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  1. Domino355

    Domino355 Contributing Member

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    Adventure Is Adventure a Dying Genre

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by Domino355, Aug 11, 2016.

    Basically, my question. I mean, the grand travel stories, series of quests. I just can't find many new adcenture stories being published.
    What do you think? Is it that people just aren't interested in these kinds of stories anymore (well it is one of the oldest genres in the book)? That it is just too tropy and writers can't get anything new from it, or maybe that these stories are too linear?
     
  2. Keystroke

    Keystroke New Member

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    I personally think that all of the great adventures on Earth have been explored, and people have realized that. So, they filled the void with science fiction adventures, but the space craze wore out and is pretty much over. We'll probably see some revival within the next 20 years or so, though, based on the survival stories becoming popular.

    Just my two cents, take with a grain of salt.
     
  3. Aeriion

    Aeriion Member

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    I would say Adventure is becoming more of a subgenre more than anything. Much like Keystroke stated, much of the world has already been discovered and this leaves little in the ways of Adventure. So most adventures will take place in a selective few manners. 1. Young Kids discovering the world themselves. 2. Fictionary worlds developed in order to create the ability for an Adventure timeline. 3. TombRaider - In reflection, I would not say Adventure is a "dying" genre, but more a stagnating one. Nothing new in terms of idea sparking material has been introduced in human society so thus, not many books being PRIMARILY adventure based. Though I guess debatably, many fictions could be classified adventure as characters are going place to place. So a question, what does Adventure mean to you?
     
  4. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Random theory: Maybe the fact that most of the planet is explored and known discourages stories that are about travel discovery, so that that impulse is redirected to worlds that are purely fictional--fantasy and science fiction.
     
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  5. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are the Percy Jackson books not considered adventure stories? Because they go all over the country, and the world in the second series. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles, and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard all follow the same kind of format.
     
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  6. Lew

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    I did one that fits your definition to a tee. A Roman diplomatic mission to China in 100AD, a helluva 17,000 mile quest with lots of adventure in what is for most readers a whole new undiscovered world: Storms, pirates, firefights, skullduggery, unlikely alliances, a disaster in the court, a dramatic rescue, return overland with the nomadic Xiongnu, silk road caravans, the Bactrian empire (modern Afghanistan)... something unexpected happens every chapter. Be sure to buy a copy of "The Eagle and the Dragon, a Novel of Rome and China" as soon as I can get an agent and a publisher. (Shameless plug!)
     
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  7. Commandante Lemming

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    You may not be looking in the right genre labels - a lot of SciFi and Fantasy can follow a very traditional adventure story format.

    One of the hotter titles this year is David Levine's "Arabella of Mars" - which despite the title is actually in the Fantasy realm - and from what I hear that one is straight-up high-seas adventure-questing.

    I also just read the first book of Karl Schroeder's Virga series - "Sun of Suns" - which in fairness is ten years old, but that's a fairly well respected SciFi series and the first book was, again, straight up high-seas adventure (including pirates) just without the water.
     
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  8. Midnight_Adventurer

    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    If you're talking about globe trotting adventures that involve heroes and villains, ancient artifacts or lost cities and the world is at stake then there are still authors out there writing these styles of books. Matthew Reilly is known for his action thrillers with his new book, The Four Legendary Kingdoms, eagerly anticipated. Andy McDermott and Clive Cussler are two more active authors in the genre. I'm currently writing my own globe trotting adventure and still believe it's a genre that holds great wonder and possibility. Just saying.
     
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  9. FireWater

    FireWater Contributing Member

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    Yeah, there's tons of stories that are like that. They just go by different labels. At the bookstore I hang around in, the "Fantasy" section has loads of books involving the tropey things like warriors and quests et al (of course, there's also much more diversity beyond solely those things). Also, other related genres, like sci-fi and dystopia, have similar elements as well. Books in the YA section also include some of those categories.

    So yeah, adventure stories exist, in the sense that probably the vast majority of genre fiction involves an adventure of some kind. ;) It's not just labeled "Adventure" on the cover sticker.
     
  10. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Wikepedia defines the Adventure story as: An adventure is an event or series of events that happens outside the course of the protagonist's ordinary life, usually accompanied by danger, often by physical action. Adventure stories almost always move quickly, and the pace of the plot is at least as important as characterization, setting and other elements of a creative work.[1]

    The notion of exploration (as in going someplace where NOBODY has been before) isn't really part of the genre. Adventure stories take the protagonist somewhere THEY have never been before, that will involve danger and physical action. I'd say Romancing the Stone and the other movies like that are Adventure stories (made into movies), even though where the protagonist goes is not an unknown part of the world.

