Is There No Room For Adventure?

Old School Adventure Goodness

Old School Adventure Goodness

Long ago, there were adventures.  The plots were fun and the characters weren’t as realistic as those of today.  Conan was big, fast, strong, and brutal with the ability to survive everything.  Also an odd penchant for choking enemies more than beheading them.  At least in the collection I read.  Anyway, these were the days of the fun escapism and pulp fiction.  Feels like another world when I read those stories and I’m not talking about where Conan is wandering.  It’s like there was an old society that cherished these kinds of tales more than we do today.

I’ve been playing with such a series while I try to get my head together.  Yet, I keep coming back to one question:

IS THERE STILL A PLACE FOR ADVENTURES?

You don’t see things like this any more.  People seem to want epic-spanning tales, hot romance, angst, death, and things that are rather heavy.  So one has to wonder if there’s an audience for a story that is only a little more than ‘main character kicks ass and goes on quest among minor characters’.  Sure it’s simple, but I’m looking those short tales that one reads to relax.  I assume people still read to relax.

I’m a big fan of the epic series as demonstrated by Legends of Windemere.  Yet I think I should enter into the smaller stuff a bit.  I might write the first one or two over the summer then see what happens.  Cover art would be the issue again since I don’t want to pester Jason with too much side work since he’s really busy.  This is going in the wrong direction right now, so redirection!

Tarzan.  Need I say more?

Tarzan. Need I say more?

I, for one, would really enjoy these making a comeback even if it’s an underground guilty pleasure.  These are pure fun if you’re willing to drift into the world.  As for the author side, I can see this being a low-stress project to toy around with various styles and small ideas that you don’t think could work for a big story.  Again, the question comes up if people will be interested in such a thing.

What do people think of adventures that are written purely for fun?  Could pulp fiction thrive in the modern world?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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80 Responses to Is There No Room For Adventure?

  1. I always enjoyed these adventures when I was a small primate, but you’re right – there aren’t any being written today – they’re pure and simple escapism 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Do you agree with Charles? 😀

    Like

  3. Sue Vincent says:

    You can’t beat a good adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jwebster2 says:

    Bring back the ‘ripping yarn’! 🙂
    I confess that I’ve always tried to write a good story. Something that will carry the reader along. I do wonder what happened to ‘pulp fiction’ and I suspect that we writers have lost out with its demise. I suspect that it’s a sign of our times that the words ‘Pulp Fiction’ are more associated with a film described by wiki as “The film is known for its eclectic dialogue, ironic mix of humor and violence, nonlinear storyline, and a host of cinematic allusions and pop culture references.”

    So not actually pulp fiction at all then 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • That tends to be what I think of first. Now I wonder why it was named that way. Unless it was intended to be cinematic pulp fiction, but it became something bigger. Do you think it’s possible to revive pulp fiction or is its demise permanent?

      Liked by 1 person

      • jwebster2 says:

        I have a dream 🙂 The original pulp fiction was called that because physical production quality was so low so you could sell them cheap. Has the ebook taken the place? So how about we produce an ebook magazine, every month, (or week or whatever) and people come to expect it, subscribe to it. But to do it properly we spend a year in advance getting the stories ready, getting everything edited properly. We have a year’s worth of issues ready to roll. Also getting the marketing set up. And when we launch it, you pay a £1 and you’re in. Every week or whatever it drops through your metaphorical letterbox.
        If we get 1000 readers that’s £1000 a year. 10,000 readers, £10,000 a year. 100% of the money divided between writers on a straight, so much a word, basis. (Advertising pays the editor etc)
        So the writers are encouraged by this to seek out readers, to seek out people who pay their £1

        Would it work? Dunno

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      • Interesting. I’ve seen a lot of people attempt things like that on-line. A lot of obstacles turned up such as finding submissions and a few broke down as people fought over money. If you can make sure the payment is fair and keep egos in check then it would certainly fill a void. They don’t do physical magazines like that any more, do they?

