Arrr! That be a lot of action!


Check out this drawing, scrawled by my son on the back of a paper place mat when we went to a local pizza joint this weekend.

If you’re having trouble making out the image, it shows two pirates fighting. Their ships are on fire. The purple creature between them is an octopus. The pink streaks are blasting canons. There also is a shark fin in the right hand corner.

No shortage of action in this piece.

I have to admit, I looked at it with a bit of jealousy (and, alright, concern. No more "Pirates of the Caribbean" for this boy). I’m currently trying to map out a new manuscript. In addition to weighing if I want to stick with the middle grade genre or branch out with something new, I’m trying to conjure up a fast-paced, action-packed plot.

Maybe it won’t involve pirates on fire battling an octopus while canons blast them, but I want it to have can’t-put-down movement.

Writers, how do you keep the action flowing in your work?

Readers, what’s a book that kept you turning the pages way past bedtime?

 (Side note: My girl’s drawings usually featured rainbows and princesses. This whole pirates-on-fire thing … should I be concerned?)