In my novella, 30 Seconds, my heroine is chased by the Mob. It is an exciting scene, and by far my most favorite. I wrote it in one sitting, at my kitchen table, while listening to "Attack" by Thirty Seconds to Mars on repeat.
For anyone who wants to write an exciting scene like this, I am providing ten things to keep in mind:
1. Who is being chased?
This is obviously important, because your readers need to know who is in danger to get invested in the chase. Is your protagonist (hero or heroine) running for his/her life? Let us know immediately!
2. Who is doing the chasing?
Who is chasing after your hero/heroine? You can’t write a foot chase and not tell your readers who is after your protagonist. Even if the chaser is a ghost or phantom, we still need to know about it!
3. Why does the chase happen?
Answering this question is huge, because a chase just can’t happen out of the blue, for no reason at all. Readers need to know what leads up to the chase, why the character runs, and why he/she is being followed. Even if the why isn't known right away, you can lead up to the chase by adding suspense; the character senses someone is behind her.
In 30 Seconds, a lot happens before the chase, but one important detail is that Dani Hart, my heroine, finds out the Mob is after her, so when she sees them at her hospital, and hears them asking for "Dr. Hart", she makes a run for it but not before being spotted. And the chase begins.
4. Where does the chase occur?
A chase can happen anywhere from inside a building or house, a parking garage, in the woods, or on the street. In 30 Seconds, the chase starts at the hospital, takes my heroine down a busy Cleveland road and into an alley.
For any chase, you have to utilize fear! To run from someone you have to be afraid of them and afraid for your life. Make sure you share your character’s fear.
Image from Pixabay
6. Where is your character going?
Is your protagonist running with a destination in mind, or trying to escape by going anywhere and everywhere? My heroine actually considers diving into a Dumpster!
7. Describe your character running.
Let your readers know about your character’s pounding feet, rising heart rate, and shortness of breath. All of this adds excitement.
Try to include as many of the senses as possible when you’re describing the chase. Can your character hear the person (or people) chasing after him/her? What does he/she see? Does he/she feel sweat rolling down his/her back? The more senses you can add, the more your readers will connect with what's happening.
9. Does something happen during the chase?
Foot chases are so exciting because more can happen than just running. Maybe your character is grabbed by the person chasing him/her, but manages to get away. Maybe guns are involved. Maybe your character trips and falls. (That’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s up to you what you do with the chase.)
10. How does the chase end?
Is your character caught or does he/she get away? And don’t forget to include what happens after the chase. Perhaps your character hides and then slinks out when he/she thinks the coast is clear. Does he/she go to the police? Consider every possible outcome and what you think would be best for your story.
Questions: Have you written about a foot chase in one of your stories?
Question from my blog tour: What would you do, and where would you go, if you were being chased by the Mob?
Unicorn Bell: I'm blogging over at Unicorn Bell today. This is my debut week as co-host, so I decided to re-blog 3 old posts that I believe many writers can find useful. Today's post is So You Want to Write Romance.