This week: Signature MoveEdited by: Annette
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Dear readers and writers of Action/Adventure, I am Annette and I will be your guest editor for this issue.
We've all heard or read the phrase "This is their signature move."
There is a way that you can include that into your writing to make your characters more unique and distinctive.
J. K. Rowling gave us the perfect signature move when Harry Potter kept using the Expelliarmus spell to disarm his enemies. Even in a battle where other warlocks and witches were throwing killing curses at one another and even killing one of the most accomplished warlocks of the Harry Potter universe, Harry was still casting Expelliarmus. This insistence in disarming his adversaries, rather than hurt or kill them made him recognizable by his enemies and led to them knowing which one of the many Harrys they were tracking was the right one. Later on, instead of learning from his mistake and using another spell, he still keeps using that one spell. He disarms Malfoy of the Elder Wand, which makes the wand now his. Even when Snape uses it and the Elder Wand performs for him, the wand's ultimate loyalty has already shifted to Harry. In the end, it turns out that he was right not to learn from his mistake. Because in the same way that his signature move made him easy to spot in a crowd of Harry Potters, it also ultimately led to his victory.
When you create a character for an action adventure story, think about the signature move you will give them. As you saw in the example above, that signature move can be both helpful and a hindernis. Depending on the length of the story you're telling, it might be fun to show when they learned it, whey they first used it successfully, when it was to their detriment, and how it helped them to come out victorious at the end.
The signature move gives you a recurring theme to keep a red thread in the story that is there, but not overwhelming to the general plot. It almost becomes a supporting actor as is walks on scene when needed, but can just as easily vanish only to pop back up later. Nobody asks where the signature move goes when your main character goes about their adventure without it. But after a while, the cracking whip, the flying wands, the one-inch punch all are welcomed back by the reader like an old friend.
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Replies I got for my last Action Adventure newsletter "Around the World in 24 Hours"
Monty wrote: So Rudolf is a steady now? I did not know that. Your News Letter is quite a tale of adventure itself.
I thought Rudolph is a steady now. He's American, so I can't be sure.
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