Today the Master Plot is: Adventure, but before we get into the plot a big surprise. Denise at Reading at Dawn is doing a book review of my baby, The Treasures of Carmelidrium. Please stop by and follow them after you read it. I'm so thrilled.
What is Adventure?
Last week we covered the Quest plot. If you missed it, go here.
In the beginning…no not in Genesis, but with the Greeks, there were two plots. One was a plot of the mind, the other was a plot of the body. The Quest plot involves the mind. Oh yes, we writers add plenty of action, but the characters undergo significant change which classifies the Quest plot as one of the mind. The Adventure plot is all about the journey and the characters are there for the ride. Making the Adventure plot a plot of the body.
Adventure is doing something we would probably never do in real life. Your character hits the road to explore new places and find their fortune. It’s exotic, it’s true love, and it’s jumping off a cliff without a parachute. Maybe it’s all three. The Adventure plot begins with the first line or a breathless movie shot. We are hooked and saddle up to seize the moment. Crazy as that seems, most of us would rather watch or read about that sort of life style than live it.
Most fairy tales are Adventure plots. The hero sets off on a mission, sometimes the hero is forced. A chain of events that causes the next act, and the next, through to the end. The same event is usually the motivating factor that caused your hero to act in the first place. While the hero doesn’t change much, you still need a strong character that your readers can cheer on. Never neglect to develop your characters even in the most simplistic way.
Many romances are Adventure plots. The hero sets off to find true love. He meets woman A, then B, and finally C and lives happily ever after. Perhaps A is his best friend’s sister, she teaches him to appreciate honestly. B is the hot babe in the Laundromat who teaches him to beware of flirtatious women. C is the lady who brings great cookies to the campus bakeoff. Okay, it’s been awhile since I was in college, but you get the idea. He doesn’t learn any life altering things. He just meets the woman he can love.
The Adventure plot also involves exotic or unusual places. Now you have to rewrite every scene I just used as examples in the last paragraph. Our hero grew up in boring…insert anyplace you find dull. Now he attends college in…insert your dream local. This means research. As writers we must go to this place and experience it first hand, taking careful notes. Or we must do lots of research. Consider the library your second home. Thank God for the internet. Of course if you write fantasy, the way I do, the Adventure plot may be in another realm. But you still must have the sensation of realism for your readers. While I stated earlier that my fantasy wasn’t an Adventure plot, but a Quest plot, I still had to do research. I’ve never personally experienced war and certainly not medieval battles. Thankfully, the History Channel had many educational programs on what was used and how it felt to wield it. Making my war scenes feel more real to the reader.
Next week, the Master Plot is: Pursuit.
To read more about this and other plots I recommend that you purchase:
20 Master Plots and how to build them, by Ronald B. Tobias
Are you working of an Adventure Plot? Do you have a favorite adventure book or movie?