marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

episodic quests

Was reading a quest story in serial form and thinking it was altogether too episodic and it didn't work. . . .

On reflection, the quest is a classic work for an episodic story structure. Aristotle may still be right about its being the worst form, but there's no denying that if you are on a journey, you have impeccable reasons to have a monster of the week.

I was wondering if it was the lack of vistas and borders, to show that there were always going to be more marvels and monsters. It didn't help that every story was introducing new races or magics or creatures that the main characters always recognized at sight. (Even a bumpkin who had never left his village before would learn quickly about the prospect of problems, and even ask about them.)

It's probably a factor, but it also doesn't help that they are on a time crunch. The woman searching for evidence to clear her name, the man who wants to find his father, the family looking for the gate back to their native world may desire it strongly, but it's not a time crunch. They can be grimly resigned to the way every stop on their journey gives little of any sign in progress.
Tags: story structure, story time, travel

  • The World Between Blinks

    The World Between Blinks by Amie Kaufman and Ryan Graudin Cousins Marisol and Jake are at the packing up of their grandmother's house before the…

  • The Fate of Earth

    The Fate of Earth by Jeramey Kraatz Space Runners book 4. Spoilers ahead for the first three, because this really isn't stand alone Our fearless…

  • The Arabian Nights

    The Arabian Nights translated by Husain Haddawy Based on one of the older and more unified Syrian manuscripts. It has only two hundred and…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded