Adventure

Description of the Genre

When thinking of the action/adventure genre, most people think of a tale filled with excitement and danger, a tale that will keep them on the edge of their seat, turning pages until the very end. The adventure novel is essentially a quest story, where the primary complication is often physical danger to the protagonist. R.L. Stevenson said that if you’re confronted with great fear and danger all you need are imagination and courage.

The quest may be literal (survive hardship and terror to deliver this ring to an ancient wizard), or more abstract (finding a way to improve a relationship). The quest is a long and difficult search for something. The traditional quest involves: treasure, a mission, an exploration, or, at its simplest, survival. As a reader, the quest is something we can all identify with. Like the main character, we all hope to find that certain something ‐ or someone ‐ that will change our lives. And this is the key to the power of the quest in story: it represents our innermost desires.

Text 1: Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden


Exercises
a) Questions
Read the excerpt from Tomorrow When the War Began below and complete the following questions in your Reading Journal. Or make your responses more interesting by trying one of these online tools:

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Use text, images and audio!

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Present your responses as an online poster.

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Create a dynamic presentation with Prezi!

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Present your responses in an online mindmap.

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Create a presentation with sticky notes, images and more!


  1. Find three examples where the reader gains insight into the narrator’s emotional state through descriptions of the narrator’s body, e.g. ‘I got the shakes a bit.’ What is the impact of these descriptions on the reader?
  2. 'I got the shakes a bit', Explain the writer's choice of words here, is this an Australian phrase? Are there any others in this section?
  3. Tomorrow When the War Began is fast-paced, find three examples of phrases which describe the action and propel the narrative forward.


b) Genre Features
Open the Word document below and use Track Changes to complete this activity by using the highlighting and comment tool.

How many of these features appear in the story?
  • A likeable protagonist and / or hero.
  • An unlikable antagonist or antihero.
  • An exotic or unusual setting.
  • Danger
  • Fast paced action.
  • Descriptive writing which draws on the five senses (smell, taste, touch, sight, sound). Often includes vivid descriptions of physical action.
  • Dialogue – gives insight into the characters; is often snappy and can be humorous.


c) Creative Writing
Length: 200 – 300 words
Choose ONE of the activities below:
  1. In Tomorrow When the War Began John Marsden writes 'this was the first confirmation that an enemy army was in our country, and in control.' Use your imagination to invent your own enemy army. Describe it in vivid detail.
  2. Write a short scene where the antagonist is revealed to be someone from the protagonist's past.


Text 2: Time Riders by Alex Scarrow


Exercises
a) Questions
time_riders.jpgComplete the following questions in your Reading Journal. Or make your responses more interesting by trying one of the online tools listed above.

  1. What sense do we get of the protagonist Liam O'Connor? List 4-5 adjectives to describe his character. Include evidence from the text to support your ideas.
  2. Find three examples of vivid descriptions of the sinking ship. What impact does this have on the reader?
  3. There are four points within the narrative where the text is formatted in italics and it appears on the line below. Why do you think the author / publisher has done this? What effect does this have?
  4. How is dialogue used to add meaning to the story?

b) Genre Features
Open the Word document below and use Track Changes to complete this activity by using the highlighting and comment tool.

How many of these features appear in the story?
  • A likable protagonist and / or hero
  • An unlikable antagonist or antihero
  • An exotic or unusual setting
  • Danger
  • Fast paced action
  • Descriptive writing which draws on the five senses (smell, taste, touch, sight, sound); often includes vivid descriptions of physical action.
  • Dialogue – gives insight into the characters; is often snappy and can be humorous.



c) Creative Writing
Length: 200 – 300 words
Choose ONE of the activities below:
  1. Time Riders begins on a ship. Write the opening paragraph of an adventure story which begins in an unusual or exotic location.
  2. Time Riders begins with a catastrophe. Write the opening paragraph of an adventure story which begins with a catastrophe. This could be a natural or man-made catastrophe.
Writing Tip: Think about how you might express a sense of chaos through your language. You might like to play around with sentence length and structure.

Recommended Adventure Fiction

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Double Cross by Greg Pyers

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Halo by Zizou Corder

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Jumpman by James Valentine

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Destination Abudai by Prue Mason

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Flint and Silver John Drake

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Time Riders by Alex Scarrow

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Going Bovine by Libba Bray

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Barefoot Kids by Steve Hawke

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Tomorrow Series by John Marsden

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Vulture’s Gate by Kirsty Murray

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In the Shadow of the Palace by Judith A Simpson