I have a strong affinity for action drama as my preferred story genre.  It integrates well and also can help drive momentum and storylines within other genres such as science fiction, and historical, and can even work well with romance and fish-out-of-water tales.  

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October’s question is:
What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?

While there are certainly other genres I enjoy, often I need to be in the right mood for them, deeply moody, disturbing, and thought-provoking stories require me to be in a headspace that is quiet enough to be receptive.  In a quiet headspace, I am as rare as a headline on CNN without an agenda.

As is delightfully consistent with IWSG monthly questions, I had thought to write about what makes for a good action drama, but instead going to challenge myself to dissect the genre itself.  Try to identify what are the traits that attract me to action drama.

Dissecting my preferred story genre

A driving momentum that carries me along with it while not being, hopefully, too predictable.  I want to know what is going to happen next, and I can see where the story is going and why the drama component and the story are going in some direction.  With drama, there is an innate need for some level of resolution, a need for closure. Action is the mechanism to get me there.

Drama, coupled with solid action, should provide a constantly evolving set of facts, or circumstances, that can poke holes in or provide clues as to what will happen next.  Or, what needs to happen next.  It not only keeps me guessing but keeps me wanting to guess.  It keeps me involved.

The effective portrayal of drama is going to have me picking a side.  Drama is going to be generated by emotional conflict.  Drama should then evoke an emotional response.

Thus the best characteristics of action drama are, evoking emotional attachment, engaging deductive thinking, and keeping the audience engaged through constantly evolving information.

Is my identification overly complex, too simple, or have a missed a key characteristic? Challenge or enhance my definition.

Comments and feedback are strongly encouraged.

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1 year ago

That’s so true. I often will wait to read something because I’m not in the right frame of mind. I’m just glad I eventually am. Happy IWSG day, Douglas.

Tonja Drecker
1 year ago

Sounds right to me! Add the edge-of-the-seat uncertainty if the MCs will pull through, but that’s already included, isn’t it?

Alex J. Cavanaugh
1 year ago

Yes, it should evoke an emotional response! Or the readers aren’t invested.
Chuckled at your CNN comment. Very true.

Abby Harding
1 year ago

A thoughtful answer to the question, Douglas! Happy ISWG day! 🙂

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