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Page history last edited by Tamara Simons 8 years ago

     Adventure stories are tales where such things as puzzles or maps can lead the characters on exciting adventures or quests. Many adventure stories require a protagonist to be taken out of his normal routine and thrown into a dangerous or strange place to face creatures or even internal conflicts. Adventure or action stories are fast paced or "adrenaline genres" and can be labeled thrillers or suspense.[1] The label "action/adventure" can actually apply to books in various other genres, so it really overlaps others. Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between a similar genre and action/adventure.

     This love for adventure started a long time ago around the year 2700 B.C. with the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was written in clay. This story was among the first adventure stories ever written.[4] Then there was Homer with the Odyssey and Illiad between 750 and 650 B.C. During the Viking Age, there was the Viking saga that was written before and after the year 1000.[5] A few decades later, Sir Gaiwan and the Green Knight was written between the years 1375 and 1400.[6] So as you can see, adventure literature has been around for a quite some time.

     When reading these adventurous stories, you will always find that the protagonist or the main character will go on long journeys and they're always dangerous. Some might be curious about why these dangerous trips occur. The authors write stories for themselves but they mainly write for the people. They know that people love excitement and thrill in a book. There is something about a man fighting a dinosaur in Central Park or the main character trying to survive in a jungle with man-eating beast that draws everyone's attention. Of course, these are just examples but this is what people want to read.[7]

     Typically, adventure stories have a male main character and focus on the hardships and dangers he overcomes to accomplish important missions. However, women are becoming main characters more and more in more recent novels like the Hunger Games series and The Golden Compass.[2] You will find that women will read about men and their hardships more than men will read about women and their hardships.

     These stories are special because the writers have to follow certain rules. Since these books are full of excitement and action, the writer has to make sure that their stories come across well. First, the story should have a likable protagonist. The protagonist comes out to be the hero at the end so they shouldn't be selfish and boastful. If they are, the story could turn out boring. Second, these stories should be FULL of imagination. The readers should be able to see themselves in the story. That helps them get into the story when they can see what's going on in their minds. Third, all characters in the story should be different. Every character shouldn't be anything like the protagonist. If so, people won't be able to find the real hero and the story would be seriously boring. Fourth, all the settings should be interesting but should get in the way of the plot. If the setting is to interesting, it will take away from the excitement of the plot and the reader will focus on the things surrounding the character. The last rule that writers follow is to make the story action packed. If the reader loses interest with in the first page or so, the adventure story won't be a good one.[8]


     The Call of the Wild- Jack London

     Treasure Island- Robert Louis Stevenson

     Jurassic Park- Michael Crichton

     Inca Gold- Clive Cussler

     The Stand- Stephen King

     The Hunt for the Red October- Tom Clancy


Adventure authors

[1]  Saricks, Joyce. "Adventure Is Back!" Booklist 1 Mar 2009 : 23. NCWiseOwl. Web.

[2] D'Ammassa, Don. Encyclopedia of Adventure Fiction. New York : Facts on File, 2009. Scribd. Web. 16 May 2012. <http://www.scribd.com/doc/73207805/Encyclopedia-of-Adventure-Fiction-by-Don-D-Ammassa>.

Robinson, Jen. "series Books Featuring Adventurous Girls". PBS Parents. PBS. 13 July 2009, Web. 14 Dec. 2012

[3]  Maddox, Maeve. "The Action/Adventure Genre." The Action/Adventure Genre. Web. 10 May 2012. <http://www.dailywritingtips.com/the-actionadventure-genre/>.

[4]Drake, Tom. "The Epic of Gilagamesh:The First Epic, from the First Civilization." English 257:Literature of Western Civilization. University of Idaho, 2012. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.

[5]Lovgren, Stefan. "Sagas:Portray Iceland's Viking History". National Geographic News. National Geographic Society, 7 May 2004, Web. 13 Dec. 2012.

[6]Jokinen, Anniina. "Sir Gaiwan and the Green Knight: Introduction". Luminarium. 28 Jan. 2010, Web. 17 Dec. 2012.

[7]Brandt, Anthony. "Extreme Classics:The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time". National Geographic Adventure Magazine. May 204, Web. 12 Dec. 2012.

[8]Donelson, Kenneth L. and Allen P. Nilsen. Literature for Young Adults. Boston:Pearson, 2005.

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