Characters embarking on quests feature frequently and heavily in literature, folklore and mythology. The majority are the literal ‘journey undertaken to find, retrieve or give something or someone’ kinds but others, particularly in more modern literature, can be a character simply wanting to fulfil a goal or seeking something they desire – i.e. fall in love, give up an addiction, get a promotion, to name a few. Of course, you could write a story that has an actual quest as your main plot while each character has their own goals that they are striving to achieve alongside it.
Most of our WIPs are quest novels – protect, find, destroy, overthrow etc… (no we’re not giving you any more details, you’ll have to buy the books), and we do like the modern quest aspects, or OK, I (Loz), do. Jed is a tad more traditional than me and steers me right more often than not when I ‘over-modernise’ the quest aspect.
Personally, I (Michelle/Jed) love a good traditional quest – which is hardly surprising considering Tolkien is one of my main influences – but I think having a balance of the traditional and the modern makes for a more compelling story. I’m not sure that any of our WIPs are wholly plot or character driven but rather a comfortable (hopefully) balance of the two. Which is why having each of us leaning towards opposite ends of quest fiction helps achieve that balance.