SHELFARI Generic Genre Questions:  Action and Adventure

 1.    Questions about setting (time and place)

a. Setting can act as a character in tales of adventure. Man vs. Nature is common, as the hero has to overcome an obstacle in nature, usually of an extreme sort (blizzard, stranded on an island, etc.).

What impact does the setting have on your book?

b. Sometimes there is a “threshold” that marks the boundary between worlds as the hero moves from a world of inaction to a world characterized by action (Campbell).

What are the two worlds found in your tale?


2.    Questions about characters

a.    Nearly every action hero has a sidekick to add interest.

How is a secondary character important to the tale you are reading?

b.    Supernatural aid is often a component of an adventure story. This could take the form of a god, or it could be a visitation from a ghost, or it could be a sixth sense.

Explain the role of any supernatural aid in your story.

c. Goddess / Temptress / Father

i.              The meeting with a goddess is “often represented by the person finding the other person that he or she loves most completely” (Warner).

Which character might represent a goddess? What special qualities make her a goddess? This person is often patterned after Mary, the mother of Jesus, but the character may or may not be female.

ii.            The hero may be led astray from his tasks and/or goal by someone who hopes to thwart his plans. This person is usually called a “temptress,” like Eve.

Who tries to prevent the hero from reaching his or her goal? How?

iii.          The hero must confront a father-figure who has life and death power (Warner).

Who is this figure? What power does he or she have? What is the outcome of the confrontation?


 3.    Questions about plot

a.    Leaving home and returning home are two central ideas found in many tales of adventure. In both cases, it is usually about escaping someone or something.

What does the main character seek to escape? What obstacles does he or sheencounter?

b.    Most heroes must undergo a series of difficult tasks or tests, often grouped in a set of three. Sometimes the hero fails at one or more tasks.

What are the tests faced by your hero?


 4.    Questions about theme

a. Revelation / Transformation. This may or may not occur at the climax, but the hero finds new insight (revelation or epiphany) that often leads to a major change (transformation).

What insight does the character gain, and how does this change the character?

b.    The Return. The hero may return to a world that has not changed, while the hero HAS changed.

How does this transformation impact the decision to return?  What impact, if any, does obtaining the object of the quest have on the return of the hero?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s