Action/Adventure is an EXTERNAL GENRE.
External Genres, as opposed to Internal, are primarily driven by a problem that comes up outside the person, and solving this problem results in the end of the story.
The problem usually looks like a large-scale villain. Someone the protagonist has to face off against and prevent them from doing permanent harm to the world.
Mystery, Horror, Thriller, Comedy – these are all External Genres. However, it is HOW these stories are told that determine what genre they fall into.
My brother and I determined the genre according to the emotion the story raises in us, and Action/Adventure raises the emotion of excitement. It puts us, with our hearts racing, on the edge of our seats, wondering at each moment what is going to happen next. It’s a lean forward, hands on you knees, emotion.
This is one of the largest genres of all time.
Example Action/Adventure Stories are:
- All the Marvel Films
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- All Star Wars Films
- Dark Knight Trilogy
- Lord of the Rings
- Cowboys vs. Aliens
- Bourne Identity
- Mission Impossible
- The Matrix
If the story is edge of your seat action, but takes the action lightly, it is not an Action/Adventure genre. Action/Adventure takes itself seriously. Guardians of the Galaxy is the closest you get to comedy without being a part of the comedy genre, only because it is part of a larger universe, and the characters are in real, permanent danger throughout the the story.
The story begins with a problem – someone is kidnapped, someone is running for their life, someone is pulled out of normal life and thrust against an evil force. The story ends when that someone defeats the evil force. All in between is full of nail-biting action – this is the Action/Adventure Genre.
I’ll do the comedy genre next.