November 2011

Real Life Adventure

"There are many books about modern day people that have survived great adventures and came back unscathed...at least physically."

We love to read adventure stories and regal ourselves in the exploits of people like Jason Bourne and Indiana Jones, but none of these people are real. Let face it, Indiana Jones wouldn't last 10 seconds in the real world.

I don't care how good you are with a whip, you're not going to out maneuver a whole squadron of Nazis. Jason Bourne can kick some serious tail, but trying to outwit the federal government in the United States is a lost cause. I don't care how good you are at martial arts.

The fact remains that there are people out there that live a real life of adventure and survived long enough to write a book about it. It may not be as exciting as the stuff Hollywood dreams up, but you can imagine what it must be like to survive a kidnapping attempt or be an agent for the KGB. I once had the pleasure of speaking with someone who wrote a book about his adventurous life.

Adventure Stories And Romance Novels

 

If you talk about pirates to a man, his first thought might be Treasure Island or even Captain Jack Sparrow. If the same question was asked to a woman, especially one that enjoys the romance genre, then they may regale you of tales of shirtless pirates on the high seas who ravage the rich commander's daughter.

As much as my testosterone filled blood hates to admit it, romance novels had added a lot to the popularity of the adventure novel. The exploits of pirates, adventurers and other notable heroes and villains. There is a reason why romances make great adventure novels.

Women thrive for adventure, but the perils of work and motherhood often keep them on the sidelines. Sure, hubby gets to have those boys night out, but mom feels responsible for taking care of the children and keeping the house clean. It's an outdated thought structure, but one that many women still feel.

Adventure Characters: Jason Bourne

 

Robert Ludlum created an adventure icon when he created superspy Jason Bourne. For anyone that hasn't read the Bourne books or seen the movies, Jason Bourne is a superspy that trained for the special forces group MEDUSA and his real name was David Webb.

Keep in mind that this took place long before the events of the movies. Webb was originally created around the time of the Vietnam War and not the cell phone wielding superspy of the movies. Webb lost his wife and child and lived and breathed MEDUSA after their death. The group was an assassination team that killed the Viet Cong and their cohorts.

Bourne is betrayed and ends up floating in the Mediterranean without his memory and spends the next couple of books figuring out who he is and why people are trying to kill him. Ludlum wrote the first three books before dying and the series was taken over by Eric Van Lustbader for seven additional books.

Do Adventure Movies Translate To Good Books?

 

Adventure is a popular genre in movies because movies are a visual medium. Transformers and Avatar look great on the silver screen, but can they translate into a good adventure book. As a writer who has had to translate a story into a movie script, I know its' not easy.

A two-hour movie roughly translates to about 200 pages in a book, and most books are about 400-500 pages. Try talking Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and try to make it into a book. It's going to either be filled with a lot more information than the movie or it's going to be very short.

That isn't to say that it hasn't been done. There are many books that were written around a television or movie idea. I mean, there are literally hundreds of Star Trek books that have been written since its debut in 1965. A few of them are based on specific episodes or movies, but the majority are new ideas simply set in the universe. That's easy.