Friday, June 8, 2012

Let's Write: Week of June 15

Last week we looked at humor and suspense.  This week, I'd like to look at the idea of adventure.  I am specifically not going to address action right now because action is a separate topic.  Many adventure stories have action scenes, but adventure is an overall arc with specific steps whereas action is movement on a micro level, an appeal to our senses within a scene.

Therefore, we will start with the basics of adventure.  We've all had adventures in life, and some of the stories I enjoyed most as a child took the form of adventures.

What are some adventures in our lives?
  1. Learning to do something new--walking, riding a bike, driving a car.
  2. Beginning something major--the first day of school, heading to college, the first day on the job, waking up in your new home the day after you're married.
  3. Trying something new or coming up with a plan of your own--making up your own recipe, building something yourself, fixing your own mistake.
  4. A commitment to something--your new diet, your exercise plan, a vow, a promise to do better at something (your marriage, parenting, being a good son/daughter)

How does that translate?  Well, if you think about those childhood adventures, you can probably easily identify the key components an adventure in them.  An adventure has six main parts:
  1. The point of departure, home, or where we start.  We need to see ground zero before we're ready to take the adventure or we won't appreciate the departure.
  2. The quest.  Most adventures begin with a goal.
  3. The journey.  An adventure requires leaving the bounds of our home and what we know and embarking on a journey into the unknown (and the difficult).
  4. Challenges/obstacles.  If the journey is easy, it's not very interesting.  Most adventures require at least three of these.
  5. The obtaining of (or the failure of obtaining) the goal.  We need to see it won or lost.
  6. The return home.  We need to see how the adventure has changed our hero and how that change translates back in his home environment.
Can you think of one?

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