Yeah, yeah, I know: I shouldn’t be sharing this for free. So, what do I ask in return? Remember me when you’re at the opening night of your blockbuster film. And…you can always make a donation using the PayPal button on this page. You can’t really put a price on the advice I’m about to give you, but give it a shot. More zeros after the number in front and before the decimal point is a good start.
I know how it goes – you’re sitting there staring at your screen trying to figure out how to make that action-adventure work-in-progress into a grabbing, mind-blowing, future bestseller. Look, I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve seen all the Rambo movies – so I know a thing or two. And I am now going to help you by taking the guess work out of this whole shebang for you. Follow my advice below, and you’ll be Hollywood-bound, my friend!
Formula for an action/adventure bestseller:
Your protagonist is a brooding former Navy Seal, Sniper, Agent or Janitor who suffers from PTSD, IBS, STD, or EIEIO and has dropped out of circulation. Of course, the secret governmental organization that needs his/her help can easily locate him/her because it is omniscient, and your hero really isn’t as good at hiding as you lead everyone to believe. Your character should have a strong, impenetrable name like Mason (for a male) or Pilar (for a female). You really need to go for the symbolism here. People love that sh…stuff. So, the secret governmental organization – let’s call it “Big Secret” or BS for short – talks Mason/Pilar into looking into whatever heinous plot is brewing since, of course, Mason/Pilar’s special skills make him/her the ONLY choice for this job out of the trillions of people in the world. Well, those special skills and the fact they look really good naked.
So Mason/Pilar goes to some exotic location and meets up – you guessed it – with a former co-worker who also happens to be a love interest and also looks really good naked. This agent/contact should have a sensual name like Felecia or Liam. They start out cold and stand-offish, but then something happens to make them realize that they are two peas in a pod, birds of a feather or just plain old desperate for some cuddling. Of course, nothing can happen yet; you need to build that sexual tension. Besides, they’re still not entirely certain they can trust each other since one of them probably shot the other last time they were together.
Whilst all this emotionally- and physically-charged to-do is playing out, introduce your bad guy. He should be strong, but freakish in some way, so that he intrigues yet disgusts the reader. He should also have some kind of a strange penchant for a pet – let’s say a little white dog. And you can make him wear a meat helmet. That’s always fun. Even though Mason/Pilar and Felecia/Liam are incredibly talented agents, your bad guy has absolutely no problem finding them and is perusing a collection of black and white surveillance photographs of the two of them. Now, it’s not that your agents suck at hiding, it’s just that they’re so good looking that people notice them. It’s a curse, really.
Before we move forward with the plot, keep in mind you should make your bad guy three dimensional. Give him some kind of a quirk – let’s say since he’s bad, he wears black – and since he loves his little white dog, well, he’s constantly picking fur off of his clothes. And, being the bad guy – what does he want besides to conquer the world? Well, he wants Pilar or Felecia, of course. (Switch out if your bad guy is a woman…or not.)
Your bad guy tries to kill Mason/Liam and attempts to kidnap Pilar/Felecia, but something goes wrong and a bunch of innocent people die because there’s a ridiculously huge explosion when the incendiary device diabolically lands in the deep fat fryer at the local donut shoppe. Mason/Liam is wounded and Pilar/Felecia must tend to him. Sweaty, dirty and battered…you guessed it: gratuitous sex scene here. Because no matter what, those two look fabulous.
When Mason/Liam wakes up, Pilar/Felecia is gone. Mason/Liam must now go to rescue her from the bad guy, and at the same time, save the world. What? Of course he knows the bad guy took her by the white dog fur left on the pillow case. Sheesh, do I have to write the whole thing for you?
So, Mason/Liam goes undercover to get into the bad guy’s lair and finds Pilar/Felecia bound and gagged. Once he frees her, the two take on the hundreds of armed men guarding the hide-out, manage to detonate the bad guy’s self-destruct security mechanism, and race out of the place in time to watch it explode behind them. And because they are truly good people – not just good looking – they rescue the little white dog as well.