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Action/Adventure: February 24, 2021 Issue [#10636]

 This week: Defining Action/Adventure
  Edited by: Jeff
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

"Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

About The Editor: Greetings! My name is Jeff and I'm a guest editors for this issue of the Official Action/Adventure Newsletter! I've been a member of Writing.com since 2003, and have edited more than 350 newsletters across the site during that time. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email or the handy feedback field at the bottom of this newsletter! *Smile*

Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor


The action/adventure genre is one that's often misunderstood. Similar to other genres like mystery, drama, comedy, etc., many authors have a tendency to think that because a work has elements of action or adventure in it, that the piece is therefore an action/adventure piece. This genre, though, actually has quite a few tropes and expectations, just like any other genre.

In the Encyclopedia of Adventure Fiction, literary critic Don D'Ammassa defines the adventure genre as, "an event or series of events that happens outside the course of the protagonist's ordinary life, usually accompanied by danger, often by physical action. Adventure stories almost always move quickly, and the pace of the plot is at least as important as characterization, setting, and other elements of a creative work."

While I have some disagreement over the "outside the course of the protagonist's ordinary life" qualifier (isn't a treasure hunting protagonist's ordinary life, by its nature, one of adventure?), I like the fact that this definition makes sure to point out that the pace of the plot is important. Since almost all stories include some form of action, it's easy to assume that because a story includes action, it must be an action story. In truth, the story needs to have the action and/or adventure be central to the story and central to the plot if it's to be considered part of the action/adventure genre.

With genres, it's important to properly categorize your work. I know there's a natural tendency to want to put as many genre labels on your work as possible to reach the most number of potential readers ("This story has everything! Action, Adventure! Drama! A little bit of mystery! Some jokes! A few thrills! Some romance!"), but using a genre label for a story that doesn't fit into that genre can also be risky because you could potentially disappoint a reader who had certain expectations that were not met. If you label your work a comedy but there are only two jokes in a 10,000-word short story, it's probably not going to be very well received. Similarly, if you label your work action/adventure, but the tropes expected of that specific genre aren't present in more than a handful of small moments, your work may not be seen as a well-executed story.

When you're branding or labeling your work (especially on a site like this where you can select multiple genre classifications per item), give some thought to whether your item is an action/adventure story or a different genre of story with action/adventure elements in it. If it's the latter, you might be better-served by sticking to a more appropriate genre label.

Until next time,

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If you're interested in checking out my work:
"What I'm Talkin' 'Bout
"New & Noteworthy Portfolio Items

Editor's Picks

This month's official Writing.com writing contest is:

Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest  [ASR]
Use the quote provided to write a story and win big prizes!
by Writing.Com Support

I also encourage you to check out the following items:

 Rock Climbing  [E]
Employee bonding time..?
by Pam Sears

EXCERPT: Lester clung to the rock face of the cliff he was scaling and wondered how in the name of sweet buttered biscuits he’d ended up here. Was he insane? It was his *cousin* that was the adventurous one. Del was the type to go hang gliding or water skiing with sharks. Or climb cliffs that rose higher than the Empire State building. Not him!

 Devil's Soup  [ASR]
Not all soups are mmm, mmm good; in fact, some can be deadly.
by Bobby Lou Stevenson

EXCERPT: Timbaweea Island is but one of the many islands dotting the coastline of Mozambique. Phenomenally, the dense jungle island is the only place on Earth where a most exceptional and elusive butterfly flutters: the highly treasured Speckled Tri-Wing Heliotrope Major.

 Stormflower  [13+]
Ocean world, Female lead with PTST related trauma. Action with light mystery elements.
by TristenKozinski

EXCERPT: To experience death was to perceive the breadth of eternity in the confines of a single thought. To reawaken from this purity of being, reemerge from the trackless current of death, was to experience the end of divinity and forget all it entailed. Thus the Soul roused from death and relinquished eternity, waking to the world of Aeria.

The Leap   [18+]
A story written for the Lodestar Contest
by Sumojo

EXCERPT: Although not yet six am, the bedroom is becoming uncomfortably warm, the sun streaming in through the open window. Sheets lay heaped on the floor where I threw them off during the hot, sticky night.

LOVE STORY 1976  [18+]
In my four hour bus journey, I was fully mesmerized by the sheer force of her presence.
by Shyam

EXCERPT: In my four hour bus journey, I was fully mesmerized by the sheer force of her presence. Perhaps, there was an even more magnetism about this Mesmerist. Just within two hours, I fell in love, about to get married, but then...

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Ask & Answer

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