Well, unfortunately, I was unable to be on the Action episode over at The Genre Hustle this week, but my fellow co-hosts and our guest, Kate (@geekgril42 on Twitter), did a fantastic job. I have THOUGHTS, however!
First of all, if you listened to episode one of this season, Anton mentioned a professor he had that said something along the lines that sarcasm is violence. I agree, and I think that goes in line with the point Jane was trying to make. Dialogue can be action, too!
That being said, I just needed to fanboy about my favorite, current author.
Yes, I’m going to talk about Lord Grimdark himself, Joe Abercrombie (@LordGrimdark on Twitter).
YES YES I TALK ABOUT HIM ALL THE TIME AND WE’VE DEFINITELY TALKED ABOUT JOE ABERCROMBIE ON THE PODCAST BUT HOLY SHITBALLS HAVE YOU GUYS READ HIS ACTION SCENES?
Also, spoilers ahead.
Dialogue as action is all well and good and I support what you’re saying, Jane, but come on. The first time we meet the Bloody Nine in The Blade Itself? The cavalry charge in Best Served Cold? Logen’s fist fight in Red Country? Joe Abercrombie is a master.
Don’t misunderstand me. He doesn’t just have violence for violence’s sake. Sure, it’s epic fantasy/grim dark (see episode 4 of this season for a discussion on that mess) and there’s an expectation for violence, but holy crap is it earned.
I ain’t talking about gorey, gratuitous violence. I’m talking about brutal, hard hitting, fast action. It serves the story, it serves the pacing, it serves the characters. When we finally meet the Bloody Nine, it’s after an entire gods-damned book of him holding back. It is the biggest build up in violent history! Everything he’s done, his entire world view… talk about a character arc! If you haven’t read it, go read it.
So, yes, action needs to serve a purpose. Most people (but not all) don’t want to sit through a slugfest of a chapter with only action. Moderation in all things and, as we hammered in season one, do double duty!
Great job, co-hosts. Way to keep it on topic and avoid too much author repetition.
And the rest of you, talk to you soon.