Fiction Writing Made Easy

Action Genre Conventions

February 15, 2022 Episode 57
Fiction Writing Made Easy
Action Genre Conventions
Show Notes

In today's episode, I'm going to walk you through the conventions of the action genre. I'm also going to show you how these conventions show up in the movie The Hunger Games. Here's a preview of what's included:

[01:25] Action stories are about life and death, and good versus evil. They’re about a character who has to rise up, overcome great obstacles, defeat forces of evil, and maybe even save the world. But that being said, these stories aren’t always about superheroes.
[02:35] Readers choose action stories to experience the excitement of the life and death stakes and situations that the protagonist is presented with. But it’s not just about that—we choose these stories because they inspire us to become the best versions of ourselves, too.
[03:35] Genre conventions are the character roles, settings, and micro-events that are specific to a genre. They’re what help us writers write a story that works AND evoke emotional reactions in our readers.
[04:50] #1 - The protagonist has a special talent or gift and the potential for heroism.
[06:55] #2 - The protagonist’s goal is to stop the antagonist and save victims.
[08:10] #3 - There are multiple lives at stake (including the protagonist’s).
[09:10] #4 - The antagonist is stronger and/or more powerful than the protagonist.
[10:25] #5 - The protagonist has a moral compass that the antagonist does not.
[11:50] #6 - There’s a speech in praise of the antagonist.
[13:00] #7 - There’s a MacGuffin (or a very specific thing the antagonist wants).
[13:50] #8 - There are sidekicks who help the protagonist save the victim/s.
[14:45] #9 - There’s at least one mentor figure who gives the protagonist guidance.
[15:25] #10 - There’s a ticking clock that puts pressure on the protagonist.
[17:05] Key points and episode recap.

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Links mentioned in this episode:


P.S. Did you know that I have a Facebook group just for fiction writers? In this private group, we talk about all things writing, editing, and publishing fiction. It's free to join and you can request access here. Hope to see you there!