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Writing Action with Tracey Martin + Giveaway #StompvsRomp

Stomp vs Romp

Writing a Good Stomping Is a Lot Like Writing a Good Romping. Only More Passionate

Before I get to the point of this post, I’ve got to admit I like to write and read a good romp almost as much as a good stomp. In fact, as I tend to write a bit of both in my (stomping) series, I’ve realized writing one is a lot like writing the other. Bodies might slam together, furniture can get broken, restraints and blindfolds aren’t unheard of, and everyone should end up sweaty.

But superficialities aside, here are three ways the two types of scenes should mirror each other.

Every Stomp Is As Unique As The People Involved

No two couples fall in love the same way, and therefore no two romantic scenes should unfold the same way. In that same vein, no two adversaries are going to fight the same way. Every action scene has to be different because every action scene reflects the personalities and goals of those involved, as well as the setting they’re in. In that way, each stomp scene is as intimate as each romp scene. After all, the most memorable battles are those that are lived through the characters, and a good stomp brings all the characters’ baggage with it. The scenes should show off their skills and weaknesses, their fears and their secrets. Moreover, they should reveal them in the most personal of ways.

Language Should be Evocative

A good romantic scene engages all the senses. It’s called being sensual for a reason, right? But just as the language of a good romp scene should evoke certain feelings, so should the language of a good stomping. In order for readers to feel what the characters feel, the language must be visceral. It should raise your blood pressure, make you hold your breath, and tremble your fingers. Only maybe it shouldn’t do that in so pleasurable a manner (unless you’re into that kind of thing, and then sure).

Stomps Must Have A Rhythm

Do I even need to mention why romp scenes need rhythm? Probably not. But action scenes need it too. They might start off explosively, but they should also build until an even more explosive end—literally or metaphorically. Or they might start slowly, increasing the tension and sense of dread. Sure, sometimes you might end up with a quickie because who has the energy for marathon-long fights all the time? But that rhythm should be expressed in the pacing, both at the sentence level and throughout the scene. Each sentence should push you to read the next faster and faster, so by the time you get to the end, you’re as breathless as the characters.

So Why Stomp?

There you have it—three ways stomps, like romps, are both challenging and fun to write. But when all is said and done, why is stomp better than romp?

Because a good action scene can say more than any romance scene.

Sweet and sexy romance is nice and all, but nothing says “I love you” like being willing to risk life and limb in a no-holds-barred fight for someone else. At its heart, stomp is about passion. These are scenes (and books) about people putting it all on the line to save others, and I think that’s pretty damn hot.

Author Bio

Tracey Martin grew up outside of Philadelphia, the lucky recipient of a drama-free childhood, which is why she spent so much time reading about other people’s lives. It was while she was working on her doctorate in psychology that she had an epiphany–imaginary people are way more fun than real ones. And so she began writing. Never able to choose just one of anything, she currently writes both urban fantasy for adults and contemporary stories for teens.

She likes her coffee simple, her music epic, and her movies to contain explosions. A city girl at heart, she doesn’t understand how she and her husband ended up living in New Hampshire, but writing keeps her off the mean, small town streets.

Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Dirty Little Misery

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Lust can be downright lethal.

Thanks to her freakish, satyr-like power, Jessica Moore was denied her dream to join the Gryphons, the magical law-enforcement officers protecting humanity from the pred races. But after the Gryphons tried to arrest her for murders she didn’t commit, Jess is no longer interested. Too bad—they are.

Now that they know what she can do, they want Jess on their side. If she doesn’t agree to help them solve a new case, they’ll charge her with every magical crime she’s ever committed.

Nine people are dead. The cause? Exhaustion. The activity? Never-ending sex. Someone sold them tainted F, an illegal aphrodisiac made by satyrs. No surprise, Jess’s satyr allies aren’t pleased with her investigation. Worse, it strains her tenuous relationship with Lucen, the one satyr she counts as a friend.

As Jess delves into the shady satyr business world, she unravels a scheme more sinister than dirty drugs—and her relationship with Lucen unravels right along with it. Only the truth will save their friendship. But not before it turns Jess into an ambitious killer’s next target.

Warning: Contains blackmail, betrayal, and sex that’s literally to die for. Plus plenty of bad stiff jokes to go with it. Remember, just say no to magical drugs.

Miss Misery Series


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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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  1. Ms. Martin convinced me…I voted STOMP!

    I’d never really thought about the ways in which action scenes were similar to sex scenes, so I really enjoyed this post!

