Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lookin' For Adventure

I'm following the approach to "market analysis" recommended by Lawrence Block in Writing the Novel. This involves reading and deconstructing half a dozen books by different authors in my chosen genre (period roguish adventure). My lineup includes

The Turquoise Lament by John D. MacDonald

Dutch Uncle by Peter Pavia

The Girl With The Long Green Heart by Lawrence Block

Plunder of the Sun by David Dodge

Branded Woman by Wade Miller

The Jade Figurine by Bill Pronzini

Feel free to make recommendations in the Comments section.


Sarah said...

The choices are all well and good...but ultimately they are really, really narrow. If you're trying to write an adventure novel, think big - really really big. Clive Cussler, Flashman, hell, Errol Flynn in the movies kind of big. Ideally, C.J. Stone should be a kind of archetypal character (Jack Reacher as a pilot) who goes from adventure to adventure, a little something different each time out so that there's lots of room to play around with, lots of cast changes and lots of potential. Thinking narrowly will ultimately shortchange not only your potential audience, but your own writing potential.

Besides, honestly, it's too early to start deconstructing books. Write a crappy first draft or at least something skeletal so you know what you have.

Dave White said...

Stuff better blow up.

Gerald So said...

"Adventure" is broader than I intended. Narrowing the idea makes it seem less daunting, more doable. My goal with the reading is to better grasp the narrative flow of the genre. I don't intend to follow the mentioned books so much with regard to character or plot specifics; that I'll discover as I go.

Gerald So said...

And I will be writing as I read.

Jim Winter said...

If you know enough about CJ's history, the story's probably already there.

John D. said...

Check out High Adventure by Donald Westlake. It's available through Mystery Vault.