Thursday, December 15, 2011

Looking at Quests

Lately I've been thinking about the kinds of plots. Quest plots are I believe one of the most used ones in YA literature. I've used this in both of my YA series. The Henge Betrayed and The Jewels of Earda. The characters are looking for something be it a person, place or thing. So the following speaks about Quests.

Both of these series started as single books and at the end of each the characters found there was something else they needed. Sort of like the process of growing up. Something some of us may never do and this is a good thing.

Quests are one of my favorite plot devices. This can be used in many genres. Simply put a quest plot involves a search for a person, place or thing. There also has to be a parallel between the person's motivation and intent to the object being sought. In The Henge Betrayed Flight- the characters are sent away from their home to find a teacher.

During the quest the character or characters must cover a lot of terriroty for the search will lead them to various settings but this can't just be a random wandering. While it may seem to be casual, the questor must have a plan. While writing The Henge Betrayed - Flight, my four characters wander from their home to a large town to find this teacher who will show them how to use their affinities for the elements.

Generally the character starts out from home and ends up where they started. In the case of Flight, since this was a four book adventure they don't return home but finding no teacher decide to fins a Refuge.

During the quest the character must change. By the time the four book series ends in Confrontation the characters are older and have learned how to use their affinities.

What the character or characters in a quest story find during the search learn knowledge or wisdom. This is a maturing process. In the Henge Betrayed series the young people learn about themselves and about the world around them. They are able to face and defeat evil.

Quest stories always start with an incident that sends the haracter on the search. There will be other characters they meet. Some will be traveling companions and others chance meets. Make sure your character and reader understand why they have set off to find this person, place or thing. In the end the character will either succeed or fail to complete the quest. What the chaaracter or characters discover may be different or not from what sent them on the quest.

Elements of the quest story may find their way into other kind of plots or the quest story may contain bits of other kind of plots.


  1. That's really interesting! It makes me want to experiment with adding a quest to a romance...

  2. A great post. I enjoy quest stories and seeing how the heroine achieves her/his goal.