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Action fiction is a form of genre fiction whose subject matter is characterized by emphasis on exciting action sequences. This does not always mean they exclude character development or story-telling. Action fiction, is related to other forms of fiction, including action films, action games and analogous media in other formats such as manga and anime. It includes martial arts action, extreme sports action, car chases and vehicles, suspense action, and action comedy, with each focusing in more detail on its own type and flavour of action. It is usually possible to tell from the creative style of an action sequence, the emphasis of an entire work, so that, for example, the style of a combat sequence will indicate whether the entire work can be classified as action adventure, or a martial work. Action is mainly defined by a central focus on any kind of exciting movement.
Action as a literary mode
"Action is the mode fiction writers use to show what is happening at any given moment in the story," states Evan Marshall, who identifies five fiction-writing modes: action, summary, dialogue, feelings/thoughts, and background. Jessica Page Morrell lists six delivery modes for fiction-writing: action, exposition, description, dialogue, summary, and transition. Peter Selgin refers to methods, including action, dialogue, thoughts, summary, scene, and description.
- Marshall, Evan (1998). The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. pp. 143–165. ISBN 1-58297-062-9.
- Morrell, Jessica Page (2006). Between the Lines: Master the Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. ISBN 978-1-58297-393-7.
- Rosenfeld, Jordan E. (2008). Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. ISBN 978-1-58297-479-8.