    • It is really interesting how similar they are although one usually results in blood loss, while as the other… hopefully not. LOL

  2. Thanks for having me, Carmel! And for making me think about what I actually write – ha!

    • Thanks for agreeing to participate in this year’s Stomp vs Romp battle, Tracey! I love hosting new authors. 🙂

  3. “sometimes you might end up with a quickie because who has the energy for marathon-long fights all the time?” — I hadn’t thought of it that way before but this is so very true. I’ve certainly had a few books where the fight scenes got to feeling a little too long and a little too frequent amd skimmed the way I do if a love scene is the same.
    Rhianna recently posted…Review: Dangerous Calling by A.J. Larrieu

    • Agreed, not EVERY battle has to be epic; save those for the final showdown!

  4. Okay, so I wanted to pull several quotes from Tracey that I loved from her post about writing about a good Writing a Good Stomping, but I contained myself. I love this one though:

    “At its heart, stomp is about passion. These are scenes (and books) about people putting it all on the line to save others, and I think that’s pretty damn hot.”

    Love, love, love this article! Thanks ladies 🙂
    kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Blog Tour: Storm Siren by Mary Weber

    • That was my fav quote from Tracey’s post too, Kim. You have EXCELLENT taste. Hehe 😀

  5. I never thought I would say this but I vote for stomp as well! So funny how the two (romp and stomp) can be so closely related. 😉
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Blog Tour and Book Review: An American Girl in Italy by Aubre Dionne

    • Yes! Welcome to the dark… err… I mean STOMP side! Thanks for voting!

  6. A good action scene can definitely say a lot! It always annoyed me in a romantic suspense when a couple stopped in the middle of everything, lives on the line, to have sex. It seemed very unrealistic! Although when done correctly, an author can make anything work.
    Stephanie Faris recently posted…Should Authors Post Pictures of Young Fans?

    • I came across that in one of the books I read earlier this year. The protagonists gained power through sex which was weird enough in itself, but they were in a mad race towards the final showdown only to stop mid-sprint to get it on. LOL

  7. The last part might actually be why I tend to think that Stomp is sometimes more romantic than romp! 😀 Loved this post!
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Blog Tour: The Ultra Thin Man by Patrick Swenson

    • Ssshh! Don’t say that too loudly or peeps might start voting for the wrong team. 😉

  8. A stomp’s like a dance and it’s easier to stomp when there’s rhythm!
    Mary recently posted…Meta Madness: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

  9. Stomp being about passion looks like a really good thing. Also, I agree that no two people fall in love or fight the same way and that’s what’s beautiful about those (yes sometimes I think some fights are beautiful XD LOL.)
    Lola recently posted…Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

    • You have to be passionate to fight for what you believe in! Fighting and sexing are very similar in a lot of ways. I mean, there’s the stupid faces, the noises, both are sweaty, and then there’s the whole poking thing. LOL

  10. I love this post – a good action scene can definitely get your heart racing as much as a romance! They should show off the personalities and differences in your characters too, and they should be memorable.
    Jeann recently posted…Contemporary YA Reviews #1: Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor & The Minnow by Diana Sweeney

    • So many elements go into a good action scene—it’s crazy! I hope you’re feeling better. 🙂

  11. I agree, a good stomp scene is the way to go. I like a good romp scene but the details of how a character fights tells me so much more about them.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Review: Shiftless by Aimee Easterling

    • Agreed! Plus, I find that sex scenes tend to blend together after a while, but epic battles do not.

  12. Haha this post is great, enjoying the comparisons, but yes, stomp all the way.
    Julie S. recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Recommended To Me Books – August 19, 2014

    • Thanks for voting for the better team! 😉

  13. Nice list of reasons

  14. Yay..her stomp makes perfect it! Stomp, stomp, stomp!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jeffries

    • I’ll make an action junkie out of you yet, Kimberly!

  15. hmmm, looks like Stomp has a lot of valid things to say. =)
    angela carr recently posted…Author Override: Jewel E. Ann

    • Come over to the dark side, Angela… there’s cookies! 😉

  16. Great post! I totally see the similarities – and have read them! Some authors really know how to make an action scene have that same sexy feel. I’m convinced. Still have to read ROMP to see how I’m voting. Does voting work when you can’t read the post the day it was published anyway?
    Berls recently posted…Guild Assassin by Berley Kerr | #COYER Book Review

    • Yes, you can vote for a post whenever, even if you catch it a few days late. 🙂