant stuff. A blog post? Probably an hour. I try to keep them short because I know people have lots of other blogs to visit. It's tough though. Weirdest concert? I don't think I've been to enough to say any of them were weird. I'm not a big concert person. I've really only seen REM, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks and Luke Bryan. None were very weird.

Leslie S. Rose said...

I don't mean for blog post to take over an hour, but alas they do. Weirdest concert - Herman's Hermits at Disneyland. Just walked through the castle and there they were.

Empty Nest Insider said...

What a fun introduction to " Chopsocky," and best of luck with your book JC! Congrats on completing your first draft Alex! Julie

Andrew Leon said...

Blog posts are really variable for me. They can take anywhere from an hour to two days.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Imogen!

Thank you, Lisa.

Leslie, that is odd!

Deniz Bevan said...

Wow, those are some great tips! I'm really trying hard with each new MS to keep the action flowing better than before.

Thanks for all the links to new books, and for hosting IWSG - can't believe there are so many of us!

Congratulations on winning Roland's giveaway!

It takes me minimum an hour, more if there are more lniks and photos involved (with my own photos I have to find them, label them, resize them, etc). Glad I'm not the only one!

Weirdest group would probably be the Welsh band Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. I love 'em!

Deniz Bevan said...

Congratulations on The End!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - congratulations on getting to THE END before the witching hour - well done and I love your posts - they take me a while to absorb!

Writing blog posts can take me quite a long time as I do research and the brain kicks into gear with other thoughts ... I'm trying to rattle a few out now so I have a record of the Olympics from a different standpoint - not the competitive aspects. But there are a few snippets on times etc that I could use ...

Cheers and such good news about CassStorm ... Hilary