Quest Tasks

There's something that a lot of early adventure stories had in common that carried over into adventure games. From there, it was crystallized and concentrated until it made its way back into adventure stories that aren't in a game format.

This is the concept of the Quest, and there are basically 4 different Quests:

The Fedex Quest: the "go and fetch this item" or "take this item to that place" quests.

The Escort Quest: the "take this person to that place" quests.

The Collection Quest: the "get this many of X item" or "kill this many of X monster" quests.

The Rescue Quest: the "release this person from that place" quests.

The ubiquitous nature of these quests means that you don't have to explain them, and as a consequence you can expect your audience to know what you're referring to when you describe a quest like this without going to a lot of effort. That's a wonderful thing, but I think it's also a pitfall that we as creators should be aware of.

Falling back on preexisting knowledge the audience has access to is a wonderful tool, but it's not the only tool at our disposal. What if the Quest in question could be simplified to match one of the above descriptions, but has more detail to it? Or what if the Quest you want to build doesn't match any of those descriptors?

The answer, as with most other writing questions, is that there's nothing wrong with using all the tools that you have at your disposal, including pieces used by others in stories before yours. That said, carefully consider if the tool that's easiest to use (the stereotype that most closely matches your character or the standard Quest that lines up with what you want your character to do) is actually the best tool for the job.

Until next time, stay awesome, Inklings, and write responsibly. :)

#Technique #Writing

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