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwebster2 says:

        I suppose you don’t have the up-front costs of a physical magazine. Also there are far more ‘writers’ about nowadays than there were. The editor would have to edit rather than merely type set, which for some editors would come as a surprise. That’s why I think the editor should get anything that comes from the advertising, because they’re the one who’s doing the work. If they do it properly they’re also building great new writers

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      • True. My only worry would be about clashing author egos, but that’s my own experience when doing joint projects. Many of them fell apart when someone in the group refused to budge. How much space would each author get? The old Conan stories seem pretty long for a simple magazine.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jwebster2 says:

        I think you need professionalism from the authors and a good editor. Because these are e-publications page count isn’t as important as it would be with paperback.Because there’s another one coming out next week,it’s easier to balance space. But is somebody plays ‘silly beggars’ then they can pick their ball up and take it home because it isn’t as if there is a shortage of writers out there.
        I’m lucky. I’ve been a free-lance writer for nearly forty years. I’m used to coping with editors and their foibles, and I’m no longer precious about it.

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  5. sknicholls says:

    My former husband was crazy about Conan and Tarzen and was at a loss when they disappeared. He read them in his late teens and twenties. I could see a come back for a younger crowd. Something set among the tribes of South America or Central America, or some make believe world. I do think the world has gotten smaller. We see so much television and internet some of the allure of far away places is gone, satisfied already through the media.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So maybe a fictional world would work best. Though people still get into the real world adventures too. National Treasure and Indiana Jones (reboot on the later happening) are still enjoyed by multiple generations.

      Your comment actually stirred an idea. Conan and Tarzan became movies and TV shows. Is it possible that the switch to that medium caused them to disappear from their origins?

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      • sknicholls says:

        I don’t know. My ex just loved the comics and the books on Conan. I’m sure he saw Tarzan on TV, but I don’t think he ever watched Conan, just read about him. His good friend named his son Conan.

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      • Conan on TV was a short-lived action show and a cartoon. Not many people know about the first and it seems only my generation of nerd know of the latter. Very cool name choice.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve always loved adventure. I didn’t grow up in suburbia, but smack bang in the centre of a city, so those worlds were always my go to escapes. Maybe that’s why people enjoy adventure, or what happens after the end of civilization stories. Suburbia is pretty boring when you live it. One of my shorts in progress is about a couple of serious prepper heroes… after the collapse – good fun. 😀 I’m really looking forward to this series of yours Charles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I have a list of stories and I’m hoping to tackle it over the summer. Might even try to find some beta readers when I finish the first draft. The hardest part is going to be the cover.

      Not sure I’d say suburbia is boring, but it’s a slower speed than the city. There’s a lot more to ‘explore’ around here with parks and beaches. At least around here. I guess more open space is what I’m thinking of. Either way, both regions can prompt a person to drift away from time to time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Suburbia in the USA would definitely not bore me – I used to be a sitcom junkie and drool at the thought of living there as a child. Have you thought about what sort of thing you’d want on the cover?

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      • Not sure. Part of me wants an action-y picture of the main character on his adventure or in the middle of a fight. Another wants it a simple cover with eye-catching color, the title, and a symbol. I guess the ‘pulp fiction’ method would be the former.

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  7. Reading should be fun. It may be a matter of retraining the readers. Short is often good – and quests are always good! Why does everything have to be so serious and “real life”?
    Idea to mull over here.

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    • I’ve been wondering that myself. Seems so many people want their fiction to be realistic and serious. Sometimes to the point of it being more depressing than reality. That’s why I’m hoping to get this off the ground alongside my bigger series. Just some fantasy adventure fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jack Eason says:

    The same goes for my forte – science fiction Charles. Does it mean that I’ve stopped writing them? Hell no! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jack Eason says:

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    Maybe its time for the old favourites to become popular once more. 😉

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  10. C.E.Robinson says:

    Charles, don’t know why I thought “start with a children’s/young adult book.” Even those are adult reading! Kids, especially boys, need to get away from video games and more into imagination & book adventure. Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • At least find a balance. I know when I was younger, the ‘forced’ reading of school made it difficult to read for fun. I went into comic books around that time. One thing I remember from my youth is that many video games had great stories to tell. Now I only hear about shooters and sandbox games. I have seen that the big games have books connected to them, so that could be a bridge to get kids to read more.

