Q is for…..Quests!!!

ngwnaprilatozedited1I’m in the midst of plotting out a new book, and thinking about the growth journey my hero and heroine will be on. Some people call that QUEST.

Folks who study the structure of effective storytelling often say characters need both an external goal and an internal goal. The external goal is what’s most recognizable on the surface as the Quest: slay the dragon, return the One Ring to Mordor, catch the serial killer, find your way home from Oz to Auntie Em.

But the internal goal can sometimes be even more meaningful, and even more of a Quest: stop being afraid of change, believe you’re capable of more than other people think, face your fears, dare to live your dream.

questThe great Joseph Campbell believed that cultures tell stories to remind us to live our lives as meaningful Quests: to find the thing we were born to do, and devote our energies to it, however scary or difficult or dangerous it might be…or however much our friends and families disapprove. He called that “Finding your bliss.” He said, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”

For most of us, our Quest won’t involve slaying actual dragons, but it might just involve changing the world for the better.

What about you? Do you have a Quest in your life? What’s the one thing you just NEED to do to make your life have meaning?

6 thoughts on “Q is for…..Quests!!!

  1. A. Catherine Noon says:

    For me, it’s finding my own voice and helping others to find theirs. Self-expression means that we need to know our self in order to express it, and that’s a lot trickier than it sounds.

    I adore the comic you picked; that made me laugh out loud. πŸ™‚

  2. laraarcher says:

    That’s a wonderful life’s Quest!!! When words stay bottled up inside, they’re not healthy. Everyone needs to find their voice!

  3. Dani Wade says:

    The longer I write, the more of a Quest it becomes for me (if that makes any sense). This journey has been as much about finding who I am and what I have to say as it is about putting words on the page. Each new year brings new opposition (both internal and external), but I find I can’t give up. Thanks for reminding me about the bigger picture in all of these deadlines… πŸ™‚

    1. laraarcher says:

      I get that completely! I think it’s true of life generally, that new goals and new horizons keep rising before us. I remember when I was a teenager, I thought life would feel “stable” and relatively static when I was an adult. Now I think life continues to be as challenging and full of change as adolescence…probably straight through to the end.

  4. Nona Raines says:

    Great post, Lara! Ah, the eternal quest…seems like as soon as we achieve one goal, another looms in the distance. That’s how it’s been for me and writing. First my quest was simply to finish a book. Then it was to get published. It’s funny how we’re always striving for the next benchmark, in writing and in life! πŸ™‚

    1. laraarcher says:

      And I think we wouldn’t have it any other way! Wouldn’t it feel boring to have everything finished and figured out?

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