Friday, September 2, 2011

Action & Adventure: What it Is and What it is Not

Changing gears here, to another of my favorite genres.

  Action/Adventure is a hard genre to pin down. Many of what could be considered its sub-genres are full-fledged genres. Unlike fantasy or SF (Which some works of those fall in this genre. See Buck and Conan) which have iconic settings that are easily recognizable, action/adventure doesn't. The closest thing would look more like a documentary.  It's settings range from Victorian Africa, the Wild West, to yesterday's headlines.

 First, what action/adventure is not. It is not action or adventure in another genre. All genres  have elements of action and elements of adventure.
  Action/adventure as a genre makes the action/adventure one of the main points of the novel. Deep characters are generally not necessary. Plots are not needed to be realistic. Make it over the top and exciting.
  It also often has secret societies, martial artists, lots of chases, commandos, and vigilantes.

Good is good. Bad is bad. Nazis are evil. Automatic weapons rules. Explosions are key. Settings should be exotic. Heroines tough, most of the time. Rest of the time they're damsels of distress. Heroes are either highly skilled operatives (James Bond, Jason Bourne, Rambo) or normal peopl thrown into unordinary circumstances (Indiana Jones). There are more, but they're older.

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