Several different genres and sub-genres of fiction exist. Many writers stress over what genre they should write in. The answer is simple – write what you love to read. The action/adventure genre is highlighted in this article.
If the action and adventure sets your heart to racing, then you probably like to read stories by James Michener, Tom Clancy, and George McDonald Fraser. They are just a few successful authors of action/adventure fiction. In this genre, your characters can go on mountain climbing or ocean adventures, chase after long-lost objects, and elude wicked people in hostile environments – all for the sake of the object they seek.
If the hero doesn’t obtain his goal, the results should be catastrophic. His life could end or the life of a friend or loved one could be forfeited. A war could be on the verge of occurring if he doesn’t succeed. A job, a marriage, a friendship, or a business could hang in the balance. The results need to be devastating to your hero if he doesn’t succeed in reaching his goal.
Introduce the problem at the beginning of your story. Depending on the era your story takes place in, it could be a train derailment, a plane crash, or a hot-air balloon collision. A ship could be lost at sea and pirates appear on the horizon. Someone could walk into a bank while a robbery is in progress. A plane is flying over a deserted island and runs out of fuel (why?), so the two passengers parachute onto the island inhabited by cannibals. How do they get out of this mess alive and keep from ending up on the dinner table? Keep your story running at a good pace. Action/adventure stories should be full of excitement. Things like narrow, last second escapes and high speed chases should be included in the fast-paced story. Of course these won’t occur every moment in the story, but action scenes should be frequent.
Where should your story take place? Anywhere you decide. Exotic locations – rainforest, jungle, around a volcano, a remote island inhabited by ferocious animals – cause the reader to anticipate the story to come.
The action/adventure genre can cross over into one or more sub-genres, such as fantasy or romance or history. Action/adventure will be the main focus of your story, but the adventure could take place in outer space or in the future. The story can be made more interesting and appeal to a larger audience when love, murder, or deceit are encountered along the way.
You’ve managed to keep your story full of action and excitement, so don’t fizzle out with a lame ending. Decide beforehand whether or not your hero survives to have another adventure. If you decide that his life will end and this will be his only adventure, allow him (or her) to exit this world dramatically. If your story is going to have a sequel, you may decide to end the story with a cliffhanger or just enough unanswered to leave your fans hungry for the next book.