    I would expect that it's the 'adventure' part of the story that is important in this genre, more so than defeating bad guys or solving mysteries, or whatever else the plot includes. It's the tackling of something new and dangerous that seems to drive the genre.
     
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  11. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee In my defense, words are my weapons. Contributor

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    If you're wondering what happened to adventure shows like Johnny Quest, they got killed off by parodies, namely Venture Bros.

    Its like how it took James Bond and Mission Impossible a few years to get back into the game after Austin Powers. When your genre turns into a joke, it either has to be reinvented or dropped.
     
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  12. theamorset

    theamorset Contributing Member

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    I don't think the genre is dying, I just think people expect more than just a quest. There needs to be well structured characters, deeper meaning, etc.

    I'm not sure authors have to come up with something so horribly 'unique' or 'different', but there has got to be some sort of feeling, some sort of emotion, to the work.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  13. Marc Arrows

    Marc Arrows New Member

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    All genres have their ups and downs in my mind, no genre is "dying" and certainly not "adventure", for now it simply has taken a seat waiting to be fresh again.
     
  14. Lew

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    Two types of adventure stories. One begins "A stranger came to town," the other begins, "The hero left on a long journey."
     
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  15. Miscellaneous Worker

    Miscellaneous Worker New Member

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    Adventure stories is certainly one of the oldest genres as you said. If adventure means for people to go on quest for a destination or goal, I would say that a lot of people imagine that being too simple for their stories, which is certainly ridiculous. I believe some of the greatest stories and even movies follow the quest formula (Krull is awesome :p), so it is sad that you don't see people writing in that sort of genre much anymore. Probably because people want to write stories with more depth and analyzable detail than just a straightforward quest from A to B.

    Imagine it, though, any story is an adventure as long as the characters aren't having fun during it (I forgot who said that!)
     
  16. Pinkymcfiddle

    Pinkymcfiddle Contributing Member

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    ooh, think about it, just think about it.
     
  17. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Who wants waffles...? Contributor

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    Why does adventure have to be a long journey? Most have a satisfying trip,
    but the ending is just not going to compete with the journey overall.
    The best part is the struggles and other things along the way, not necessarily
    the destination.

    Adventure dead, no. It is alive and well, perhaps you just need to look a little
    deeper in the mix to find the specific version of it that you like. :)
     
  18. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Contributing Member

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    Adventure isn't dead but I think it has been sublimated into other genres now. More of an element that an actual category. SFF is loaded with adventurous plots and overtones, but it always gets labeled under its larger mother category. I think even if you wrote a pure adventure story (like an American teenager chasing poachers through the Amazon) the overlords would probably market it as suspense/thriller. I have no idea why, but that does appear to be a thing now.
     
  19. big soft moose

    big soft moose Contributing Member

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    I know a bloke who's a regional marketing bod for Waterstones - he told me that in selected stores they are experimenting with dropping all their genre classifications in the fiction section and just having all books displayed alphabetically because so many books these days cross genre boundaries so you get "crime, action, romance, comedy thrillers" or "historic adventure romances" and so on
     
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  20. Samunderthelights

    Samunderthelights Member

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    I definitely agree with what other people are saying, Adventure books are still being written and released, just under a different category. For example, I would say The Hobbit is an adventure book, but over here at the local bookstore, it's under Fantasy or Children's Books. So maybe the label itself is disappearing a little bit at the moment, because the books are being put in different categories, but when you look at it, they are still Adventure books.
     
  21. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Unanimity requires compliance Contributor

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    Too lazy to quote numerous people upthread, but I think adventure is still alive and well. Aside from Tomb Raider-esque work, there's still a lot of the world unexplored by your target market. Look at Dan Brown; I don't have much love for his work, but he's got a lot of (American?) people entranced with his stories of the exploration of darkest Italy...

    There are very few people who have been to even the loosest approximation of "everywhere". Unless you live in, and write exclusively for, the population of the very smallest of countries, with the right research, you can write an "adventure" novel that takes place just about anywhere.
     
  22. rktho

    rktho Senior Member

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    I'm writing an adventure fantasy myself. I don't think it's quite dead. But fantasy doesn't necessarily have to take the adventure/quest format, and neither does sci-fi. Putting less emphasis on the travelling aspect may help make your story feel less cliche.
     
  23. JE Loddon

    JE Loddon Active Member

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    I think the world just got too small and well connected. I'm sure there is still stuff left to discover in places like Antarctica, but it's a pretty tricky place to explore without the help of some science fiction.
     
  24. Lew

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    Adventure, to me, is something unknown to the characters in the story, not to the reader. And we can also set adventure in areas or ages that may be well-known to specialists, but not the general reader.
     

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