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  11. noelleg44 says:

    I loved these stories – H.G. Wells was a favorite of mine, and no, I’m not THAT old. So bring on the funk, bring on the noise. I’ll read it!

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  12. mcsmith187 says:

    I grew up on Burroughs and Howard and other pulpy stories. Too much fiction these days take themselves so seriously.

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  13. I hope the desire for tales comparable to Conan are not gone for good, for that is exactly what I’m writing. My “Barbarian Tales” is inspired by the writings of the late, great Robert E. Howard. I read many of the Conan novels in my late teen years, and wanted to write one to show my preference to a good Sword And Sorcery tale.
    I have posted some excerpts on my blog, http://wp.me/p37ga0-7w including the post just published to link to for this post. At present, I am restructuring the beginning, so some of the posts will change (when I get my ideas fleshed out).
    Care to give my writing a chance?

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  14. I was reading adventure stories early on.. Wilbur Smith – Nevil Shute- James A Michener…sweeping epics with real people often pitted against nature.. I think I might be a bit of a vigilante as I like it when the underdog bites back… now there is often so much technology and whizz bangs involved that the instinctive and intuitive behaviour of the main characters is diluted by it.

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    • I think you can still find characters like that, but they tend to lose some of their intuition when jumping to another medium. As far as the first part of that idea, I’m reading the 10th book of a series that has heroes who are all about instinct and intuition. It’s fantasy though, so there isn’t much in the way of technology.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am one of those whose phone simply calls and sends texts…I can live without technology – in fact I am noticing quite a few series on the TV now such as Foyles War, Dr. Blake Mysteries etc have a very nostalgic, retro feel..

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      • My wife has a phone like that. I have the ‘bells & whistles’ only because I work from home. Helps to keep the email down and respond to urgent things. That’s really it. I’m gravitating more toward supernatural and mystical series. Guess I’m simply bored with reality.

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  15. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Anybody up for some adventure over at Charles E Yallowitz’s place?

    Like

  16. olganm says:

    Yes, please. Not all has to be high and mighty or heavy. I remember when Steven Spielberg directed the first Indiana Jones movie he explained he had been talking to George Lucas about the adventure stories they used to enjoy as children and how he’d like to make a movie like that and he told him he had just what he was looking for. Quite a few Spanish writers I know write adventure stories…

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  17. There are so many uptight writers out there I doubt you could publish Pulp Fiction without review firestorm. Adventure stories for fun? Not sure.

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  18. What better way to escape a high-pressure, tedious day than to get lost in a book. Isn’t every book an adventure. You get to use the adventure of the moment. Choices are great. Lots of them. Something for everyone. That’s why I read. To escape the tedium and to relax. 🙂

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  19. Conan vs. Tarzan. It’s the obvious step toward the return of the pulp adventure. 🙂

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  20. mgill0627 says:

    I think you’re really onto something here. The beauty of self-publishing is that you can do whatever you want. Short stories are reportedly making a comeback. And yes, I think people would enjoy strong writing in a great action adventure. I say go for it. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

    Like

  21. Chelsea Brown says:

    Adventure is always a good read, and a nice break from all of the heavy/dramatic books that are out there. Plus I think every once in a while a writer needs to have some fun writing; just be free.

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  22. Jaq says:

    My Steampunk books are written to be just that, Adventures. Fun stories to relax by. The Wake of the Dragon is about to come out on audiobook too, probably next month.

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    • Very cool. I don’t know anything about Steampunk. Do the stories tend to be more adventure than anything else?

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      • Jaq says:

        I wish. When I first heard of Steampunk, I felt that it MUIST BE Adventure. I’ve found rather a lot of YA and Romance calling itself Steampunk. Some of the YA is Adventure but… it’s targetted at a young audience. The George Mann books are sort of borderline Crime Drama/Adventure and well worth a read. We need more in the category for those of us who want to go on adventures with airship pirates!

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      • So it can crossover with other genres. Guess everything has a romance version out there.

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      • Jaq says:

        Unfortunately, it’s invaded every genre!

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      • I can’t say I’m entirely surprised. Romance tends to be one of the easiest and most relatable subplots to develop characters and relationships. It might be better if such things weren’t typically neat and squeaky clean.

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