Frank Fiore – Novelist & Screenwriter

November 20, 2012

Writing the Crisis Within a Crisis

Filed under: Frank Remarks,On Writing — Frank Fiore @ 1:34 PM

Ever notice this is an action/adventure or thriller movie?

The hero or heroes are battling the bad guys and the good guys are face with a concurrent second threat. It’s not enough that the hero is fighting for his life with the bad guy on that tall scaffolding but now there are explosions below him or her that threaten to bring the whole thing down.

Or another. One hero is trying to help another that is in dire need of his of her assistance when he or she has to now prevent another bad guy from stopping her or him.

This is called a ‘crisis within the crisis’.

John Ford, the famous movie director, was great at this.

Take the scene in John Ford’s Stagecoach. The first crisis is the stagecoach being attacked by Indians. During the attack, the driver is shot and the horses pulling the stagecoach run wild. John Wayne has to rein the horses in while the Indians are shooting him at.

Two crises going on at the same time.

I use this technique many times in the Chronicles of Jeremy Nash. In A Taste of the Apocalypse, Jeremy Nash is at the Dome of the Rock trying to prevent the weapon in a blimp from decimating the Grand Mosque and usher in World War III. High stakes here.

The first crisis is trying to stop the blimp from automatically firing the weapon. The second crisis is Nash fighting off a henchman as he attempts to stop the blimp in mid-air.

If you watch a lot of movies like I do, you’ll see that many times this crisis within a crisis is used in action/adventure thriller movies.

I write my novels as movies and follow the same pacing and use the tricks I discovered while watching them.



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