Monday, February 28, 2011

Adventure Plot

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

Amazon link.

Are you working of an Adventure Plot? Do you have a favorite adventure book or movie?


Dawn Embers said...

Great post. Fun to see a blog promoted that I'm part of and on a topic over a book I own. Not yours yet, but I do own the plot book this topic came from. :-)

Adventure does seem prevalent in what I used to read: epic fantasy as does the quest. I tend to do more mind change in my own writing than focus on the action, so I'm probably more of a quest writer than adventure but never really thought about it until now.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Interesting topic, Nancy! I never thought of Romance as falling under the Adventure plot, but you're absolutely right.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Life itself is an adventure.
I'll have to check out that book.

Clarissa Draper said...

I agree. This is a great post! Exciting series.

Joanne said...

What I like about an adventure plot, both writing and reading one, is the ability to live out those situations we might wonder about in our days, but would never actually do.

N. R. Williams said...

My plot is a quest plot too, Dawn, since my character grows.

I never thought about it either, Elizabeth.

LOL, L. Diane, I'm waiting for my tropical retreat for my adventure to begin.

Thank you, Clarissa.

I agree with you on that one, Joanne.

Thanks everyone for dropping in on me and leaving a comment.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Fun series. Last week I thought my plot was a quest this week I think it is surely an adventure. Next, week I’ll think it is pursuit. LOL

N. R. Williams said...

I believe the best plot has more than one aspect. Thanks for dropping in Holly.

The Golden Eagle said...

The story I'm editing right now definitely relates to this kind of plot--thank you for the post!

I'm heading over to read the review. :)

Jen Chandler said...

Great post! I pretty much always write adventure plots. It's easier to get drawn into a story where people are doing wild and crazy things you'd never think of doing (or be able to do) in "real" life.

Anonymous said...

Definately an adventure plot for me. That's how I write. Its the journey, supported by lots of conflcit and terrific character development.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Eagle, I don't think Denise has the review up yet. But I will check again.

Adventure plots are lots of fun, Jen.

I can see that this plot would be great for your stories, Stephen.

Thank you all for dropping in and leaving a comment.

Laura Eno said...

Great post! You pointed out what some non-fantasy writers aren't aware of - the worldbuilding must still be seated in realism.

L'Aussie said...

Nancy, thanks for promoting our review. I had it on scheduled post and it didn't work. I just went in and automatically posted now! I think it gets mixed up with time zones. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. It's up now and Laura has already commented.

I loved reading your posts. I have to teach a Hero unit each year and am always talking about the 'Quest' and use Harry Potter etc as examples as well as the Greek and Roman gods. I'll have to pick up that book you recommend!

I'll pop by and visit 'eagle'. She's been by and followed.


Anonymous said...

Ooooh, nice post!!! Great tips!

nutschell said...

Writing is an adventure, Winston Churchill once said. What an adventure you must be having in writing your book!
What a great post and so useful for fantasy writers such as myself! I'm so glad I found your blog (new follower here! Do i get points?) Will definitely stay tuned for Pursuit.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Laura. No matter who wild our world building becomes, some portion must be real so our readers can relate to it.

Blogger has had a lot of hiccups lately Denise. I was just there and put it on facebook and twitter and will continue to do so. I've got the link on tomorrows blog to. I really appreciate it.

Nicki Elson said...

Campus bakeoff, hahaha! Thanks for this tutorial on adventure plots---I like how you show even a romance can be an adventure story.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you lb.

Welcome to my blog Nut. I appreciate your comment and will definitely check your blog out.

Hi Nicki, I could use a little romance now and then.

Thanks everyone for dropping by. Some of you came while I was posting the last comment. Much appreciated.

Not So Simply Single said...

Great blog....keep up the good work...You are fun to read.


N. R. Williams said...

Thank you, Lisa. That means a lot to me.