Writing an action packed start, part 1

It's late at night and I just watched the start of a James Bond movie.

Not the sort of thing to be doing just before going to bed.  I watched the start, typically one of the best parts of the film, and then turned it off.

Then, while trying to switch my mind off so that I could get some sleep, it started running a hundred different scenarios that I might use in a story.

The catchy start, the sort that drags the reader into the book with a bang, high action, with bullets, grenades, a rocket launcher, maybe, a car or a helicopter chase, and a lot of death and mayhem.
Soldiers would tell you this is a typical day in a war zone, with real people, and innocent people as casualties.

Certain police forces would tell you this is what it's like going up against drug cartels and organized crime.

Spy stories always make good reading and sometimes better movies because it is not something er, on average, equate with reality.  We have a hero, we have innocent people being saved, and the bad guys always lose.

Well, most of the time.  Sometimes they may be allowed to have a small win until the next book in the series.

It's escapist entertainment, something that takes us away from the daily drudge.

Yes, I can see the beginnings of a story, helicopters, bullets, cars, danger.

Let me get back to you, I have to write this down before I lose it.


So, there I was, hanging half out of the helicopter, shooting a handgun at a truck speeding along a dirt track.

I know, what's the effective range of a handgun?

The sound of the rotors was still deafening even with the earphones on and as I run out of bullets and was reaching for another clip, I heard a voice crackle in my ears.

"Some fool's got a rocket launcher."

That fool was trying to lean out the passenger side of the truck and aim the launcher at the helicopter.
The bucking and swaying of the vehicle nearly tipped him out onto the roadside, but something managed to anchor him, and he was taking aim.

"Now would be the time to peel away," I said, not knowing if the pilot could hear me.
Our course didn't deviate, so perhaps he hadn't.

I calculated the distance between the helicopter and the ground, and the speed we were traveling.  Fast.  Short drop.  Quick landing.  Very painful.

At that moment I saw the rocket leave the launcher, I let go.

There was that instant where you feel disembodied and floating on air.  The same as that few seconds in free fall, just before pulling the rip cord of a parachute.

I hit the ground a rolled, not that I thought it would do much good, and the stopped, just before I lost consciousness.  Somewhere in front of me, there was a huge explosion, and then nothing.

Last thought, I hope the helicopter didn't land on me.


That's part of it, there will be more.

© Charles Heath 2018

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