How to Write a Quest
Most quests begin with similar premises and follow similar lines from beginning to end. The following are key characteristics of quests:
- A hero—crucial to any quest
- A goal to be accomplished with innocent people relying on the hero’s success
- The possibility that the hero will never return from the quest
- A team that helps the hero for all or parts of the quest
- Persistent conflict designed to delay the hero
- A long and dangerous journey, often through foreign places
- Obstacles that test the hero’s morality or dedication to his goal
- A serious challenge to overcome at the final destination, which the hero may or may not be aware of before his arrival
Authors adapt the elements above to fit the genre they are writing in and the audience they are writing for. But, no matter what style of story you want to write, a quest always includes three crucial things: a hero, a journey, and a goal.
When to use a Quest
Because of its exciting settings, attractive characters, and often morally complex themes, quests are the perfect plot devices to use when you want to write a gripping story of danger and adventure. In fact, they are the central part of nearly every work of adventure fiction, and a key element in fantasy and science fiction. A quest is an especially perfect plot device to use in lengthier works of fiction, since the protagonist always has a long road to follow. Authors can use a quest to take the audience on a journey alongside the hero, introducing them to a wide range of characters, settings, and conflicts on the way to the plot’s climax.