By Bruce L. Cook
Simply viewed, an adventure story is action in context: what the characters do, and where.
Story line drives action, while the writer wrestles with conflict and motivation. Then, once each action emerges, it becomes necessary to embrace the action with context.
For example, if the characters are to romp in merriment, chances are this wonítí be appropriate if they are sitting in a jail cell. Further, they may romp if they are 14 years old, but sit quietly if they are 85.
Of course, there are exceptions, such the time when my screenplay had infants climb down from their cribs and escape from the nursery to the background tune of Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks. (Some writers are simply impossible!)
Ordinarily, the scene enters the writerís mind and all actions derive from its elements. If the characters are making love in a campsite they will need a surrounding element like a sleeping bag, tent, or utter isolation. If they are to brawl they need an open space and, hopefully, a small audience to register shock and empathy.
In summary, every story has a running background where actions derive from motivations and character. In this pageant the writer creates a scene or sequence and then visualizes each progressive setting at the same time as the action.
While background canít drive the storyline, the setting definitely limits and defines the action so that a feeling of fictional integrity emerges.
So, next time you create and adventure story, develop characters and conflict and then follow their actions, keeping a consistent pageant of settings. That makes everything enjoyable and, well, possible.
- Bruce L. Cook