How to Write an Adventure Story
Adventure is an exciting, thrill-filled genre that emphasizes suspenseful, fast-paced action. In a typical adventure story, a hero embarks on a journey filled with dangerous obstacles and villains that render his survival uncertain. Planning the crucial elements of an adventure story -- a journey to an exotic location, plot twists, an exciting climax and a resolution that rewards the hero and punishes the bad guy -- will help you create a riveting tale.
Choose a faraway, exotic location for your hero to visit. Foreign countries, deserted islands or even other worlds altogether are obvious choices, but heroes don’t necessarily have to leave their backyards to find an adventure. In a children’s story, the heroine could find adventure in a forest near her house.
Create a hero or heroine. Adventure stories typically do not focus on character development, but your protagonist should possess some kind of defined role, whether he holds a job or is a student. Allot your character some distinctive physical features, as well as a curiosity for exploring. Alternatively, you could create a reluctant hero, in the style of Bilbo Baggins from “The Hobbit.”
Invent a catalyst for your adventure story. Give your protagonist a reason to leave and go exploring. This catalyst should involve some danger, to build suspense. For example, in “Indiana Jones,” a professor is led to search for an artifact he believes could be lethal if it falls into the wrong hands.
Craft some unexpected twists and turns to challenge your protagonist. She could get lost following a false clue, become kidnapped by a villain, find a treasure map or have an ally betray her or die.
Construct a spellbinding climax wherein the hero faces extreme danger and a positive outcome of events seems doubtful. Include a tell-all confrontation between the protagonist and antagonist, where the hero finally learns the villain’s motives.
Resolve the climax with the defeat of the antagonist by the protagonist and her friends. Allow the protagonist to return home with the promise of resuming normal life.
Nadine Smith has been writing since 2010. She teaches college writing and ESL courses and has several years experience tutoring all ages in English, ESL and literature. Nadine holds a Master of Arts in English language and literature from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, where she led seminars as a teaching assistant.